How did you come by your stage name?
I’ve always used my first name but thought I needed a name that was simple to remember, hence the name Susanne Smith.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
The first time I remember feeling that “passion, was at about age four. I vividly remember crawling in a cramped little doghouse and serenading my dog, Nicky. We also had an old piano in
our garage which my sister and I would play Heart and Soul and I’d sing to. During that time, my siblings and I were experiencing a lot of childhood trauma and singing somehow brought a sense of comfort.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Because I performed a lot of R &B, Smooth Jazz, and Blues, my biggest influences were Sade, Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, Billie Holiday, Al Jarraeu, Aaron Neville, and Bonnie Raitt.
Growing up in a primarily black school district, my earliest influences were (what’s now termed) “Old School Soul and R&B music. My older sister had records by The Supremes, Temptations, and of course Motown which we literally wore out.
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept? The current project, my new LP titled “Finally,” is a collection of very unique styles and sounds; A combination of originals, a few remakes, and of course my three charted singles from this past year,
“Lotta Love” Charted Top 20 Indie R&B Chart, “I’m Not The One Charted Top 6 on the Indie R&B and The Global Indie Chart” and “Do You Wanna Dance Currently Top 15 on the Indie Chart”. I really wanted to experiment, and show the different sides of me, see which songs resonate most with my listeners, and decide the direction of my next project.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
The biggest challenge is that I’m a singer who was born with one ear. So having this handicap has made performing on stage somewhat difficult not knowing which direction the sound is coming from.
Being in a recording studio is always a challenge, especially for studio engineers. They had to figure out how to adjust my headphones since I don’t hear in stereo. It’s interesting to note that I am nearly pitch-perfect which drives me crazy sometimes!
Exclusive: Susanne Smith Interview with Muzique Magazine
Another challenge is self-promotion. I was taught to NEVER talk about yourself! “It’s conceited and egotistical!”. When that’s drilled into your head as a kid, it’s hard to get on camera or my phone and promote yourself. It’s also a learning curve to navigate the ever-changing social media platform. If you have the paper to pay someone, great. If not, you have to do it yourself! Grrrrr!
The second is being an older white woman in an R&B space dominated by young talent. I’ve been told over and over, “record companies don’t sign anyone over 30!”
I get the rationale of the money-making machine so I’m grateful to have been signed to a record label. So while I am, I want to represent the older artist! After all, look at all the remakes hitting the air…There are some GREAT songs being remade and many of those original artists are still making great music. ‘Just goes to show…Music has no age limit….!
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
Damn straight! I am the best at what I do….. And that is being me.
With all my imperfections, challenges, hopes, and dreams. I am unique, don’t sound like anyone else in the space, the best at pouring out my heart to the world through my music, and the best at knowing that I can always do better!
What are your plans for the near future?
I’ll be working on my next single and hope to start touring this fall.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shoutouts?
I have to thank the radio and the DJs that helped me get on the National and Global Charts!
Also a shout out to my fans and supporters that stream my music and have been there from the beginning. Mostly, to my record label “Platinum Vybe Recordings” and producer Chris Clay, who
believed in me more than I believed in myself!
How can fans find you?
They can find anything Susanne Smith Music Here:
INSTAGRAM or TIK TOK @SusanneSmithMusic
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Surround yourself with people who really support you. They don’t have to be in the music business as long as they truly support you. Find someone who is a good “listener”, not lecturer!
Find a mentor or someone who’s had experience in the music business and in what you’re striving for. Stay laser-focused on your goal. Don’t get sidetracked….KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE!
I have to tell myself that every day! Lastly, Don’t give up. If you truly believe in yourself, then work hard and stay on your grind. I know that sounds cliché, but look at me. I’ve had a ton of rejection since I’ve been doing this over my lifetime. I’m a little older now and just last year FINALLY my music is playing on the radio and is charted on the Official National and Global R&B charts…