• Interview with Big City Cowgirl (Singer-Songwriter)

    Big City Cowgirl is a Country Pop artist from New York. She's currently writing new songs and putting a band together to put together a show.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Big City Cowgirl.

    Is there a story behind your name?
    Yes! My name is Sondra Toscano, but I chose the name ďBig City CowgirlĒ as my stage name because I feel like it represents my vibe and my musicís vibe. I live in New York, but Iím a country girl at heart. So even though I was raised in the big city, I have a country mindset and I love country music. I like the name because it represents the duality of me as a New York born-and-bred country music singer/songwriter, and the flavor of my music.

    How long have you been singing?
    Iíve been singing since I was a little girl. I was never formally trained. I was in an elementary school choir for a few years. I sang in bands for years, and even in a female musical duo, before I started my own Big City Cowgirl project. You should know that I recently started taking vocal lessons to improve my voice.

    What first got you interested in becoming a singer?
    I have always loved music and used to sing for fun. Iíd sing along with the radio. The first time I considered singing as a career was when the choir director of the private school I attended stalked me to join the chorus after hearing me messing around - singing - at school. He made me serious about my singing and he pushed me to work hard at being my best. That initially got me interested in singing professionally.

    What/who inspires your music?
    Everyone and everything inspires my music. My own and other peopleís experiences, feelings, beliefs, stories. Also all types of music inspire my music. Although I gravitate to country music, I have listened to, learned from, and incorporated to some degree, all genres including classical, rock, dance, jazz, pop, punk.

    What are you trying to do with your music? What is your goal for your music?
    My hope is that my music affects, and connects with, people and becomes the soundtrack for peopleís lives. I want to convey positive messages and be the inspiration for people to make positive changes in their lives.

    I want my music to make people happy, and make people want to dance and have a good time. I want to lighten peopleís loads when they are commuting or working or going through a tough time.

    Have you ever performed live? How did it feel?
    Yes, I have. Performing live is exhilarating. It makes me happy. There is so much energy that you can feed off of when youíre playing live. There is always excitement in the air because you know that people are watching and listening because they love music and appreciate what you do. Just being on a stage in general is an amazing experience.

    What are some accomplishments you have achieved, and are most proud of?
    Raising my daughter who is talented and fabulous. Earning a law degree and working every day to help people manage difficult situations in their lives through my knowledge of the law. Having the courage to pursue a music career again after taking a hiatus for personal reasons. Balancing my family, work, and music.

    What tips would you give to other aspiring artists?
    Be true to yourself and your music. You have something special to offer. Never give up on yourself. I donít know who said this - but I heard it somewhere - music is a community, not a competition.

    How do you think social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have affected the music industry?
    I think there is an upside and a downside. I think the upside is that social networks have made it easier to connect with potential fans and to get music out there to be heard by the masses. But the downside is that there is so much music available for the masses that I think sometimes itís hard for fans to choose what music to give a chance. They canít listen to everyone. So there are some undiscovered gems out there. Iíd like to consider myself one of those undiscovered gems, and hope to be discovered!!

    Where can we hear your music online?
    Big City Cowgirl music can be found on www.bigcitycowgirl.com, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube Music Key, Spotify, Google Play, Beats/Media.Net, Tidal, Deezer, Rdio, Shazam, Apple Music, and Microsoft Groove. You can also check me out on Facebook and Twitter.

    What projects are you working on the moment?
    Iím working on getting band together so that I can put together a show. That has been challenging since I live in New York and Iím seeking musicians who want to play country music. There are plenty of country music fans in New York, but finding musicians who want to play country has been a difficult journey for me. Iím also working on writing some new songs. I have tons of ideas. Iím hoping to record some more of my songs this year. Iím also pitching some of my songs to different opportunities.

    Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
    I see myself signed to a label, receiving radio airplay, and touring on a regular basis. I see myself evolving as a singer, songwriter, and musician. I see myself co-writing with other talented songwriters. I see myself writing songs for other artists as well as myself. I see myself writing songs with my daughter. She is four years old now, but she has been very into music since birth.

    Do you have any ďshout outsĒ you want to give?
    A big shoutout to my support system, Lydia Toscano, Jeff Toscano, Susan & Herb Mendelson, Mimi Rossi, Lindsay & Joan Anderson, and Denny Stevenson. Also a big shoutout to Mike Epstein of Dare Studios with whom I work now and Matt Trivigno of Tracks Music Group with whom I have worked in the past. A major shoutout to my fans who support me; they are amazing. Finally, Iíd like to give a shoutout to Dolly Parton, an all-around entertainer whom I admire, who has heaps of personality and stage presence, always looks picture perfect, and is a positive, humble person, a keen businesswoman, and a humanitarian.

    Thanks again Sondra for doing this interview.

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