The Look of Love

An interview with Kristine W, on her return to Charlotte

After 10 years on the music charts, Kristine W continues to remain on top with hits like “Walk Away” and last summer’s “The Boss.” Her latest track, “Never,” hit the clubs in January and soared to Billboard’s top spot in four weeks. Appearing as the featured live performer at the official after-party of the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas Gala on Feb. 21, we spoke with Kristine on her latest hit and more.

You’re new single, “Never,” just hit #1 on Billboard! How many is that for you?
Twelve! (Laughs) The selections for an upcoming Greatest Hits album are now complete.

Why do you think the song resonates with fans?
It’s easy for people to buy into other peoples’ unhappiness. Unhappy people tend to gravitate towards happy people to suck the fun out of them. No matter how much you think you like, or even love, a person, you have to protect yourself emotionally.

Is ‘protect yourself’ the main message behind the track?
The song was written to empower people to remain strong and positive under any circumstance. There is difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is temporary and based only in the moment, like when you get your favorite ice cream cone. Joy is deeper and is something you carry inside of you at all times. Joy should be unchanging and not based on circumstances.

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Who do you have to thank for the single’s success?
First, I have to thank God who gave me the gift to tap into what people are feeling and allow me to write a song people can relate to. I also have to thank my fans who are always there for me and the DJs that support and constantly play my music.

Is hitting #1 today still as exciting as it was the first time?
You bet.

Bring us back to your first #1.
That was “Feel What You Want.” I was rehearsing with my band at the Las Vegas Hilton. I remember the entertainment director running towards me, screaming, “You have the number one record in the country!” It was surreal and exciting.

It was a different time in music back then — before the digital era — back when people actually bought CDs. How many albums did that first single sell?
Well, I’m sure I’ll never find that out (laughs). The labels aren’t always very honest with their reporting of sales. I’m sure it was probably in the six-figures worldwide.

Free music from Kristine W!
Download Kristine’s brand new track, “Love is the Look,” for free at Masterbeat.com, courtesy of KY Intrigue.

How does that compare with the albums you sell today?
All artists sell less albums now than we did in the past. That’s just the reality. Of course, the sharing of files is the cause. However, now that the genie is out of the bottle, labels and artists are all going to have to embrace technology and figure out a way to monetize our music so that we can stay in the game. We are now challenged to not only be artists, but to be technologically savvy marketing agents. It’s a new playing field.

Is it true you are taking charge of your career and finding opportunity through technology?
While the internet has taken away a large portion of our sales, it has also given artists the freedom to work with talent from all over the world. I can lay down a track in Los Angeles and then send the file to Italy for my keyboardist to add his part. It’s really amazing.

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Your new website is pretty amazing too.?
That site has been four years in the making. I’m very proud of it, though we’ve only scratched the surface with what we want to do with it. Again, it’s creating freedom for our fans to find my music and remixes that can’t be found anywhere else.

What tips can you give a music artist on developing a commerce site like kristinew.com?
Besides getting your wallet out? I would suggest saving pictures and videos from your shows, compiling relevant information about yourself as an artist and making your music easily accessible to your fans.

You’re performing at the HRC Gala in Charlotte on Feb 21. What can we expect?
I will be performing many of my 12 #1s including “Never,” “One More Try,” “Land of the Living”…I will also debut my next single “Love is the Look.” It will be the first time I perform it live!

Is it true you’re giving away “Love is the Look” for free?
Yes! It’s part of a promotion with KY and their new product, Intrigue. You can download the amazing Ralphi Rosario mixes for free from Masterbeat.com and from ky.com/men!

We love free things! And we love you, Kristine.
I am so looking forward to performing for the fans in Charlotte. I love Charlotte!

— Kristine performs her hits LIVE at the Human Rights Campaign Carolinas Gala After-party on Feb. 21: The G&G Club, 820 Hamilton St. at the N.C. Music Factory.

For more visit www.kristinew.com and www.hrccarolinas.org.

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