I can officially say Geena is the only artist I’ve interviewed and gone to yoga with all in one week. Before meeting for the first time ever at Frothy on 8th a few weeks back, Geena and I spoke about her music, which I undeniably vibed out to and were excited to get an interview underway. After chatting about her music for a while, we stayed at Frothy and talked qualms of long distance relationships, ups and downs of living in a new city, biggest influences, East Coast pizza, NYC speakeasies and when we would meet to practice yoga together at a new studio in town. She is a special lady with a lot of talent and I’m so excited to introduce not only this amazing artist, but my new friend.
Almost exactly a year ago today, Geena released her official music video for her single “Lose Control,” off of her 2014 album, Lose Control, which I think perfectly showcases her outgoing personality, knack for story-telling, not to mention a hook that makes you want to roll down your windows and drive along an ocean somewhere.
You can also listen to the full album here, which I highly suggest if you want to say you weren’t sleeping while this badass chick rose to the top:
“Well, I just finished up twenty-three shows in six weeks,” Geena exhaled as we first sat down to talk about her career and what was in the works. “Most of them were in California, which top to bottom is a fourteen hour trip in itself. I did a big show in L.A., which was super exciting because it’s really hard to picture yourself filling a large venue so when you do, it’s sort of surreal.
I also did a show in Philly,” she pointed out, knowing I was from that area. “My grandparents were at that one, which was super fun but also very interesting,” she laughed, telling me she had to find chairs in the hipster-like venue for her grandparents to sit through the show. From what I hear, they were troopers though.
You would never know by listening to her music that Geena actually went to school in Tulsa, OK for Music Performance, specializing in opera. While it’s a far cry from her released music, it probably has a large part in her vast vocal range and extreme ability to beautiful control her vocals over all sorts of melodies.
“My whole family is musical,” Geena started talking about her inspiration. “I grew up singing in church but was always a tom-boy and saw singing as a ‘girly’ thing,” she laughed. “My freshman year of high school my choir class was doing auditions for a solo. I was comfortable just sort of standing back until I heard everyone else auditioning and thought, ‘I could do way better than these,'” she confidently said. “It was the last day for auditions and I remember just raising my hand and belting it out. I got the solo and began writing around that time too.”
Geena’s writing partner, Tom Bracciale had a big part in her debut album and she is still writing with him currently. Based out of Nashville as well, it seemed like yet another reason Geena belonged in this city.
“Thanks God my writing process has evolved since high school,” Geena said, “I now really know how to sit down and focus. Since my background is in musical composition I usually start with a melody. I feel like you need to know the accents of the melody before you can write lyrics and know what words to stress or where to put certain syllables. I’ve always been naturally ‘hookie’ so the chorus generally comes first, then the verses make me sit there,” she laughed.
While all of her songs means something to her, Geena’s favorite to date is “Monster.”
“The album is two years old, the song is three years old, but it still means so much to me. There are moments where you just feel like you’re failing everybody. I felt like I was coming in the way of all of the relationships in my life and I just felt like a monster,” she bravely confessed.
We’ve all been in that place before and I think I would have to agree that off of the album, “Monster” is by far my favorite track as well. It depicts an internal struggle in the most simplistic and beautiful way.
As for somebody else’s song that touches her the most at the moment, Geena says she relates so much to “So Far Away” by Carole King.
“I really connect to it because of my long distance relationship at the moment. Right before I left for my tour my aunt gave me a box of c.d.’s of prolific female writers and when this one came on when we were on the road I had to skip it. I went back and listened to it when I was alone so I could get emotional. That and ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ by Bonnie Raitt. They’re such honest and familiar songs. I want to get there as a writer.”
With her latest album release marking two years in July, Geena says we can expect a new album soon and I couldn’t be more excited to hear what she has to share. She is a breathe of fresh air for the Nashville community as an artist and a person and I feel privileged to share her music with you.