Each month GoGirlsMusic.com spotlights an artist or band from its community, asking a series of questions. This month we feature Austin songstress Tara Craig. Richard May of the Songwriters TV Series calls Craig “one of the most vibrant and pensive songwriters emerging.” Enjoy!
There was a few years where I wasn’t writing or playing music, during that time it felt like I let a part of me die. I realized after coming out of that period in my life just how important playing music is to my personal fulﬁllment.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
• Indie, folk, pop.
• Joni Mitchell: she was really the ﬁrst singer/songwriter I was introduced to. My mom would play “River” on our piano and I always loved that song. When I got older I picked up my own copy of Joni Mitchell’s album Blue. I was inspired by her poetic lyrics, imagery and musicianship.
• Ani Difranco: I love Ani’s music for many of the same reasons I love Joni Mitchell. In addition, from Ani I learned the importance of ﬁnding your own voice. I admire her courage and strength as an artist and a business woman.
• Brandi Carlile: She is small in stature but huge in presence. Of all the artists I started listening to in recent years, none impress or inspire me as much as Brandi Carlile.
What’s your ideal venue atmosphere?
My favorite venues always have a great sound system. An intimate environment for those who actually want to listen but with a beautiful patio too, where people can still hear, for those who’d like to visit.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you ﬁrst started performing.
I used to play solo in California coffee shops and on the street in Laguna Beach. I loved it. Now I mostly play larger venues with a full band and I love that too. I released my ﬁrst album two years ago, and now I’m about to release my ﬁrst EP. Recording my music is deﬁnitely a part of my career that has evolved over the years.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
Over saturated. Austin is a great city for people who love music, you can ﬁnd live music every night of the week… but as a musician it can be tough. We are challenged to stand out in a sea of thousands of other artists, and sometimes that’s not easy.
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
The 5 songs on my new EP Steadied are very different from one another but I think the theme that weaves through each of them is hope. Each song speaks to a personal journey I’ve been through, some a long time ago and some more recent. I ﬁnd my own experiences to be the most reliable sources of inspiration… most of the time.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
If money is an issue, and it is for most of us, you need to have a plan. For my EP that’s coming out on June 30, I picked the 5 songs we were going to record and we practiced them like crazy in the weeks leading up to the release. We also recorded on our own so we could listen back and make changes before the studio.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
Giving in to fear.
Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.
It’s always tough having to have uncomfortable conversations with band members. We’ve been playing together for four years and I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had to have many of these conversations. I overcome them by trying to always be honest about my expectations and allowing space for them to do the same.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don’t give up?
Never compare yourself to others. Everyone’s journey is different.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
Even though my songs tend to be on the serious side. I love to be silly and make people laugh.
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
At risk of sounding redundant, what I’ve gotten is a community; fellow musicians who encourage, challenge and inspire one another. I also love the opportunity to meet and network with people from all over the country.
Connect with Tara at: