Talent is not enough. A wise man once said that success is 90 percent perspiration and 10 percent inspiration. You’ve got to put in the work — not just the practical side, but the work you must do within yourself. Not just by honing your craft, but by getting it out to others. Especially in today’s world, unless you’ve been signed by a label, you must become your own label. As an example, I not only had to create, and perform all the songs in my first album, but now I must make sure they are heard.
As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Galit McCord.
A former co-producer of Major Hollywood films, with such notables as Tom Cruise and Robert Altman, starring Colin Farrell, Selma Hayek, and Donald Sutherland, Galit launched her new career as a singer/songwriter by channeling her childhood passion for writing poems into radio format songs. In 2019 she released two Eps, “Free” and “Love is”, as well as 20 singles. Inspired by artists like Tori Amos and Tracy Chapman she’s now writing words and music that tell stories and speak about the human condition. Known for her remarkable voice and her unique Gaelic sound, Galit just completed her first full-length album, “My Time Is Due”, to be released in the fall of 2021, with the first single “Alive out on August 13th.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in Israel. Throughout my childhood, I was passionate about writing poetry. I wrote all the time. Little did I know that this passion would evolve to writing songs. I think, the most remarkable thing about my ordinary childhood, was how blind I was to the musical path my future would lead me to.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
A wise man once said, “There are two great days in a person’s life — the day we are born, and the day we discover why.” For me the “why”, was more like the Beatles’ song… “A Long Day Coming” then Andy Williams’ “On A Clear Day”.
After receiving my BA in Psychology, I moved to Berlin where I co-founded a company, S.R.O. Entertainment, that would go on to produce such films as Robert Altman’s “Company”, starring Neve Campbell and James Franco; “Eulogy”, starring Debra Winger and Zoey Deschanel, “Havoc”, starring Anne Hathaway, I also independently produced “Ask The Dust”, starring Colin Farrell, Selma Hayek and Donald Sutherland which I co-produced with Tom Cruise. Firmly convinced I was set on the right path as a film producer, I took time off to focus on my family.
My true path as a singer/songwriter would only reveal itself years later. Its genesis began when listening to a rundown of the top forty. I realized that if I could match my lifetime love of writing poetry with music, I might be able to write songs. I always felt the rhyme in me, so after a quick study of what was being played on the air, I started to convert my poems to a radio format. I never considered performing my own material, so I set out to find a singer.
Of course, some family members complimented me on my voice and suggested I perform my own material. Up until then the most I would have given my voice was a seven out of ten, which is why I decided to find a vocal coach, with only one goal in mind — to have an expert tell me what they thought of my voice, and whether I should sing my own songs. After hearing me sing, the vocal coach told me that even though he believed I had a wonderful voice, his only concern was that once I left the room, I wouldn’t believe him. His one concern was an epiphany for me — not because of the major compliment he had given me, but because it revealed how totally disconnected from my own ability I was. At that moment, I realized that unless I made a major transformation in my own mindset, to embrace my talent without hesitation, I would never be able to actualize my potential. This is when I decided to let go of my need for perfection and get the hell out of my own way. And that’s how I came to record my own songs.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
About a year-and-a-half ago, I signed a contract to go on tour in China at some of the newest upscale venues in the country. Then, just as I was about to embark on that venture, COVID broke out and put an end to that opportunity. Honestly, I’m a lot more excited about the stories that will happen to me from now on, than those that led me to this point.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Normally I’m way too much in my head, overly critical of myself, terrified of making a mistake. However, once I truly embraced being a singer/songwriter, it was as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Suddenly I was able to move out of my own way, and allow myself the freedom, and space to not only be present but to just be me. It was as if making mistakes was not going to be my Achilles Heel. Everything seemed to go just right. Creating music had allowed my authentic self to emerge.
So… I can’t really recall a funny mistake I’ve made along the way, other than to come to the realization that the funniest thing about making mistakes is that the more you focus on trying to avoid them, the more likely they are to happen.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just completed my first full-length album, “My Time Is Due”, which is due to be released this coming fall. From the title alone, you’d think it had to do with success. But much deeper than that, it’s about a transformation that occurred within myself that allowed me to share my authentic being with others. Before I began this album “sharing” and exposing myself to the world, was something I was conflicted about. I wanted to share and expose, but I didn’t. Or more to the point, I wasn’t ready. Not until dove into the work.
The process of writing this album was so freeing. Instead of trying to steer the creative process to arrive at a pre-conceived point, I let the words and music take me to where they wanted to go. And in the process not only discovered what the song wanted to say but that as an artist I am as much a passenger on the journey as I am the conductor. Someone once told me that every person is born with one piece of music in their soul and that in life the lyrics change, but never the music. And that when you die, you leave your music in those you love. Well, if that’s true, “My Time Is Due” represents not just my music, but the music of all the souls that have come before me to make this possible. The totality of their voices, as expressed through mine, reaches a crescendo in my song “Alive” — an homage to the creative process, and what being alive means to me as an artist — to revel in that space in which life and art become one. I’m thrilled to share, that I just finished producing and directing the music video for the song “Alive”, for which I also choreographed and danced — a side of me I have never shared with others. For me this entire Album has been a personal journey about my willingness and readiness to share myself with the world.
Two other songs in this Album, “Entitlement” and “Thank You” express my personal journey from beginning to end — from a youthful perspective that expects things to be handed to you, to someone who has made the journey and realizes you couldn’t have done it without being grateful for every obstacle as well as the opportunity that has come your way to help you complete your quest.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Not embracing diversity is denying the fact that we are all connected, and that we are all one. It’s not a cliché, but a scientific fact. Without diversity, our vision of the world would be limited to a single lens — one cultural experience — one point of view. To do so, would reduce the tapestry of humankind, woven from the annals of history, racially colored, ethnically drawn, to a single thread.
