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Kristy Jackson

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Posted Nov 27, 2007 by Paul
Filed under: Exclusive Interview

“I continue to live in Greensboro so I can continue to believe that the music business is about good music when in reality, once you’re in Nashville for a week, you’re reminded that it’s not.” – Kristy Jackson”

I haven’t done an Exclusive Interview here on NashvilleHype! in a long time, so when Kristy Jackson asked to be a friend on our NashvilleHype! Myspace, I knew she would be the perfect candidate.

Kristy doesn’t live full time here in Nashville, and she gives a surprisingly direct and honest answer as to why she doesn’t as you see in the quote above – but she does visit often and will sometimes write for the country market.

Kristy is the owner of Fever Pitch Music, a record and publishing company that has released 6 titles so far (four of which are Kristy’s). In addition to this, Kristy has written what every songwriter would like to write, a bona-fide hit song. In fact, the song has achieved a level of success very few hit songs actually achieve – over 2,000,000 plays on radio as noted by BMI.

PKFirst off Kristy, you have a new cd out entitled ‘The Best Seat in the House’ – why don’t you tell us a little about it? 

Kristy – The CD is a roller coaster of production values, some my trademark of simply a keyboard/vocal and some are full on production. It was recorded in Los Angeles, Nashville and Greensboro, NC. The title cut is a song about my parents who I lost in 2003 and 2004 but it’s an uptempo song, I promise! Presently, I’m in such a great place in my life… new love… my sons are awesome… everybody’s healthy, so the songs on the CD reflect that, as opposed to my previous CD, Body & Soul, which I call my divorce CD lol

PK When you begin writing for a new cd, and you’ve released four on your own through Fever Pitch Music, do you try to think in terms of theme or is each song on the cd meant to be taken on its own?

Kristy – I let the song write itself and it is what it is. In terms of lyrics, the songs on a CD are usually reflective of what’s been going on in my life and the music tends to reflect whatever I’ve been listening to lately. Of course I have some fundamental influences that always seem to rise to the surface in terms of the music. I’ve always been told my ballads sound reminiscent of Carole King and my uptempos have hints of Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Marcia Ball. And regardless of what I write, I can’t seem to disguise my southern accent!

PK – You began Fever Pitch Music in what year?

Kristy 1990

PK – Was it started here in Nashville? 

Kristy I have a place in Nashville and commute but I started Fever Pitch in Greensboro, NC where I live.

PK – Tell us about a few things you’ve done over at Fever Pitch Music in the past, and tell us a little about the future. 

Kristy I’ve secured a few songs in films in the past year, one in a full feature Disney film, The Initiation of Sarah. I also have to annually nurture my 9/11 song, “Little Did She Know (She’d Kissed A Hero)” as that gets airplay every anniversary on the largest radio stations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania primarily. I continue to pitch songs to individual artists (I’ll probably jinx it but I’m told I’ve secured a song on the next CD by legendary icon and Grammy winner Patti Page) What an honor! It’s like having a Tony Bennett cut! I also have a couple of other songs that are due to be released on other artists CDs in 2008 as well. I’m also always looking ahead to the next up and coming genre and up and coming artists. That’s why I signed Knives Exchanging Hands, a new metalcore band.

PK – A hardcore band? How did that come about?

Kristy It conveniently happens that my oldest son, Justin, is the lead guitar player in the band, Knives Exchanging Hands, as well as its primary writer. I’d be lying if I said hardcore metal is a genre I gravitate towards naturally but I do believe it’s the next underground genre that’s going to break through to mainstream. Some artist/band has to delicately combine that metal vocal with enough melodic vocal for it to be palatable for the suit and then it’ll break. The music’s there already in my opinion. I think Knives Exchanging Hands is on the verge of being that band. The music is complicated and they’re tight! They’re amazing. Check them out on myspace.com/knivesexchanginghands 

PK Is Fever Pitch Music accepting new material? Looking for writers? 

Kristy I really put my publishing company, Fever Pitch Music, in place for my own material. Not being based in Nashville, NY, or Los Angeles, I don’t really feel I’m in a position to pitch someone else’s material to the full extent their material deserves to be pitched. I’ve signed single song contingency contracts in the past but I’ll stress it’s very rare.

PK – Who do you feel are the songwriters and artists that have helped shape your career? 

Kristy There are so many! Obvious ones are Carole King, Rickie Lee Jones, Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Marcia Ball, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman.

PK How did you make your way here to Nashville?

Kristy After the Reba cut, I started spending a week every 2 months at the good ole Hampton Inn in Nashville, networking, co-writing and pitching material. After a year, I bought a condo and continued to commute.

PK – Did you have a mentor in the business who helped to open doors, or gave you encouragement?

KristyI didn’t have a mentor that was in the business per se, but both my parents were gifted musicians and they always encouraged me. Plus truly if you’re a songwriter, you’re a songwriter, and it doesn’t matter if anyone encourages you or not – that’s not going to stop you from waking up at 4am with a song in your head, you know?

PK How did writing your song ‘Take it Back’ come about?

KristyActually, my next door neighbor at the time was going through this situation! lol

PK – Was it a random meeting that got the attention of Reba or were you actually pitching it to her?

Kristy OK, this will be encouraging or discouraging to other songwriters depending on their experiences in the business. I got the cut through the mail! Those were the good old days when people still opened their mail and didn’t fear being sued by some yahoo who wrote a song for his sister’s wedding who thought he was the only one who had ever thought of saying, “the ring’s on the right hand this time”. My rep at BMI, at the time, kept saying, “you did what I tell people is NOT going to happen.” But truly those days are long gone. You really need to be affiliated with a publisher that has full time songpluggers or have an attorney that’s got his hand in the business. Take It Back was my first cut and it ended up being Reba McEntire’s first single, off her “It’s Your Call” record. The record went triple platinum and it made her Greatest Hits III record.

PK What’s the best and worst thing about Nashville?

KristyThe best thing about Nashville is all of the incredible music and songs that you can hear that continue to inspire writers like myself. The worst thing about Nashville is the reality of why some songs get cut and why some don’t. That’s the very reason I don’t live there. “I continue to live in Greensboro so I can continue to believe that the music business is about good music when in reality, once you’re in Nashville for a week, you’re reminded that it’s not.”

PK What’s the best and worst thing about how the Industry operates today? 

Kristy The best thing about the industry in this day and age is the fact that independent artists like myself now have access to distribution through the Internet and are able to make a living at what they are passionate about. The worst thing about this industry is the total corporate domination of the mainstream radio airways, the effect of the TV realty marketing machines and the fact that it’s not about great songs anymore.

(post sponsored by: American Idol Underground)

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