10 Questions with ... Anne Cochran
February 15, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Anne Cochran began her singing career as the lead vocalist in a trio of Cleveland rock bands in her teens, putting down demos and jingles before making everything official with a degree in Theater and Voice from Case Western Reserve University.
She and her friend, Jim Brickman, had won the "You Light Up My Life" radio contest. Today, most of the year is devoted to touring with Jim and crew. A six-week, +30-stop Holiday Tour has been the jubilant yearly climax of their collaboration for more than a decade and she can occasionally be heard co-hosting Brickman's syndicated radio show. She has also had a successful career as the familiar voice of hundreds of well-known television and radio commercials.
Since 1995, Anne has shared memorable duets with the likes of Collin Raye, Donny Osmond, Dave Koz, Tracy Silverman, Jeff Timmons, Kristy Starling, Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis, Michael Feinstein, Broadway's Mike Eldred, Wayne Brady, Michael Bolton, Linda Edder, Orlagh Fallon, Richie McDonald, Canadian Tenor, Mark Masri and perhaps her favorite, Abe LaMarca, who produced and co-wrote many of the songs on her latest CD.
Anne put out her own self-titled debut album, which was followed by Fishhead label's "Thinking of You". In 1999, Anne hit the Top 5 with her now classic single "After All These Years" triggering stage and TV performances, including NBC's A Golden Moment, as well as Stars On Ice at Madison Square Garden and Gund Arena to accompany Olympic medalist Rosalynn Sumners' farewell to ice.
These performances have been enriched by "joint ventures" with the symphony and pops orchestras of Pittsburgh, Colorado, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Louisville, Kansas City, Hartford, Cincinnati, Nashville, Columbus, and their eminent conductors. Anne has sung The National Anthem for many of Cleveland's sport's teams and stirred the crowd with a crystalline rendering of ESPN"s broadcast of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the NCAA's Women Basketball Championship Final playoff.
In her own right, Anne carves out the time to co-write original material and put her musical stamp on classic favorites from the American songbook. She has released a wonderful series of CDs in the past decade, with evocative titles like "Lucky Girl", "This is the Season", "All My Best" (sold out), Cover Girl", "Christmas Wish", "Two of Hearts", "Close To Me" and her exciting and very latest opus, "Deeper."
1) What was it that got you interested in music?
I grew up listening to the radio as well as my my mother's Broadway musical albums, and my older brother's and sister's pop and rock albums. I have loved singing and performing since I was a child. It wasn't until I became a wife and a mother, with a few years of experience under my belt, that I I felt that I had something to say as a songwriter.
2) What was the inspiration for your new single "The Moment You Were Mine"?
I have always been a fan of "Beth Nielsen Chapman who wrote "The Moment You Were Mine". When I was writing and searching for material for this record, my producer, Abe LaMarca, found this song and thought it was perfect for me.
3) Please tell us about the recording process on your new album and what it was like working with producer Abe LaMarca?
Abe and I co-wrote five songs on this record. Abe is also a fabulous singer. I have recorded with producers who sing, but I knew that Abe would demand so much more of me, since he demands so much of himself when singing and performing. He handled me with tough love and didn't settle for anything but the best. No one had ever taken me to task like that.
4) What is your approach to songwriting? How do you capture the inspiration when it comes?
I usually write the lyrics first. Then I come up with a melody, in my head, and since I don't play an instrument. Sometimes I'll get the melody or groove first, followed by the lyrics. I may also share my ideas with another writer and we collaborate from there. Love is the number one thing that inspires me, whether it's a feeling I have about myself, another person, a situation drawn from others or a universal issue. I have to try to stay true in all that I do, and hopefully that will be evident in my music.
5) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Growing up I was drawn to female singers like Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt, but I listened to all kinds of music. Later, I latched on to soulful singers like Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick.
6) How are you using social networks to market your music and keep your fans involved?
I'm using Facebook and Twitter as platforms for announcing newly recorded music and songs at radio to drive the listener to my website, www.annecochran.com, ITunes and everywhere my music can be heard and sold.
7) Who are some of the artists we might find on some of your playlist now?
Adele, Abe LaMarca, Annie Lennox, Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow
What other songs on your new album are you excited to share with your fans?
Obviously, I'm excited for fans to hear the entire cd but if I had to choose some of my favorites, they would be the title cut, " Deeper", "Love Will Come Home", "Loved Like Crazy" and two duets with Abe LaMarca, "Rise and Shine" and "Who's Gonna Baby You", which I'm excited to say is currently #17 on The Smooth AC National Media Base Chart.
8) Do you have any upcoming recording sessions, collaborations, or special events planned?
I just finished this album, and since coming off of a 30 city tour as featured vocalist with Jim Brickman. I'm totally immersed in this CD, right now. I'm thrilled with the feedback I'm receiving and it's all keeping me very busy.
9) Please describe your experience the first time you heard your song on the radio?
When I hear my song on the radio, whether it's the first time or after a number of times, I want to scream to the world, "Hey that's me, tune into ... !" Of course I feel very proud, but I always listen very intently, to make sure that it sounds good over the airwaves. It never gets old!!!!
10) Is there anything in particular that you'd like people to take away from listening to your music?
I would hope that people would connect with my voice, the words and the melody of the songs and want to hear more. Going into this project, I wanted to share a side of me that shows more of a soulful edge of my vocal style, that my fans may have never heard from me before. I'm not trying to conquer the world with my songwriting but I did write a lot of this from a woman's perspective, with the intention of speaking to their hearts with a positive message of all kinds of love. But I do hope that men can relate to my music as well.
What do you do in your spare time? When you aren't performing or recording new material, what do you all like to do for fun?
When I have time, I take a yoga fusion class; a combination of yoga and aerobics. I need it for my body and my mind! I also love to go to the movies.
Who are some of the newer musicians that you think are incredible and are really breaking ground today?
I love Adele's voice and her songwriting.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
I do a 25 minute vocal warm up that drives everyone, in ear shot, absolutely crazy. I also say a prayer right before heading out on stage.
How do you balance your family life?
The hardest part of touring is being away from my family. So when I'm home I'm home. But when I'm away, I'm still "home' and as connected as possible. When my kids were in elementary school, I was doing homework over the phone.