By not embracing diversity, we remove the one ingredient with the potential to unite us through our stories, music, and art.
In the end, diversity is the glue that binds — not the strand that divides.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Nobody knows anything
I was trying to figure out how things are “done” in the music business. To that end I went to conferences, took classes, read books, and engaged experts, only to discover that there are no rules. And if there were, I’d probably break them anyway.
2. Talent is not enough
A wise man once said that success is 90 percent perspiration and 10 percent inspiration. You’ve got to put in the work — not just the practical side, but the work you must do within yourself. Not just by honing your craft, but by getting it out to others. Especially in today’s world, unless you’ve been signed by a label, you must become your own label. As an example, I not only had to create, and perform all the songs in my first album, but now I must make sure they are heard.
3. Focus on the process and not the result
Hard advice for me to follow, seeing how goal-oriented I’ve been throughout my life. Until I realized that when I am creating, I feel the freest, and most connected to myself, the world around me, and the divine. That place where I’ve not only found joy, but peace.
4. Your depth is your strength
Sometimes you delve into the darkness to create your most meaningful work. In my case, I’ve always been drawn to serious subjects, like gender equality, social justice, and the human condition. One of my songs Human, poses the question “Where is our humanity?” The genesis of the song came after a tumultuous week in which man’s inhumanity to man covered the news, from mass shootings to the Syrian War, to the Holocaust Memorial Day.
With a propensity to absorb the darkness in our environment like a sponge, I transformed pain into songs of hope. “Lady Justice” is one of those songs. Sickened by child molestation, the song strives to show the way for the abused to speak out, to stand tall, and to seek justice.
5. Your art can consume you
By design, art demands that anything less than everything is not enough. Your time, your focus, your passion, your emotions, along with your every waking thought, are the price your art will demand if you allow it. Finding a balance between your art and personal life will be your hardest task of all.
The greatest challenge for me has been finding the balance between being a mother and an artist. How simple it would be if it were just a matter of managing time. But it’s not. My children and my songs are both my creations. To favor one, would be to deny the other leaving me between a rock and a hard place. The weight of this conundrum paralyzed me for a while until I took the first step and then the next. Once I started, I found a way to marry both being a mom and an artist. My hope is that other mothers and women of all ages will see my struggle as a beacon for them to fulfill their individual dreams. My duty as a mother and my passion as an artist are now intertwined. Because if there is one gift, I could give my children it would be to understand that by chasing their dreams, they will not only enrich all those around them but find the “why” of their birth. And with that in mind, my song “Children To Raise,” was born.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues to thrive and not burn out.
There is magic in collaboration. You don’t have to do it all alone. There is a village of artists, like you, waiting to help. In the creative arts, the sum of the parts can become greater than the whole.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
There are many issues that I feel need to be addressed in our society, however, for me, the issue that fuels me most at this moment is women’s empowerment. It’s not just about breaking the glass ceiling, but empowering all women, of all ages, to dream, and pursue their dreams without limits. If I can succeed in achieving my goals as a singer-songwriter, while raising a family, and do it in a business where the unwritten rule is that I cannot succeed, then I hope to be an example for others to follow.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Adam Peri, the producer of my present album, has been instrumental in my journey to realize my dream as a singer/songwriter. His talent and production skills have allowed our collaboration to give birth to music we are both proud of. He has poured his heart, soul, into every song, while his only demand from me was to trust my instincts.
Also, I would be remiss in not mentioning my first producer, Rob Wait, who I met while waiting in line at the ASCAP Expo Event. Not having a clue about the music business, I decided to go to an annual event thrown by ASCAP. Upon entering the venue, I was shocked to see a registration line longer than one I’d expect at a Rolling Stones concert. That said, as the last person in line, Rob Wait approached me and asked if I was the last person. And as fate would have it, he turned out to become my first producer.” He was the first person to acknowledge my talent and take what only I heard in my head, and transform it into a full production that the world could hear.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
NEVER SAY NEVER.
The music industry favors youth. It would be natural for me to have succumbed to the unwritten rule that a woman over a certain age cannot “make it” in the music business. However, I am a champion of the belief that the role of your womb may be over for this lifetime, but your ability to create is there for you for the rest of your life. And that is why I say, “Never say Never”.
Is there any person in the world, or in the U.S. you’d love to have a private breakfast or lunch with. And why, he or she might see this, if we tag them?
If I could have lunch with anyone today, I’d have to say it would be Joni Mitchell. For me, she was the female equivalent of Bob Dylan at the time. She was a total rule-breaker in the music industry, which wanted artists to present a “star image” that reflected nothing of who they truly were, bowing only to the demands of the record company’s marketing department. She even drew flak from other stars, such as Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash for revealing too much of her authentic self in her controversial album, “Blue”. She understood the depth and psychological complexities of the human mind, in that no one person is just one thing — in that regard, I feel like we are kindred spirits. And as someone now considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, during a period when men dominated the landscape, I would consider it an honor to have a one-on-one lunch with her, and I hope she wouldn’t mind that we will leave an open seat, in case Bob Dylan would like to join us
How can our readers follow you online?
The first single “Alive”, from my upcoming album, will be released in the second week of August 2021. My album will follow shortly after that and will be on all music platforms.
IG Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/galitmusic/
Facebook music page: https://www.facebook.com/galitmusic/
Facebook personal page: https://www.facebook.com/galit.mccord/
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!