Local Songwriter Erin Anne Weston Launches Folk Music Career
September 21, 2016 @ 12:00am
Erin Anne Weston is no stranger to music. The Arlington, Va.-based musician has been playing and writing music since she was introduced to violin at age seven, and has been making her mark on the DC music scene for the past six years with her band Left on Vermont. After meeting a producer in L.A. this summer, she felt encouraged to continue writing and nurturing her folksy sound and decided to turn her dream of becoming a songwriter into a reality. She recently launched a Kickstarter campaign through Indiegogo in order to meet her monetary goal to produce her third solo album, Anchored. On Tap had the opportunity to catch up with Weston before her Kickstarter campaign ends this Friday.
On Tap: What drew you to violin lessons as a child?
Erin Anne Weston: I fell in love with the violin when I heard Vanessa Mae for the first time. She played classical violin on an electric violin with a full band, and I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard. I had to learn!
OT: What genre of music do you play? Who are some of your musical influences?
EAW: My music is most easily categorized as folk rock, but there are subtle blues and country influences that come through the music, too. I love John Mayer, Nora Jones, Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, among so many other musicians and bands. I can’t stop listening to The Head and the Heart’s new album or the Lone Bellow with their incredible harmonies. I think there are elements of each of these styles that come through in these songs.
OT: Your sound has been compared to Colbie Caillat and Coldplay. Did this come as a surprise to you? Are you inspired by these artists’ particular sounds?
EAW: I have heard the Colbie comparison before and I love her music, so it’s a welcome comparison! Coldplay was a total surprise. I have seen them in concert, and they are incredible performers and songwriters. I think their use of a choir for backup vocals, catchy drums and easy-to-sing melodies has influenced so much music, including my own.
OT: Did you have an “a-ha” moment that led to you deciding to pursue music full-time? If so, what was it?
EAW: I’ve always played music or performed in some capacity – violin growing up, choir and musical theater in high school, acapella and songwriting in college, and various bands after that. A solo career felt like more of a dream until I played for a group in L.A. this summer and got some great feedback from a big-time producer there. It really encouraged me to pursue this wholeheartedly.
OT: Apart from songwriting, I see you have a photography business with your husband. What led you both to specializing in wedding photography?
EAW: Nick and I love photography that brings us close to authentic and genuine human moments. We have photographed couples from their wedding day to their second or third kid. We really consider ourselves portrait experts, and enjoy being a part of people’s most important life moments and creating beautiful images for them.
OT: Before your experience in L.A. this summer, what were your thoughts regarding a full-time career in music? Did you feel you were at a roadblock?
EAW: I have been pursuing photography pretty exclusively the past few years, and once business was doing great and became very stable, I began to suspect that I might have the option to pursue music more intentionally if I gave myself the permission to do it. Joining the band at my church and meeting the producer in L.A. solidified that conviction, as I had been ramping up my solo music to prepare for the house concert where I met him. The most important realization I’ve had is to always have music be a part of my life and share my work with others. There’s an exchange there that people not only value, but need. We all need to know we have shared experiences and feelings. It’s part of belonging to each other.
OT: What advice do you have for other artists who may be hesitant to pursue their dreams?
EAW: You’re always going to feel a little bit like an imposter when you’re going after something you really want. Don’t listen to that voice. What you have to offer doesn’t have to be the best in the world. We need more authentic connection in our art, and it starts with listening to your innermost voice and offering the world what is most unique to you. Be honest. Be authentic. Work hard. People want to help you when you are working hard to make something beautiful.
OT: I read chocolate was your favorite food. Do you have a particular brand you enjoy most?
EAW: Yes! I absolutely love chocolate! Dark chocolate is my weakness, especially dark chocolate-covered caramels from Godiva. No contest.
For more information on Erin Anne Weston, or to donate to her Kickstarter campaign before it ends on Friday, go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-erin-launch-her-songwriting-career#/.