Today I'm chatting to the very lovely Connie Kis, about her life as a very talented country music artist.
Welcome, Connie, let's get to it….
What inspired you to become a country music artist?
No ‘inspiration’ really ... just no choice. Once you get a taste for creating music, it becomes quite infectious and if there were a more positive analogy, I would use it, but right now I can’t think of one and so all I can say, it’s like a virus, once you’ve been infected, you will always carry the bug. My first instrument was a banjo -mandolin. My first gig of renown as a child was on the stage with Slim Dusty. I guess my initiation into country music couldn’t come better than that!
Can you tell us a bit about your most recently released album, or song?
My current album is a self-titled album called; CONNIE KIS. Except for one song which is in public domain, I wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks. Even on this cover song, my producer, Doug Wayne and I had a lot of creative input and gave it a complete new arrangement. I feel it is my best release to date and I am thrilled with the way it came out. The album was awarded the 2011 WA Best Independent Country Music Album and no less than four self-penned songs from it were awarded song-writing awards from festivals across Australia with three of the singles released to Australian Country Radio charting in the Australian Country Music Charts – two of them (A Man In Boots and Steamy Dreams) being Top 5 hits.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a concept called; ‘Showcase Australia’ which will showcase Australia and all things Australian through the magic of music. Over the last 18 months I have laid the ground work through my weekly radio program by that same name - promoting the music of Australia’s Country Music artists to the world. The program is broadcast weekly through Nashville Broadcasting Radio Network FM and it’s world-wide affiliates, through Neon Productions Radio (USA), through Country Music Radio Nashville where it is repeated 4 times per week and through the Music Radio Network in Australia and includes 14 terrestrial stations throughout Australia from Qld to Victoria. My next step is to expand on the concept of showcasing Australia through the magic of music ... so stay tuned.
Have you got a favourite song that you sing? If yes, what is it?
Actually ... I have TWO favourite songs that I sing and wish I had written.The first is a song written by Hugh Prestwood for Trisha Yearwood called; ‘The Song Remembers When’. As a songwriter, we live and breathe the song, and know how much a song can take you to a place long forgotten when heard on the radio. My goal is to write such a song – one that will express my thoughts and feelings in a way that will resonate with the listener and bring to them, their own unique experience –a recollection. And if that experience is long past ... my song will be the trigger that brings that memory to the fore ... The other song that means so much to me and one that I love is ANYWAY; the song by Martina McBride. She and songwriters Brett Warren and his brother, Brad Warren wrote the very poignant lyrics and music for ANYWAY. I think the inspiration came from a quote from Mother Therese ... the lyrics go like this ... You can spend your whole life building Something from nothin' One storm can come and blow it all away Build it anyway You can chase a dream, That seems so out of reach And you know it might not ever come your way Dream it anyway God is great, but sometimes life ain't good When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should But I do it anyway I do it anyway This world's gone crazy And it's hard to believe That tomorrow will be better than today Believe it anyway You can love someone with all your heart For all the right reasons In a moment they can choose to walk away Love 'em anyway God is great, but sometimes life ain't good When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should But I do it anyway Yeah, I do it anyway You can pour your soul out singing A song you believe in That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang Sing it anyway Yeah, sing it anyway I sing I dream I love Anyway. When I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in Jly 2011 - shortly after the release of my new album; Connie Kis, I truly was heartbroken, given the amount of blood sweat, tears and money I had invested in my project. Instead of being able to tour and work my album, found myself undergoing 9 months of treatment including several surgeries – one very major one where I spent 5 ½ hours on the table ... followed by fortnightly chemotherapy for 6 months and then further surgery after that ,... the following 9 months (up until just recently) were almost just as challenging given the adjustments I had to make to get used to my new inner workings. But the song ANYWAY inspired me and I too did it anyway ... I worked my music hard online and kept my ordeal private and out of the public eye for as long as and as much as I could ... I think I had to ‘fess up’ to the public when I couldn’t get to Tamworth in 2012.
Swag or room service for a romantic date?
Room service PLEASE!
Holden, Ford...or something else?
Anything that is reliable, fuel efficient, fast, and big enough to carry a PA as well as my suitcases/clothes ... and it MUST have a good stereo.
My favourite food depends really on how hungry I am and what time of day it is ... I must admit though, I am a sucker for a fruit smoothie that is choc full of berries, yoghurt, cranberry juice and bananas! Cheese is another favourite snack food.
Hmmm ... hard one. Especially since I forget movies very easily and cannot recall them at all. But the first one that has popped into my head was ‘The Notebook’. I think it might be a bit of a ‘chick flick’ but it’s a classic and no matter how many times I see it, I still manage to shed a tear.
Favourite Aussie saying?
“Onya mate …”
If you could have a kangaroo, koala, wombat, crocodile, galah or python as a pet which one would you choose, and why?
A Kangaroo ... I had a female Joey as a kid (“Joanne”). She was the sweetest little thing. Would sleep in a bag on the door knob in my bedroom at night and talk to me. I loved her nature. I know kangaroos are sensitive, intelligent creatures. Besides, I already have Galahs … :)
Who would you like to trade places with for a day, alive or dead, and why?I have never thought of trading places with anyone ... I am quite content in my own shoes. Thinking about it though, maybe Patsy Cline ... just to get a feel of what it was REALLY like in the old country music days ... as opposed to now.
If I looked in your fridge right now what would I find?
Cranberry Juice, soft drinks, cheese, wine, cashew nuts, bananas, mincemeat and salad vegies and wholemeal crumpets. .. oh ... did I say wine .. ?
Craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Riding across Australia on my 750 cc motorcycle.
If you were going on holiday tomorrow, where would it be?
Four words that describe you…
Sensitive, self-assured, honest and reliable
Thanks for popping by for a chat, Connie. It's been wonderful mate! And, you truly are an inspiration. Good luck with everything!
If you'd like to find out more about Connie please visit her website at…
Only 2 more weeks and my third novel, Flame Tree HIll, will be hitting the shelves…exciting times!
Until next time, keep smiling and dreaming,