Tara Priest

We have ourselves a double threat! Singer/songwriter and amazing painter Tara Priest is as creative and talented as they come – and is rising quite fast. The Tupelo, Mississippi native has artwork commissioned on a regular basis, and has self-titled debut album out now, something very much worth getting into. Tara says the work is “an eclectic compilation of contemporary ‘Nashville’ country with touches of folk and blues thrown in the mix.   It's very modern and radio ready with just the right amount of ‘soul’ to spice it up.” Check out the self-titled effort and look into Priest’s painting too, especially if you’re into acrylics! Read 

on now for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Tara Priest

PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?

TP:   Well, I've been singing in front of an audience since age 4.  At age 7, my parents noticed a natural ability and found me a vocal coach. I ended up taking lessons for 10 years thereafter.  Even though I really didn't want to, I'm so glad they forced me. Because of the training,  I now have excellent control and tone.   It really wasn't until I auditioned for a band in Jr. College that it dawned on me I was "on to something" in terms of a career.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live show of yours?
TP: I use every muscle in my body when I perform. Each song is sung with genuine emotion whether upbeat or slower ballads. Being a natural entertainer and social butterfly, I love to talk to the audience as well. They can expect to really relate to what I speak and sing! It really revs up my energy when they respond and sing along! The vibe and size of the crowd moves me to dance and perform "harder."
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
TP:  I must remember my lyrics! Fortunately, I was gifted with a "photographic" memory when it comes to music. I've never once flubbed the words, but it's a reoccurring nightmare I have often. Secondly, I'm thinking about how badly I want to "move" or "touch" the audience in a profound way!
PEV:  What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
TP:  Life, Love, and their many UPS and DOWNS!   
PEV: Tell us about your latest release. What can fans expect from this work?
TP:  My self titled debut album "Tara Priest" is an eclectic compilation of contemporary "Nashville" country with touches of folk and blues thrown in the mix. It's very modern and radio ready with just the right amount of "soul" to spice it up.
PEV: Describe the kind of mindset you had to be in to create this album?
TP:  I had just lost my dad, with whom I was very close to.  Part of me wanted to do it for him.    As for the mindset, each song tells a story.   I tried hard to place myself in each circumstance while recording, so to exude nothing but honest emotion.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Tara Priest:
TP: There's probably several quirky things you'd be surprised to hear. To name one, I have Celiac's Disease. I've not eaten pizza, pasta, bread, or anything containing gluten (even beer) in 6 years! People seem to find this fascinating and often tell me they don't know how I stay on the diet.   At this point, I'm very much used to it and do whatever I can to feel healthy.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew you wanted music to be a large part of your life, if not the biggest part?
TP:  I became more focused on music right after college.   My voice seemed to get better as I matured.
PEV: What one word best describes Tara Priest?
TP:  Dreamer.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
TP:  I'd love to sing in Europe...not to just sing, but to have a large welcoming audience attending the show!
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?
TP:  All my close friends and family are very supportive.   The people that truly know me, know that I would explode if I didn't have creative outlets.  
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
TP:  Painting! I paint with acrylics and show my work around numerous galleries. I also do lots of commissioned work for clients in the area.
PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
TP:  There are too many to name!
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?
TP:  Art, Interior Design, Fashion, Selling Insurance (as I do part time already)
PEV: So, what is next for Tara Priest?
TP:  I take things day by day.  Life can sometimes disappoint you if you plan too far in advance. I am always working on new material. I also adore combining creative minds and collaborating with other artists. Meanwhile I'm working hard to get the album on radio stations, doing interviews, and through social media.     Be on the lookout for videos in the near future as well! As for shows, my goal is to be back on the road in Jan-Feb of 2012.
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