Meet The Team: Christina
Christina Smule Name:
Tell us a little bit about yourself... where were you born, where did you grow up, married with children? I was born in (NOT West) Philadelphia and lived there until about a decade ago. I live in Charleston, SC now where it's a LOT warmer for a LOT longer in the year. But I'm a city girl at heart. I miss home everyday. There's something really lovely and charming about Charleston, but I miss being able to go out and do something in the wee hours of the morning in Philly as opposed to Charleston. Everything shuts down at 9PM! I've been married to my husband Danny for 15 years and we have two (fur) babies; Salem and Dresden. We're both musicians. I sing (obviously) and play the piano. Danny would be nice and say I play the guitar, but I'm not any good. I usually leave that up to him. :-) Do you remember the first CD/cassette (or even vinyl) that you bought? The first CD I ever bought was Mariah Carey's debut album. I sat in my room and sang along to that for hours and hours. I still probably know the words to every song on there. The LAST thing I bought was David Bowie's Blackstar on vinyl. Between my husband and I we probably have something like 1,500 vinyls. What are your favourites genres and era of music? To sing or listen to? It changes every 15 seconds! My favorite genres to sing are probably Soul or Blues - classics like Aretha and Etta and Tina and Patty. To listen to is definitely 90's Alternative; I don't think there was a song released in America in the 90's that I didn't absorb. It was a really great time to be a teenager - I soaked everything up like a sponge. You have competed in a few seasons of Vocal Edge now... do you feel like the Vocal Edge experience is helpful for personal growth? I do - even if it doesn't feel like that right away! Hahahaha!! I was out pretty early the first time I competed, but I almost won this last season, so I think it definitely helps you learn and grow. You learn to listen better, if nothing else. You learn to hear yourself more objectively - which is how the judges hear you. Leave the emotion in your song, but don't listen to yourself with emotion. You learn to take criticism - good or bad - for what it's worth. If you come in with a huge ego, you're not going to like it. If you come in with an open mind, you're going to learn a LOT about yourself. The opinions of the judges are subjective - it's how the music feels and sounds to THEM. That's the case with, literally, any competition, and because they like something, or don't like something, doesn't mean someone else feels the same. It's a good life lesson, too. Not everyone will like everything you do, but that's the fun of this competition. It's not a dictatorship - you'll get a lot of different opinions from a lot of different perspectives. What do you think that opinion will bring to your judging perspective for this season of Vocal Edge? Nothing good. No! I'm kidding. I have a pretty steady opinion about people who put their music out there to be judged: you're insane. Wait. That wasn't it. Hahahaha! No - it's incrediably brave to put youself out there - whethere it's singing with another person, or singing solo and putting out there for people to listen to or submitting it for judging. I never take that for granted, and anyone who auditions has my immediate and full respect. As far as my opinion goes, I've been singing since I could make sounds and I'd like to think I have a pretty extensive knowledge of music in MOST genres. I think I have a good ear for what sounds good and what doesn't, but, see above. It's all subjective. I know what *I* like to hear. You competed in the last season of Vocal Edge and have recently been judging the musical theatre spin-off... Is it a major difference to be on the judges side of the competition? The difference is HUGE. I no longer have a fear of clocks or timers, and I can actually listen to some of the songs I submitted again without the twitching and shaking. The doctors said that would wear off eventually. :D Seriously though, it's trading in one type of nervousness for another. No, I don't have to pour over a song all week and submit it, but when you search for your group and see that there's 100 songs that you have to listen to and critique by the next day, you learn just how much work goes into this side of it. Just on a side note: I promise NEVER to wait until the last minute to get my songs done ever, ever, ever again. Ever. One final thing... Britney or Christina?