Interview by: Kiva Johns-Adkins for TeamTwiPerv’s Bitch Blog
Photo by: Karem Nunez (March 2010)
Australian musician (and fellow Twi-girl) Lee Safar is about as independent as they come. She writes, merchandises and markets her own brand of music and her inspirational brand known as ‘Dream Angel’.
“My songs are about who I am,” Safar said. “I write them as they are happening. The tough part is saying what is going on with you.”
A former Barista in her native OZ, Safar has an obsession with coffee. “The only decent coffee in Los Angeles is Intelligencia,” Safar said from her temporary home on the West Coast.
Safar is in the U.S. for the next few months, focusing on her music full time. Last week she opened for the band MuteMath before the New Orleans Vampire Baseball game to benefit Haiti.
Her three best friends made the trip to the states with Safar in the beginning of March but returned to Australia after the New Orleans gig. She said she will miss them terribly but is completely focused on her music.
MORE AFTER THE JUMP...
“It (music) becomes something that is your focus,” she said. “You don’t need food or to breathe. There isn’t anything more real than being honest.”
The honesty in her music spoke to the Twilight fan base that got behind her song and video ‘I Am Here’, which nearly made it onto the New Moon soundtrack. Hope is not lost for fans of music from the Twilight Saga. Safar hopes to make it onto the soundtrack of one of the two remaining films (see interview below).
One of the most unique things about Lee is her desire to remain unsigned by a major label because “it would disconnect me from the intimacy I have with my fans.” Safar often tweets with her fans via @leesafar on Twitter and realizes that where she is and where she is headed are tied to her devoted fan base.
She is equally passionate about them. “I want that personal touch. They (the fans) give so much to me,” she said. “A label would take it away.”
By remaining an independent artist in the truest sense, Safar can keep the cost of her music down for her fans. “Fans can support my music by buying it,” she said. “I am a full time musician and if the fans go to buy my new single from my page that money comes to me and I can use that money to record a new album.”
Safar already has the next album written and wants to get the word out to her fans that all the revenues she receives from iTunes purchases of her music will go directly to making that album become a reality.
“They (fans) honor me by taking the time to listen to my songs,” Safar said. “I want to know what they think of the Dream Angel podcasts so I can keep doing them and give them what they want.”
Safar took the time to talk about what inspires her, the “beauty” in Robert Pattinson’s voice when he sings and when she fell in love with Edward Cullen.
TTP: When did you get your start in the music business and when did you become a full time musician?
LS: I wrote my first song about 6 years ago and became a full time musician only just recently. This is a tough game. I am still in the process of growing both my brands globally- Music and my inspirational brand 'Dream Angel' and I am doing it as an independent artist so that I can make sure that both me and my fans are best looked after. That is very important to me- making sure that we're both happy. Making sure that I'm around for a long time means that we're going to have to start pushing sales....Merchandise from the website, song downloads from my website & iTunes, ticket sales to gigs etc....all this goes to recording more music and being able to keep paying my band!
TTP: How many trips have you made to the states?
LS: This will be my 4th to the states. I absolutely love America. The culture here supports my way of thinking more than in Australia. People really want you to do well and they want to support you however they can.
TTP: How did you get involved with New Moon and trying to get on that soundtrack?
LS: That story involves the very lovely Stuart Henshall, someone who is now a dear friend of mine. It's such a beautiful story. Stu and I were staying with mutual friends in an apartment in London. We started talking about what Stu was trying to achieve having just graduated from college in PR. He felt frustrated and confused about the way ahead. He wanted to make headway in his career but didn't know how. We started speaking about my journey in music and my quest to live my dreams. A conversation that felt like it went for half an hour went on for 4 hours. I gave him a copy of my debut EP "Who I've Become" to listen to. He went into his room and woke up the next morning, after having listened to my CD obsessively all night, and said, "OMG this is amazing. We need to have this heard by the world. I'm going to take you to see something today. Have you seen 'Twilight'? Your music belongs in this franchise."We went that day and saw the movie and I was immediately obsessed.
The next day, Stu got in contact with Emma Clark (AKA @nuttymadam), a very popular "Twilight" vlogger in the UK and told her about me. Stu was working very hard at getting the word out to the Twifans about my music. We posted a vlog telling everyone that we were really excited about having a chance at maybe getting on the soundtrack. Emma Clark saw the blog and posted it to her channel. In 24 hours it had about 4,000 hits. Stu started asking Twifans which song of mine they thought would fit "New Moon" the best. I had "I'm Here" in mind and it turns out that they did, too. A few weeks later I headed to L.A. and met my now-L.A.-attorney, Michael Golland who got things rolling with Summit! It truly is the Dream Angel process at work!
TTP: Have you submitted anything for the Eclipse soundtrack and have you heard anything?
LS: I'd love to have something on either Eclipse on Breaking Dawn however my preference would be Breaking Dawn! I have some great ideas for songs on Eclipse but I'm more excited about an idea I have for Breaking Dawn!
TTP: Who was your musical inspiration?
LS: There are a few and they come from loads of different genres. As a kid I listened to what my mum listened to which was a lot of pop music- James Taylor, Carol King, the Bee Gee's, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder etc....when I was at school I listened to a lot of Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Janet Jackson, PM Dawn, Arabic Music, and some totally cheesy pop that I'm not going to admit to in a million years!
TTP: What rocks your world right now? (music, movies, books, coffee ;) or peanut butter?
LS: TOTALLY PEANUT BUTTER!!! LOL you guys have the most interesting way of using it. My obsession with Peanut Butter isn't normal. It's kinda like blood is to Vampires- Once I have it I have to have soooooo much more!!!! LOL
Coffee is a big big deal to me because of how passionate I am about the coffee industry. I was lucky enough to live in a country that holds the profession of Barista in high regard and as such I was able to leave a corporate job to be follow my dream to be a highly skilled Barista. I have now left that world but my love and passion for it have not stopped. I intend on staying connected with the industry and do what I can to improve the profile of highly skilled barista's everywhere!
The music that is rocking my world right now is RnB & Hip Hop! Surprising I know, but recently 3 of my girlfriends from Sydney came with me to LA and we did a bunch of clubbing. The stuff that is out there at the moment is sick! Pushing so many boundaries with regards to the technology, and lyrically there are some boundaries being pushed also! LOVE IT!!!
TTP: I know we talked about it but I wanted to get it directly from you - when did you fall in love with Edward Cullen?
LS: OMG The moment he and Bella are up against the rocks is incredible.....DANG! I almost slide of my chair *blush
TTP: What do you think of Rob Pattinson's music and/or Kristen Stewart's performance in ‘The Runaways’ and singing on the soundtrack for the movie?
LS: I find Rob's music to be very raw and honest. I can hear a lot of vulnerability in it. He's not acting when he sings, you can hear how genuine he's being. It doesn't matter that he's not overly trained because the beauty in his voice is in the honesty of how he delivers the lyric. I haven't seen ‘The Runaways’ so I can't comment on Kristen's performance but I'm sure she did an amazing job.
Here are more places you can get to know about Lee and her music as well as ‘Dream Angel’ :
To learn more about the Dream Angel podcast visit: http://www.leesafar.com/dreamangel/index.html
To purchase her new single, Take Me Away Visit:
Visit her webpage and hear from Lee what she is working on.
And, of course, follow her on Twitter @leesafar
Any other blogs who wish to post this interview may do so but only with Full credit going to Kiva Johns- Adkins and Team Twi Perv's Bitch Blog.