3 Minute Post-London Interview

HJ Michel SergeTell us about yourself – what got you into music? When did you begin to perform?
When I was 8, I remember a violin teacher tracing my feet on a sheet of cardboard, so I could place it on the floor and stand with my feet in the correct position. An egg timer was set to 45 minutes. There were little pieces of tape to mark finger position on the neck and the bow. I started music with Lightly Row, tape, rosin and floor mats, but genuinely finding my way in music has been an ongoing, long process. Poetry, art, life, languages, letting go of bad information, and genuinely finding purpose, that has been a journey. I have always written songs. It’s a way of processing all the data that comes flying at us.

What interested you about performing at MUSEfest? And having performed, how do you feel about it? What did you take from it?
I was so happy to perform with the inaugural MUSEfest in London! The event was crafted by a great team, and for almost everyone there, the purpose of the event was clear, appreciated, and motivating –celebrating women who are doing unique things.

Tell us about the creative process for you, how do you write your songs/ compose your music?
I would never, ever, zip myself into a space suit, climb aboard a rocket and get shot into the stratosphere, but that is exactly the metaphor for my creative process. You have to be an astronaut. You have to go a little past where you went before. You have to come back with something worth exploring. You have to challenge yourself and others, say something new, be brave. You have to examine things from an alternate perspective. Artists need to be like astronauts. My songs are about people, and I do have themes of space, science, love, Greek and other mythologies that creep around in them. I don’t pick the themes, they just arrive.

What have been your biggest obstacles to making your music your way?
I think most artists usually have to deal with themselves first. Get all the junk off the table. Faulty wiring, fear of failure, not managing time and resources strategically, etc.

What are your biggest successes? Proudest moments?
Expatriating to France with a family of four, with no contacts at all in music, and building from the ground up a music network, in a second language. I have had so many developmental experiences personally and professionally in the process.
Releasing Underbelly.
Running 8 marathons.
Raising two remarkable human beings.
Not necessarily in that order.

Who or what are your major influences? What do you get from them?
I get overwhelmed with how much there is to listen to a look at, so I try to be very specific with myself about what in a current influence. I am currently reviewing work by Imogen Heap, Lady Lamb, and Björk.

Do you have any advice for women making music?
Do your thing, do it every day, ask a lot of yourself, and don’t stop.

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