Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PLPT GEMS: Meet Selena McDay

PLPT GEMS Presents
Selena McDay
Songstress. Mother. Legacy.

You've recently released an album, "Cry With a Smile", that was produced by your son, RiZ, to help bring your musical dreams to fruition. Tell us about the album and what type of sound your audience can expect to hear.

EVERYTHING I write is from personal experience! So the simple answer is: you’re going to hear a collection of “life lessons and love lessons”! Most (I hate to admit) were learned the really hard way, because I used to be so daggone “hardheaded”! But thankfully, I used writing as an outlet for a lot of things most of my life. And now, thanks to my incredible son RiZ, a 30 plus year dream deferred has come true! He’s produced and co-written my debut CD with me, and we’ve created a collection of “Ole Skool, Nu Kool” universal messages of love lost, love found, love cherished; self discovery; passion and fantasies; dreams realized and Karma, set to R&B, Neo-Soul, Jazz and Latin rhythms, sprinkled with a touch of Rock and Hip-Hop!

How did you know you wanted to pursue a career in music?

first recital at 7 or 8 years old

It feels like I was born into it! My mom was a lead singer in a band and they rehearsed at our house many times, and hung out at our house some nights after their gigs. I can remember more than one night (or early morning) during the 9 years I was the only child, I’d awake to somebody playing some instrument, my mom singing, or both! Music was just always a part of our lives. Then at 9 I was chosen to sing “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” in the Easter Pageant, and (when I) saw my Mother’s and the rest of the church’s reaction to what I’d just done, I got hooked! I decided right then and there that I WANTED TO SING! And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since!

Is performing and promoting your album your full time job? How do you balance it with your other responsibilities?

Yes, these days at least! As for “balancing”, it’s much easier now than it used to be when I was raising children, in school full-time, working a day gig part-time AND singing 3-5 nights a week! I have a law degree and I did “the lawyer thing” for a while when I was trying to finish getting the kids through school. I started a Legal Consulting firm that I’ve used as a supplement to my performing income since my son and I started work on my debut CD. It’s called LegalEaze Consulting, and I mostly provide legal document drafting, review and analysis services, business entities formation including (but not limited to) LLC’s, 501(c)(3)’s, LLP’s, and For-Profit Corporations, and electronic and manual factual and legal research, on a contract-by-contract basis. However, MUSIC IS MY LIFE!

What does a day in the life of Selena McDay look like? What actions do you take each day to contribute to the continued fulfillment of your musical goals?

Little did I know, developing and having “the product” was the easy part. Because I am an independent artist, with a small independent label (HLFW Recordings-founded and co-owned with my son RiZ) with NO budget, and no big label or rich uncle to sponsor me, everyday, except Sunday is spent doing something, anything and everything I can to get my music out there! It’s a standing joke now with my family that I literally go to bed and wake up with my laptop! But I do that because now that the CD is completed, I (am) trying to build my brand, get my music reviewed, writing pitch letters and getting them to every outlet I can to request submission permission or strum up interest to get interviewed. Much like what RiZ was doing when he found you guys. I’m not complaining, because as exhausting as it gets sometimes, I’m living my dream!

Who, in addition to your son RiZ, is your support system and how do they contribute to your business?

with son RiZ

At this time, I have my son RiZ, and a few very close friends & family members that are willing and sometimes able to take away from their own life’s responsibilities and goals to lend a hand (thus the success of my 12/11/11 CD Launch Party, I will never be able to thank them enough).

You never gave up on your dream, despite the setbacks you encountered; and you are proof that determination and belief in oneself will eventually result in reaching that dream. How did you overcome doubt and negative thinking?

I came real close to giving up a couple times along the way here. In fact, that’s part of the reason I decided to go to law school. But music has been my life so long, I just couldn’t. I’d professed that I’d dive into law school head on, and there would be no performing, at least during the first (and hardest) year of law school. But my destiny was evidently already written because I wasn’t in school three months when The Lord put me right back into it (with) a seven year gig at Washington, DC’s #1 Jazz Club, The Takoma Station Tavern, as their “House Singer"! In fact, but for those Thursday, Friday and Saturday night performances, I don’t think I would have made it though law school, because that was tough!

What advice would you give to other people who are searching for their purpose, or are afraid to take the first step toward their own dreams?

If you’re not happy, feel like you’re lacking or missing something in your life, I implore you to please, at least once a day, turn off or unplug everything electronic, sit still and listen! If you have to sit in a closet, in a bathroom, in your car, on the roof, sit somewhere, quietly, all by yourself for a few minutes a day so that God can talk to you. You will discover your purpose, discover your Blessing. Then when you “feel” strongly like you should or want to do something, don’t waste time trying to find some guarantee that it’ll work, questioning whether it’s the right thing to do, just take that first step out there on Faith, thank Him in advance for its success, and get started!

How can our readers connect with you?

at CD launch party

Keep in touch, visit me and tell a friend please! Check me out on my website; enjoy new videos when I upload them for you on my YouTube channel; and follow me on Twitter.


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