It all started with a soap microphone. At three years old, Leena Kollar's grandmother gave it to her to sing into. She hasn't stopped singing since. At ten years old, she started taking piano lessons and before she knew it, she was studying music at California State University, Northridge, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Industry Studies, with a focus on vocal performance. It was during her college years that she started taking songwriting seriously and considered it as a career path. Drawing on the styles of her musical influences like Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple, and Vanessa Carlton, Leena started carving out her musical niche and discovering her own sound. She's been compared to legends like Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, and Carole King. She put out her first EP, Test Drive, featuring the emotionally driven love song "Good Hello" and the upbeat pop/rock tune "Broken Promises." The EP was produced by Rudy Haeusermann, who has worked with artists like Debbie Gibson, Gloriana, Kimberley Locke and Ke$ha.Fast forward to 2007, and she moved across the country to Nashville. She did her first official music video for "Good Hello" with the help of Nashville video production company Transparency Pictures. During this time, she also found music studio owner/producer Taven Royster from Open Sound Recording who helped her record her first full-length independent release, A Little Bit of Everything.
To me, music is a way of sharing your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the world, and connecting with others who share those things.
My dream is, and always has been, to impact the world with my music. To have another artist record my songs and make them successful would be the utlimate dream come true.
I would want to change the way we have conversations. I wish the world was more open and tolerant of different views and opinions, and that we could have important discussions and disagreements without resorting to hate or resentment.
Gosh, that's hard to answer! I guess I would have to say "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow, because that's the song that made me want to pursue music and become a singer/songwriter.
Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple, Gavin DeGraw, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood
Making music is in my blood. Inspiration comes from my life experiences and the things I witness in other people's lives.
That we are all more alike than we are different.
A mix between exhilaration and utter fear. It's amazing to be able to express myself through my music but I'm very self-conscious about the way people respond to my songs. If I knew people genuinely enjoyed listening and watching me perform, I'd feel much more confident on stage.
I think there is a really great camaraderie between artists in the music business and opportunities for exposure seem easier to come by. That being said, it's still very competitive and there is so much undiscovered talent out there that deserves to be heard.
So far, so good! It's great to have a place where musicians can connect with like-minded people and fuel their careers.
The "rules" in the industry. How many unsigned songwriters and/or artists aren't getting discovered because of the "no unsolicited submissions" policy? Also, having to be weary of certain "opportunities" because there are people in the industry who take advantage of hungry musicians longing for their big break.
I sure try to! In Nashville, the local scene is huge, so it's hard to get out and see many artists for that very reason. But as someone who understands the struggle, I definitely want to be supportive of my fellow musicians.
Determination, thick skin, patience and persistence!
Wendy Child, Karli Bartholomew, Chris Moreno