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Summer Watson: “Take quiet time for yourself and plan out your sessions”

October 2020 we find ourselves in a time what I call the Renaissance period. It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom that we have to be at home, and not being able to see people in the same way that we used to. Times are changing and have changed. This is a time for […]

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October 2020 we find ourselves in a time what I call the Renaissance period. It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom that we have to be at home, and not being able to see people in the same way that we used to. Times are changing and have changed. This is a time for introspection, to listen to the inner you and to do the things that you have always wanted to pursue. Dance, sing, play piano, paint, write, read, cook whatever it is — no longer are the days where we have to only work 18 hour days with no joy but now we can find the time to get inspired and be with people digitally and in person with the greatest attention that this is a gift we can connect with the ones we love, be free and essentially be our authentic selves. In turn living our life at our highest values. It is crucial for us all to live our best lives so that we in turn can inspire the next generation.


As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Summer Watson.

A big voice with an even bigger heart, soprano Summer Watson is a singer on a mission to inspire as well as entertain. Having beaten stage 4 breast cancer and survived a deadly train crash, the chart-topping international vocalist knows all too well about the challenges that confront us in life.

Summer’s music is infused with the same positive message she embodies: “Go for your dreams and never give up!” Understanding the importance of determination and the healing power of music, Summer’s 2020 EP is the latest triumph in a career which has taken the beautiful Los Angeles-based Brit to the world’s biggest concert stages. Her newly released single, Break The Silence, references how one conquers and prospers through pain by channeling the warrior within each and every one of us.

Wowing the world with her incredible voice, Summer has shared stages with the likes of Michael Bolton, David Tutera, Chris Botti, David Foster & the Celtic Tenors. She has performed for celebrities and royalty worldwide in such locales as Buckingham Palace, Jordan, Dubai, and China. Most of her acclaimed live performances have been in support of charities and causes she supports — from human rights to cancer research — as the inspirational warrior raises funds while lifting spirits.

In recent years, Summer has combined performance with mentoring young talent, not only by coaching the next generation of great singers but also by writing, producing and recording their music. She has also been in huge demand for performing on film soundtracks, modeling at fashion shows, and collaborating with music industry greats.

Having graduated from London’s prestigious Royal College of Music, Summer became the first classical artist signed to a 1M dollars contract with Sony Music. Her debut album, SUMMER, recorded at Abbey Road Studios, soared to number one on the US iTunes classical charts.

Hers is a singing voice so magical, and a story so special, that everyone who encounters Summer Watson is left open mouthed in admiration while being inspired by the beauty and possibilities of life.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/64dc254f191249dd53215cd6d80938b3


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I am blessed to say that I had an amazing childhood, extremely loving and supportive parents who exposed me to all the things they never had the opportunity to experience. Singing lessons from the age of four, piano, flute, sports activities like karate, horse riding and swimming. My singing teacher heavily influenced my love of music. Growing up in East Sussex and Oxfordshire in England, my life was filled with music lessons, festivals, and competitions from a very young age — my parents supported me at every performance. My love of music led me to the Royal College of Music where I graduated speaking four languages and a Masters in Music, booking events all throughout the UK as a young soprano. Holidays were spent in the Canary Islands which gave me an early love of Spanish music.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Graduating from the Royal College of Music obtaining the highest level of training classically, whilst travelling extensively and loving pop and world music, my dream was to incorporate more popular elements into classical music. It was a love of all genres of music that led me to create my first album “Summer” with Sony Music singing Strauss next to Sting, Morricone next to Goddard. I was the first classical artist to sign a 1M dollars deal with a major label and sign to a pop division. The Classical-crossover genre was born, and many know of this genre through such artists as Il Divo and Josh Groban.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There are so many… dressed in the most elegant red dress performing at the inauguration of A1 grand prix with all the racing cars behind me. Or the one where I had dinner at Sting’s house and he wanted Jelly & ice cream for desert like a true Northerner. Or the one where I was so ill in Jordan performing for the King of Jordan that I had an IV drip in my arm throughout the rehearsal with the orchestra and then took it out, put the dress on and ran onto the stage to perform — in between songs I would go backstage to get the IV back in me. Or perhaps your readers would like the story when I was with Michael Bolton and Nick Canon — we all stood in subzero conditions in Harbin, China, looking up to the statues that had created of us out of ice at the largest ice sculpture festival in the world to then go on to perform for more than a billion people. Or when I performed at Buckingham Palace and at an earlier date got to meet the Queen who seemed to know everything that was going on with my young career at the time. I think my favourite has to be when I was very newly signed and I got to go to a Pavarotti concert, was invited backstage and just shot past everyone in line — all the VIPS who were waiting to meet him and I very tentatively introduced myself as I was so starstruck (what a presence that man had!) as I started speaking he laughed and said “Summer, I know exactly who you are we are both on Classic FM tv,” (a British classical music video channel) and he gave me a big hug.

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?

