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Kristen Gordon Johnson – beyond before – q&a

1. Where were you born and when did you discover music?
I was born in Powhatan, VA.  As far as when I discovered music, it was probably while riding in my parents’ van, listening to oldies.  I can still remember singing “Do Wa Diddy Diddy” in the backseat with my brother and sister J

2. Musically who or what inspired you to play and who do you admire as a musician?
My mother is probably my strongest musical inspiration because she was the person who got me into musicals when I was a kid.  Not many 8 year olds can say that they’ve seen and know most of the words to every song in White Christmas, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Easter Parade, and (my favorite!) Meet Me in St. Louis.  And as you can probably tell from my first answer, Judy Garland is definitely a musician I’ve always admired.

3. Do you have any formal training???  If so, where did you study and who have you studied under?
I minored in vocal performance at Longwood University and studied under multiple instructors, the most influential being Dr. Dennis Malfatti.  At the time, Dr. Malfatti was the instructor of the university’s Camerata Singers and although he had high expectations, he encouraged students in a way that pushed them to perform their very best.  His techniques and musical enthusiasm sticks with me to this day.

4. How did you arrive at your current instrument(s)?
Ha!  Well, that’s a funny story.  In middle school, students were required to take a musical course – band or choir.  My older sister had taken band and in true sibling rivalry form, I decided to take band as well.  I played the flute, rather poorly, for 2 years before the band instructor overheard me singing in class one day and suggested that I might enjoy choir.  Guess she was right!

5. When you write/play what are you trying to do or say with your music?
Most songs tell a story so I just try to relay the message in a way that the audience can relate. 

7. What other interests outside of music do you have or had?
I love spending time with my husband and daughter, taking our dogs out for walks around the neighborhood, and shopping at Target lol!  I also enjoy fishing out at my parents place, baking yummy sweets that I then force on unsuspecting family members, and having play dates with our best friends and their 2 amazing twins.

7. What do you consider your greatest accomplishments?
My daughter.  She’s pretty awesome J

8. What are your musical goals?
To play the perfect show!  I’d love to be able to walk off stage knowing we nailed every song and that the crowd had as great of a time as we did.

9. Any words of advice to anyone, about anything?
Don’t eat yellow snow?  Haha I don’t know, just stay positive and be kind to others.

10. If you could have lunch with three people, living or dead who would they be?  Why?
Lucille Ball because I Love Lucy has been my absolute favorite show since I was a kid and I always wondered what she would have been like in person.
My Grandma who passed away when I was 18.  I’d of loved for her to have gotten a chance to meet my daughter.
Teresa Halbach so I can ask if Steven Avery really did kill her.

11. If you were stranded on a deserted island what 5 albums would you take with you? Why?
Aerosmith - Big Ones
Delta Rae – Carry the Fire
Jason Mraz – Mr. A-Z
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
Rascal Flatts – Feels Like Today

12. If you could play another instrument what would it be?  Why?
I’d of loved to have taken my piano lessons more seriously growing up.  I always get a little jealous of people who can sing and play piano at the same time.  I have enough trouble singing while playing the tambourine haha.

13. What is your favorite song?
It changes just about every other day but I never get tired of What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

14. Favorite singer?
Adele
 

15. Favorite drummer?
Carter Beauford

16. Favorite bassist?
Only one I know by name – Blanton Gordon.

17. Favorite keyboardist?
Sara Bareilles

18. Favorite guitarist?
Brad Paisley

19. If you were to have any superpower what would it be?
Teleport to anywhere in the world.  I’d never have to sit in traffic again!

20. Favorite food?
Macaroni and cheese

21. Favorite drink?
Coke or Fireball, depends on the mood J

22. Favorite movie?
Am I too old to still have The Little Mermaid as my favorite movie?

23. Favorite actor/actress?
At the moment, Charlie Hunnam and Amy Schumer.

24. Favorite color?
Blue
 

25. Favorite car?
Anything that fits 2 M/L dogs, 1 baby, and 2 adults.

26. Favorite place to vacation?
The Outer Banks.

27. Motivational phrase that you love?
Practice makes permanent.