Wednesday, December 01, 2010 

GoGirls Interview with Allisong Smith

by Madalyn Sklar

What drives your music?

My music is driven by love and peace. I want it to heal hearts and inspire positivity. Through my melodies and lyrics, I am able to express my compassion for the human condition.

When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?

I have always loved making music. For years I tried to work a day job and be content with making music on the side. However, I found that my day job took me over and didn't leave much energy for creativity. At the end of last years teaching session, I resigned to explore my artistic ambitions.

Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.

I am a Folky at heart. I love Old-Time Traditional Mountain Music too. My first and most important influences are John Denver, Karen Carpenter, and Julie Andrews. All of these people have/had a peaceful tenderness about them. Their music made me soothed and inspired me even if the subject matter was sad. Their songs taught me that music can help you through life, both the happy and sad parts of it.

What's your ideal venue atmosphere?

I thrive in intimate settings. I love being able to engage with an audience, see their smiles and tears. The people I am playing for are the most important part of my show. I want them to walk away filled with joy and peace in their hearts.

Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.

My first solo performance was during college. I performed three songs recorded by Nancy Griffith. I enjoyed that so much, but found that I really had some things I would like to say of my own so I began writing songs. Through the years I have performed my original songs both solo and in groups. This year I decided to go professional and record a high quality album in Nashville with very skilled musician, engineers, and a wonderful producer.

How would you describe the music scene in your area?

I am from Austin, but now live in rural east Texas. I love the country lifestyle but this is a limited venue area. I am working now to help develop a scene for the arts. There are a few cover bands around, but the folks here haven't had an opportunity to appreciate singer/songwriters.

What was the inspiration for your latest release?

When I decided to resign and play music full-time, I knew I wanted to create a quality product of my best work to present. I went through editing and song critiques several times with each song, polished them up and when I really felt they were at their best, I laid them down in the studio. I want to share with folks my diverse perspective through the songs I've chosen.

What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?

A person should think about the songs first when preparing for a CD project. The song is most important. The song is what engages an audience. There is no denying a great song no matter what quality it is recorded in. My advice is that people planning to record should go through several editing steps and seek critical advice and feedback for each song they wish to record before stepping into the studio. Make certain your songs are fully polished ahead of time. That will save you so much money in the studio.

What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?

I tried this business once before and got my heart broken because people weren't reaching out to me and offering me praise and gigs and support. I thought all I had to do was sing my songs and I would become instantly famous, be discovered. I know now that persistence and drive are what create my success. I have to ask for what I want. No one can read my mind.

Describe your toughest moments in your quest for a music career and tell us how you overcame them.

I was way too sensitive at first. I couldn't stand rejection or criticism. I couldn't collaborate with anyone either. I went into a shell because I wasn't an handed overnight success. I gave up and quit. It took a few years after that in which I matured and worked hard in other fields to teach me how to be a professional individually and in teams as well as create success.

What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don't give up?

You have to stay focused on your goals, eye on the prize. Success is not always easy and doesn't come quickly for some. Showing up is half of the battle. Be yourself, authentic. Wear your passion on your sleeve. Take care of your relationships with great respect and generosity.

Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.

I want to make music. I have been given a gift that touches peoples hearts and helps them connect with their inner joy. This gift is comforting and rejuvenating. I love sharing it.

What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?

The Go Girls community kick started me. I was floundering and somewhat confused about what to do in the business and how to get started again before finding it. Finding Go Girls, and in particular Madalyn, really helped me focus and prioritize. I ordered the Go Girls DVDs about the business, which taught me how to form a team of strong people who could help me with my career. I met Go Girls contacts which helped me build that team. Go Girls has propelled me towards success.

Learn more about Allisong Smith at:

Copyright © 2010

Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 14 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success in the biz. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

You can reach Madalyn at or madalynsklar AT



    Madalyn Sklar is a music business coach & consultant, blogger, social networks expert and author. She has spent over 15 years helping independent musicians and music business professionals achieve greater success. Her motto is: working smarter not harder. She also founded, the oldest + largest online community of indie women musicians.

    Madalyn's Sites:
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    contact: madalynsklar(at)


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