I was invited to perform in the closing down ceremony of the Rossyat Theatre in Moscow where Sophia Loren was the celebrity honoree for the evening and the production team had not allocated any time for me to get my hair and makeup done, and so it was a mad frantic rush to get on stage with half my hair done and some makeup. Lesson learned — you have to double check every detail of a performance if your name is on it.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

2020 has been one of the most rewarding creative years that I have experienced. I wrote and produced my all-new EP titled “Unveiled” with the amazing film composer and songwriter Taras that tells my story of triumphing over stage 4 breast cancer and becoming a warrior to live my best life. I want to inspire people through my music that we only have NOW to live and we must cherish every second. For to live in the present is truly a gift.

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?

Diversity is crucial for everyone, not just in the entertainment industry. Without diversity we are lending ourselves to be closed off and run the risk of being stagnant. New and diverse content is crucial for us to be able to listen and watch new things. We are our experiences in life and if we just do the same thing day in day out this does not allow us to grow to our full potential as human beings. Without diverse content how do we know what will inspire us — or ignite something inside for us to take the path we are meant to be on. What I listen to and have witnessed in my life from all over the world; music and television and film in different languages from artists of all ages and backgrounds is what has enabled me to be free and create from a blank slate.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a brief example for each.

Take quiet time for yourself and plan out your sessions / rehearsals / performances so you don’t become drained.

Keep track of everyone you meet. Nowadays it’s much easier to do that with social media, but it really is crucial to stay in touch with everyone you meet in your life as that is the beginning of building your network. Create a spreadsheet of all the musicians, singers, each facet of the contacts in the business and stay in touch with them all.

Stay on top of the tech trends to be able to develop and mold your music business as the technology around it changes. In just 10 years we now have Spotify, IG, FB, YouTube!

Write everything down — there are so many stories that will happen to you in your life and you never know one day you might like to sit down and re-tell those stories.

Organise all your photographs, all your years of vocal lessons, and rehearsals and sessions and keep it all in one place. I have 15 years of vocal lessons on cassette tapes not organised, years of photographs not organised and wished I had it all organised and had all the memorabilia from each event that I have had the pleasure of performing at.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Wake up at the same time every day — the music business is exactly that, it is a business, and although you are a creative you have to also approach each step of what needs to get done in a timely fashion completing each of the steps because you are your business.

Drink 2- 3 litres of Mountain Valley water every day & eat cleanly.

Absolutely crucial to get to the beach or the mountains or a park at least once a week, for the body to reset and come back to the creative table with a clear mind.

Write down the big goals and break them down into bite size pieces, add deadlines and get clear with each goal.

Jam with everyone, not just focusing on people you’re working with but sing and play with anyone and everyone. Get back to just having fun with music. As that’s what it’s for, music is meant to heal us all, a vibration that connects each of our souls together. Music unites us.

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!

October 2020 we find ourselves in a time what I call the Renaissance period. It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom that we have to be at home, and not being able to see people in the same way that we used to. Times are changing and have changed. This is a time for introspection, to listen to the inner you and to do the things that you have always wanted to pursue. Dance, sing, play piano, paint, write, read, cook whatever it is — no longer are the days where we have to only work 18 hour days with no joy but now we can find the time to get inspired and be with people digitally and in person with the greatest attention that this is a gift we can connect with the ones we love, be free and essentially be our authentic selves. In turn living our life at our highest values. It is crucial for us all to live our best lives so that we in turn can inspire the next generation.

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?

So many people have influenced me and helped me in my life. My first and biggest inspiration was my first ever singing teacher at the age of four, that presented such a love for music which has stayed with me to this day not only in my love of singing but how I coach my clients.

Michael Jay Grammy award winning song writer whom I am honored to call a close friend gave me the opportunity to work with him many times, writing and eventually recording my Christmas single, If Every Day Was Christmas.

Living near Sting in the UK and knowing friends in common I had the pleasure of having dinner at his amazing home in Wiltshire with the band, and bumped into him from time to time and he would always say “be yourself, and just sing what you love”.

My amazing and dear friend Sandro Monetti, British journalist based here in LA, has written many press pieces for me and also supported me through my cancer journey more than anyone could ask for.

And of course my Mum, who encouraged me every step of the way through the toughest of times when I couldn’t see even the next step to take.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”, and share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Desmond Tutu once wisely said that “There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” What he meant by this is that everything in life that seems daunting, overwhelming, and even impossible can be accomplished gradually by taking on just a little at a time. My parents used to tell this to me repeatedly when I was overwhelmed with the volume of homework and music practice I had to do, and I still use this quote today when working 18hour days.

I also love Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” … Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” We only have the NOW, so I try to continuously work on living mindfully and in the moment paying attention to each breath to enjoy every second of life that I have been blessed with.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

I love this question; Richard Branson or Eckhart Tolle.

Richard Branson is the epitome of drive and create. He is a fantastic motivator, highly skilled entrepreneur with global success. I would love to understand how he built each facet of his business. Eckhart Tolle because his teachings are invaluable, all we experience none of it really matters for we are just here for a split second and we are just energy so we might as well enjoy the journey and not sweat the small stuff.

How can our readers follow you online?

www.summerwatsonofficial.com

Social Media: @SummerWatsonOfficial

I encourage any artists or upcoming singers to DM as I love to mentor the next generation!

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