And in keeping with the momentum,
The Power of Music also features two
of Kristine W’s homages to another
pop diva, Diana Ross with her
outstanding covers of “The Boss”
and “I’m Coming Out”.  
“I love her!  She’s very
dramatic.”  But the
otherwise fearless
artist is slightly
intimidated to take
on another dance
legend: “I’m scared
to do Donna
Summer,” she
humbly admits.  
“She’s such a hero
of mine that if I didn’t
do it right, and I got a
bad review -- it would take
me months to get over it!”  
When I goad her about perhaps
doing a duet with the disco icon, she smiles, “I would love that...Donna Summer or
George Michael.  I could just retire after that.”  Now there’s a hit waiting to happen.  The
Power of Music will remind you of what made Kristine W a stand-out pop artist in the
first place.  “It’s a really interesting fusion of a lot of live instrumentation with electronica
sounds...just great music.”  And continues her tradition of delivering commercial dance
music that is far and between ordinary house or electronica -- it truly is dance music
with a soul.

There have been 14 number ones and she finds that even she can’t please all of her
fans all of the time when performing live on the road.  “That’s the hardest part...cause
everyone has their favorites,
their number ones.  I try to change it
up and I’ve gone on to do a lot of medleys, so I can fit as many songs into a set -- that’s
been my secret weapon!”  Knowing full well what to give her adoring public is only but a
fraction of the talent within her arsenal.

And as a gift to her fans, Kristine W has assembled a holiday offering of spruced up
tracks able to shake the snow off of any rooftop this season.  Working with the UK’s
super producing team from Love To Infinity, she delivered the perfect stocking stuffer
with
Hey Mr. Christmas.  “You always hear the same stuff over and over, which is
comforting, but a lot of it is often times sad.”  From the title track to the reworking of
“Favorite Things” each tune is set to a moving beat, but on the soulful house mix of “O
Holy Night” you know even Old St. Nick is jamming on this track while along that long
winter night’s ride.  All 8 tracks are sure to become party favorites, including one in
particular: “I’ve always loved ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ and I was going to do a duet with
RuPaul when he originally covered it, but so many of my fans said I should do a dance
version of that song because it is so bittersweet.”  She delivers in spades!  “Times are
tough for a lot of people.  It’s nice to pump things up and give them something to get
fired up about.”

Confronted now with the prospect of promoting and releasing her own product under
her own music label Fly Again Music, in this day and age of the independent artist, it’s a
challenge the new mogul has embraced with vigor.  Shuttering at the task before her
Kristine W is none the less accepting of the changing tone of the music industry.  “It’s a
very scary proposition and you’re scared out of your wits -- it’s so hard, but I’m really
glad that I stuck to my guns.”  In a world eager to idolize the next big thing and the
immediacy of music file sharing networks, making a buck, especially in this economy
as a pop artist is as daunting as mounting a strategic military surge on foreign soil.  
“Acts today have it a lot harder -- you have to be a real
kick-ass live performer, because
what if you get a hit and you can’t kick ass live?  Everything is very fast food now.”  
Audiences can be very unforgiving and “if you can’t write songs that connect, you’re just
saying the same thing as the last twenty people.  People can get
really over it.  You
have to be true to yourself.”
her manager the disarmingly handsome Christopher Medeires, who has arrived with
Starbucks coffee in hand as we prepare to sit down and discuss her current
projects.  In true manager form he reminds the scheduling-challenged Ms. W with a
smile, "You were
scheduled to shop today!"  Shopping obviously wasn't in the cards,
especially with her hectic promotional interviews (I’m only one of several stops she’s
made), music video shoots (she just wrapped on her latest with famed photographer
Mike Ruiz) and countless appearances.  Kristine W is busily getting the word out on
her holiday album
Hey Mr. Christmas and has been meticulously scrutinizing the
work of various producers who are remixing her latest single.  “Now that I have my
own label...I really want them to be great.  Before I was like, well the record label is
going to do everything anyway and I’m not going to have a say...now I know all the
guys (remixers) and I absolutely adore them!”

Getting a firm grip on her music and her brand is Kristine W’s main drive.  It’s no
wonder that her latest album is titled
The Power of Music.  “I want to put this music
out and I want it to be great!”  No one can fault her.  Kristine W could easily be
credited for revolutionizing the way we hear dance music.  “I’m not interested in
‘ambulance chasing’...where everybody is doing what everybody else has done --
that is, writing music that is all about the hook.  I like telling
real stories.”  Bitingly
climbing out of an age where the industry easily categorized it’s artists, she didn’t fit
the mold of the pop “lunch box” acts along the lines of a Britney Spears or Jessica
Simpson.  She freely admits, "I didn't even know who Britney Spears was.  Everyone
was talking about her and I was busy recording music in London.”

Working with Rollo Armstrong, the producer of her unforgettable 1996 album Land Of
the Living, Kristine W was determined to shake up a genre that otherwise didn’t
always seem to get the mainstream attention that it deserved in the US market.  
“Everywhere else in the world (except in the States) dance music is really respected.  
Everybody in London wanted to do something
www.ambiente.us   DECEMBER | DICIEMBRE 2009

Kristine W jazzing things up for the holiday!

By JC Alvarez

The hustle and bustle of New York City can wear you down...especially around holiday
time.  

