With her quiet smile and calm demeanor, you would never know that Loni Pont spends her free time performing her music in front of live audiences across New York, but as soon as you hear the jazzy tones and rhythmic harmony of her music, it all comes together.
Artist: Loni Pont
Medium: Music // Singer
Day Job: Freelance Art Producer // Y&R New York
Read below, and listen here.
MC: Most musicians’ passion for music is rooted in their childhood. Was music a big part of your life growing up?
LP: Not so much. I only really started singing in high school – a couple of my friends were musicians and their older brother owned a recording studio. It got me going.
MC: When you play live, you do not play any instruments. Are you a pure vocalist? Or do you play any instruments?
LP: I play enough piano to accompany myself and to write, but I consider myself a singer first, songwriter second.
MC: Do you ever play the piano to accompany yourself live?
LP: I have, but I don’t feel I’m a good enough player to be a good accompanist. I mainly feel that expressing myself through singing and writing is where I am the most authentic…
MC: You use the word “authentic….” that brings me to the next question. Your work seems very personal and real. Do you draw inspiration from your personal life, and thus your work is semi-autobiographical, or do you draw from the lives of those around you?
LP: I draw inspiration from life in general – art, people, relationships, situations, etc. In some instances, another song will inspire me to write, as it will put me in a particular mood, and sometimes I write from that place.
MC: The majority of the artists we find who work in the Ad Industry are driven to the Industry by their creative endeavors, i.e. the photographer who falls into art buying / producing or the Artist / Illustrator who falls into Art Direction. Did music play any part in your professional career path?
LP: I just wanted to make enough money to fund my musical life and not be a starving artist, …and I wanted to work in an industry that combined Art and Business. Advertising is exactly that. I fell into Art Buying via a very savvy recruiter.
MC: Professionally, you are dealing with creatives to produce projects that revolve around someone else’s creative ideas and concepts. Do you reserve your musical ventures as a space where you can have full control over creativity, or do you find that the collaborative strengths that you use in your professional career are beneficial to your music?
LP: It really depends on the project… Collaboration is super important, especially in the studio. I’ve written a couple of really good songs with a collaborator. And a lot of songs I write alone. Since my instrument playing is limited, it’s great to have a guitarist to hammer out ideas with – to kick out a nice groove, which may be more challenging to find on piano.
MC: Do you feel the process and rules of collaboration are any different when you’re creating for a client vs personal project? Or does the collaborative creative process have certain universal characteristics?
LP: With Ad projects, there’s normally a definitive objective. As far as the collaborative component, I will usually try and work with creatives to understand their aesthetic and how I can incorporate that into the brief at hand. When I write/create music, I’m less definitive of what I need/want to accomplish, therefore, there’s a bit more freedom in the creative process.
MC: In our conversations, we’ve spoken about your place in upstate New York. When you talk about it, there’s a sense of fondness and longing in you. Many of the artists we talk to have a space that’s very important to them and to their creative process. A studio, a garage, a desk, anything. Is your place Upstate your creative escape?
LP: Not really. I haven’t written any songs while Upstate. I do get inspired to write, but it’s much more ethereal, poetic, stream of consciousness. It’s the place I go to seriously check out. I do get inspired a lot while driving to and from there. Driving to me is very freeing, and I come up with some catchy phrases in the car. I can also sing as loud as I want in the car…I’m sure I’ve been referred to as “that crazy, shower singer girl in the car behind me.”
MC: How do you think the environment affects your music?
LP: With the exception of my car….Clever writing, catchy writing, song-structured writing, normally comes out of the driving energy of NYC….the vibe, the sleeplessness, the recklessness, the passion and compassion, and the sometimes the sheer bliss of simply walking down the street. Sometimes, I wish I could “bottle the bliss”…..maybe that’s a new song title?
See full post here: Marilyn Cadenbach Blog2013-11-12.