MIM Chain Reaction Series #2 w/ Toni Taylor-Helser

MIM Chain Reaction Series.
Here’s how it works.
On Wednesdays an ‘Interviewing Artist’ who will choose (tag) another artist and ask 10 questions which will be posted here to the group.
The “Interviewee Artist’ will have the until the following Wednesday to answer their 10 questions by posting their responses in the comment box.
Following the artist will choose a new (another) artist with 10 new questions and post a new post and continue with the Chain Reaction again.
#2 in the series – Barefoot Baroness aka Toni Taylor-Helser interviewed by Ron Kauffman
promo_chain reaction_edit1
From Ron: ” I tried not to use the same questions. Besides, I believe these are things people want to know about you.” šŸ™‚

1. What is it about music that drives your passion?

I feel music on so many levels that I can’t imagine living without its impact in my life. That’s always been what drives my passion I think, that personal need to hear and feel music every single day. To let its inspiring and healing magic play out in my own life. Although music tends to be very personal I think music should always be shared because of its universal language and messages.

2. At what age did music become your passion?

I can recall being very young, about 3 years old and sneaking out of bed at to hear my parent’s jam with family & friends late into the night. Back in the day of big console television sets with picture tubes there was a cubby space under the picture tube that made a perfect listening spot for a small child. A hiding spot… not so much. I was caught a few times and sent back to bed, but after about the 4th time my parents realized I wasn’t giving up. I knew even then I needed to be part of it and they finally saw that in me. I lived all week for those Friday & Saturday night jams and began singing with this group of adults.

3. When you write, do you write melody and lyrics together, or separately, and why?

I am not a musician by any means (still only play AT playing the guitar) Both my parents however were musicians and music has always been a daily part of my life. Singing since a tot my parents use to say that I didn’t start talking; that instead I started singing sentences together. So in answer to Ron’s question, although I might hear a melody in my head I’m not adept at writing it. To date lyrics have been a separate thing for me. I need the music maker’s to turn what’s just a string of words into real music.

4. What do you consider success as a writer / artist?

I find success in knowing finally that I no longer need to look outside myself for validation and contentment. Knowing too that I am able to share that awareness through my words so that others might identify with it is absolutely where I see my success in writing. Having someone share with me that what I wrote has impacted them is absolutely my most satisfying reward, that I see as my success.

5. I know your very passionate about Indie Artists / Writers. Why is that?

Firstly Independent music/arts is what I was raised on and the community I grew up in. So some of my passion is pure sentimental devotion. Secondly there is a spirit that I am humbled by with Indie Artists, it’s the desire and maybe even need to create their art, regardless. Regardless of the artwork’s destination an Indie Artist does it because of the journey. Thirdly I am enchanted by indie music for music sake, and I feel a kindred spirit with artist’s who work so hard to create their amazing music without the losing any creative control. Deep Respect!

6. How do you feel about chasing the near impossible dream in today’s music industry?

Well, well…. I could be very wordy answering this and write a novel length response, but suffice to say that IF I had given up on chasing ‘my’ near impossible dream I’d not be doing what I am today. My feeling is that chasing dreams is what inspires hope, and I am not about to ever abandon Hope.

7. You have tons of fans. I’m sure they’d all like to know what kind of support you have at home?

That’s so kind of you Ron. Thank you. Interesting question and I am going to be very personal in my answer because I realize today that not practicing what I am most passionate about [because it denied someone else’s comfort] was killing my spirit. This is very personal subject for me and I think supporting what your loved ones are most passionate about IS part of being emotionally invested in that relationship. I believe that emotional investment is the foundation for any home and community. Today I live alone and love that my bizarre lifestyle and hours no longer tread on anyone else’s joy. Support today for me comes from daughter, grandchildren, close friends, and the Indie community of artists themselves. My daughter Janis is my #1 fan, she embraces my “Barefoot Baroness” alter-ego respectfully and devotedly as an individual chasing her own dreams, this means the moon and stars to me.

What inspires you to write?

People. People and how we as a humanity navigate life on the Universe’s terms and timetable.

9. If you could write music with your favorite writer, who would that be and why?

Oh my… there are so many. Many of them may not be household names. If I had only one wish then it would be Jackson Browne.

The why? Because Jackson has impressed and impacted me since a young teen with his lyrics, and music compositions. That a young man could be so transparent with his feelings and express them at just age 16 with lyrics and an acoustic guitar left me in awe. Songs like “These Days” and the volumes of storytelling that he’s written in song has touched me for more decades than I’ll admit to.

10. You’re the “Barefoot Baroness!” What inspired that name and idea?

My maternal grandmother nicknamed me “Barefoot Baroness” as a young girl because of my great distaste for wearing anything on my feet. Even socks. The nickname and the distaste for anything on my feet stuck throughout the years into adulthood. In 2006 I created a blog for my writing, albeit it took me a couple of years to find the courage to publish anything. Naming my blog “Barefoot Baroness” was the first time I considered using the nickname on any professional level and it has snowballed; in 2012 I founded Barefoot Music Group as part of my dream chasing that I spoke of earlier, and in June of 2014 I began an independent radio show called Barefoot Rock n Blues on Mixstream radio.

Thank you Ron, great questions that made me stop to think about my responses. I enjoyed this, hope y’all enjoy my responses.

Post Note: *see below

The TrueVulgarians are a brother-sister independent duo that honored me & my alter ego Barefoot Baroness by writing and recording a promotional song for my radio show Barefoot Rock n Blues. It’s a song, not just a promotion. …..

A song that I am humbled and honored by Bill & Jackie creating for me. What a gift! Thank you both.

*Here you can have a listen. https://www.mixposure.com/barefoot-music/audio/18323/barefoot-baroness-juke-joint-by-truevulgarians

Watch next Wednesday as I tag Ira Walker to be the next link in the Chain Reaction Series.

2 Replies to “MIM Chain Reaction Series #2 w/ Toni Taylor-Helser”

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