So I wasn’t surprised when I received the call that Kristine W was running a little late for
our scheduled sit down interview.  As a native New Yorker, I know what the chill of the
city can do to it’s denizens, most of which are wrapped to the gills in winter apparel,
huddling inside their parkas avoiding the frigid night air.  What does surprise me is that
Ms. W has decidedly hoofed it up from somewhere downtown to get to my office in
Midtown, Manhattan so as not to be any later than anticipated.  The image of the dance
floor diva strutting up 5th Avenue to the beat of one of her ever-popular club anthems,
with the city lights at her back and the wind perfectly blowing her hair...that brilliant
smile glistening in the moonlight all combined to inspire a perfectly framed shot from a
Matthew Rolston music video.  

Well, can you blame me?  I’ve a rampant imagination.

Upon arrival Kristine W does what
Kristine W does:
she arrives!  Positively
stunning, the songstress is unabashedly
charming and apologetic.  I, of course,
having shaken my nervous anticipation
.
.
.
.
.







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worrying that the evening
headlines would read:
“POP STAR GONE
MISSING IN NYC!” couldn’
t have been more happy
to see her in true form
and in the flesh!  Kristine
W
doesn’t disappoint, as
can be attested to her
incomparable longevity
and endurability as an
absolute favorite dance
artist and overall
performer.  She can pack
them in on the dance
floor as easily as she can
sell out any live venue.  
She is stronger than ever
and taking bigger risks,
in full control of her
career and her music.

"I have to do some
shopping!" she reminds
.
different.  We’ve got to make dance music more soulful...put more flavor into it!”   She
accomplished this by introducing more organic instrumentation into
the rhythmic beats and electronic sounds.  “People weren’t doing live piano, or live
bass, live percussion, horns...everything!  We added in all those live elements.  But
now with other artists like Lady Gaga, she’s fused R&B with dance really aggressively,
it’s changing...it’s nice to have been on the forefront and having other artists step it up.”  
And then of course accompanied by the delivery of her powerhouse vocals...dance
music had found it’s new muse.

Her latest release the single “
The Power of Music” is a modernly styled dance-floor
anthem with some good ol’ Kristine W. Elements: heavy beats, powerful vocals and in
a great homage to club tracks of the 90‘s, features none-other than legendary rap artist
Big Daddy Kane (yes, that Big Daddy Kane -- the one that romped alongside Madonna
and Naomi Campbell with little abandon for the now infamous Sex book).  In the lyrics
Kristine W shouts “I’ve got the power...the Power of music heard all around the world.”  
She dedicates the track to Michael Jackson “and musicians around the world who
tirelessly fuel our souls.”  It’s not surprising that there’s a little bit of a familiar rhythmic
scat in there that reminds me a little something  of the King of Pop.  I got a preview of
the soon to be released remixes, I can tell you they are phenomenal!

The full album
The Power of Music which was released this summer also features the
hit single “Never” which is by all standards “classic Kristine W”.  Partnered along with
“Love Is the Look” you’re guaranteed a collection of dance favorites that will keep you
moving and throbbing through the night.  Somewhat of a surprise is the lead track “Be
Alright” which takes the diva out of the club and onto the rock stage.  “Doing so many
cover tracks in Vegas...you do all these glam-rock medleys featuring Pat Benatar and
Heart, you’re forced to learn so many different types of genres.  ‘Be Alright’ was a song I
wrote with my guitar player, Tommy Cameron and throwing in George Lynch, the
Godfather of Rock -- we just wanted to show
the power of music, the power of great
performers.”  Hence the title of the album.
.
.
.
The Washington state native spent many a
night in the jazz club scene, absorbing and
learning from some of the greats.  Her own
mother was a jazz singer and performed six
nights a week.  “That’s how she raised us; my
dad had died suddenly and she had four little
kids she had to raise, so the heat was on!”  She
familiarized herself with artists like Billie Holiday
and the music of Dizzie Gillespie.  It’s no
surprise that Kristine W’s soul ridden vocals
shine through against the hard-grinding thumps of house music.  When most other
artist would depend on the big room bass to cover their inadequate or weak range, she
made her unique sound and the power of her voice the dominant instrument in her
arrangements.  She smiles and agrees, “yes...you can hear the jazz in my voice.  I
always kept my ears open and absorbed everything like a sponge.”

Without a doubt Kristine W has had a great impact on the
recent rise of openly gay dance artists who have credited her
with being their inspiration.  Most significantly Brian Kent and
Jason Walker, who covered one of her classic tracks “No More”
on his demo while trying to make a name for himself in the
industry.  She whole-heartedly embraces being a role-model to
these unique artists and understands the challenges facing
gifted performers today.  “All I’ve done is really encourage
people.  It makes me so happy...Jason has such a brilliant
voice!”  Her championing of the gay community and
advocacy has endeared her to millions world wide.  
“We’ve come a long way but still have a long way to go.
I’ve never coward away from my support of the gay
community.”  
With the music industry continuing to evolve into a more independent entity given artists
more control and responsibility over how their music is produced and distributed,
Kristine W has endeavored to effectively deliver as a gifted artist and now innovative
talent.  By embracing the business end of her career she is living proof of the
commitment to her craft...to never settle for anything less than the best.  Relentlessly
with the force of her voice, the unstoppable gift of a true performer and the grace of a
goddess, Kristine W is still standing.  

That’s
the power of music...that’s the power of Kristine W.

The holiday album
Hey Mr. Christmas is now available for a limited time in stores as an
affordably priced EP and as a downloadable album on most major downloadable
markets including iTunes.

---------------
Her latest album
The Power of Music
featuring the title track, and the hit
singles “Never” and “Love Is the
Look” is also available.  “
The Power
of Music: the Remixes
” will be
available soon.  For more off of
Kristine W’s catalog including info
on live appearances goto
www.kristinew.com


CLICK HERE for more JC Alvarez



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