Ingrid Gerdes is not your typical contemporary artist. She began singing at an early age and wrote music before the age of 10.
“I studied piano for a few years as a child then began singing Opera in high school and won several awards in that area,” said Gerdes. “I studied Classical Opera Technique with private teachers as well as Chorus and A Capella groups. I performed in several musicals as well. Then I continued my training at Berklee (College of Music in Boston).”
The type of music she plays varies.
“I love it all, and play it all,” Gerdes said. “Unfortunately, the ‘Music Business’ has become so genre specific, it’s unfortunate. Artists are now told they can only be one thing, which is not the nature of art at all. For marketing reasons, I sing Neo-Soul and release records in that style because it is the closest combo of my favorite styles. I do also record Blues and collaborate with other artists on other styles.”
Despite any difficulties, Gerdes wouldn’t trade music for the world.
“There are really hard days in this business and sometimes you think, should I just throw in the towel … but then I think of all the support I have and the gift of music I was given and I would never squander that,” said Gerdes.
Ingrid Gerdes, "Shed" Official Music Video from Vassili Shields on Vimeo.
For the full interview click “Read More.”
Where are you from?
Born in Little Rock, Ark., raised in Springfield Mo., attended University of Kansas then Berklee College of Music (Boston).
How and when did you get your start?
I've been singing since I was 3, and writing music since I was about 8
Which artists have been your biggest influences?
Otis Redding, Bonnie Raitt, Whitney Houston (vocally), The Beatles, anything Blues!
Have you had formal music training?
I studied piano for a few years as a child then began singing Opera in high school and won several awards in that area. I studied Classical Opera Technique with private teachers as well as Chorus and A Capella groups. I performed in several musicals as well. Then I continued my training at Berklee.
What was the most interesting experience you’ve had in your career?
They are all interesting. Anytime you are performing for large crowds, you will have "interesting" things happen. Crazy drunk fan moments seem to stand out :)
What is your favorite artist and why?
I don't actually have one. I've never idolized any one artist or song or style of music. I greatly appreciate all music if it's genuine and has substance. I tend not to get caught up in "who" this artist is and know everything about them, etc. I'm also terrible at naming who sings this song ... maybe for that reason. I do recognize voices and styles though, don't get me wrong!
Has music been what you have always wanted to do?
Absolutely! I very clearly remember being about 4 years old and having a realization that I could sing and that it was my path, and that nothing was going to deter me from that. I have always felt that in my bones. However, I also am an actor, which personally I believe is just a part of the same thing. Music, film, art, dance ... any expression is rooted in the same place.
How did you know what type of music you wanted to play?
I love it all, and play it all. Unfortunately, the "Music Business" has become so genre specific it's unfortunate. Artists are now told they can only be one thing, which is not the nature of art at all. For marketing reasons, I sing Neo- Soul and release records in that style because it is the closest combo of my favorite styles. I do also record Blues and collaborate with other artists on other styles.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I'm writing a song about this! I have so many its not even funny. I really want to visit the Greek Islands and Germany (where my family originated) and about 100 other places. Right now I'm obsessed with Savannah, because I'm writing a blues album that reminds me of the novel and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." I would love to just go there and spend the summer.
What concert would you like to be a part of?
Good question!!! One of the themes I base my music in is female empowerment, so I would love to tour with a bunch of really amazing female artists. Similar to Lilith Fair I guess, with more Brit Neo-Soul artists and some cool Blues Rock artists like the Kills or Grace Potter.
Where was your first gig and what did you learn from it?
Well, I had a band in 7th and 8th grade and we performed at our school dance. I learned a lot from that experience. We played only classic rock like the Beatles and etc. I learned that I felt 100% comfortable on stage singing, most importantly.
What is your favorite place to perform?
I think I have yet to find that arena. Anywhere there are great acoustics and a lot of music lovers!
Do you prefer small or large crowds?
Large. The energy is palpable and so much fun.
What is your favorite instrument?
The Voice! Second would be the piano. Third, the Cello!
What has been your biggest success?
Amassing so many people, who really genuinely believe and support me and my music. There are really hard days in this business and sometimes you think, should I just throw in the towel ... but then I think of all the support I have and the gift of music I was given and I would never squander that.
How do you get the inspiration for the music you write?
Mostly it comes from my own life. I draw on my own experiences. My songwriting motto is kind of "write what you know." I feel that it is more genuine. I do research things sometimes or talk to my friends and use that info in songs as well.
How do you come about your recording process?
I don't go into the studio until I have an entire album's worth of material to record.
How many albums do you have out?
2 original and 2 EP's
What was the response to your recent album?
Overall, very positive. I think people "get it," and appreciate the mix of sounds. I have several radio campaigns that have been successful as well as a bunch of TV placements coming up. Several retail stores such as Gilly Hicks have asked to use my songs nationally in their locations, which is fun.
What are your future plans?
With the positive response, I decided to go on tour this fall. I will be touring the Northern East Coast for 8 weeks starting in October. I am also releasing some re-mix's this summer and working on a Blues album and another modern soul album.
What do you do on your free time outside of music?
What free time! :) IF I have any time off, I either just lay low or spend time with my friends and family. I really like to be outside and around animals too!