Kirsten Price is in good company. The first solo artist signed to the recently launched and first of its kind LGBT music label, Music With A Twist (Sony Music and LOGO founder Matt Farber’s love-child), and she’s shaking things up and making this season’s L Word sexier than ever.
GO: I hear you were a big Janis Joplin fan back when you were a teen in London.
Kirsten Price: Yeah, I just thought she was an incredible character because she was so emotional. Her voice wasn’t necessarily good, but once she got on stage and channeled her energy – just the pure, raw energy of her freaking out—I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. It really didn’t matter what she was singing, or if you knew what she was singing about, it mattered that you felt what she’s feeling.
There’s a very emotive quality in your singing too…
I’m enjoying the music I’m doing now because it’s the first time I’ve worked with somebody who allows me to sing the way I naturally sing, and doesn’t attach any sort of cultural meaning to it. I worked a lot with people who produced commercials, and it was often the case that I was too bluesy, or too raw. Working with Fred Sargolini, the more I did stuff that was kind of specific to me, the more he got excited. So there’s definitely a part of what I’m doing that’s very natural and very emotive and very raw in that sense.
How did you come across Music With A Twist? Or how did they come across you?
I was making an album with Fred Sargolini, and he had a connection to somebody who had a connection to Michael Ellis, who worked for Music With A Twist, and they had heard some of the material we were doing and really, really liked it. I was at a point where I wanted to make an album. A few people were interested in the project, but I was really attracted to Twist because of Matt Farber, and his energy, and the amount of creative freedom and integrity I could maintain as an artist.
How do you think Twist will impact the industry, or the LGBT community?
The fact that it exists shows how important it is. The fact that a major label is working the gay community as a niche market is a pretty powerful statement in and of itself. So hopefully it will just be another label, just the way you have Sony Urban, or you have country labels. It’s different because those are genres, and Twist is combining genres. Hopefully the artists on it will be diverse and shatter peoples’ stereotypes. In fact, that’s what I’m hoping to do.
How do you shatter stereotypes?
I don’t know yet, but I’m definitely invested in doing it. I think I just naturally tend to. Anytime you make people think, and make people question themselves, and make people see more about themselves and the people around them, it’s a good thing. So any way you can do it, do it.
When you lived in London — before you lived in San Francisco and way before you moved to Park Slope — you knew you were a lesbian. Did you always know?
Umm, I don’t know how much I consciously knew, but I do remember being in my school uniform walking from the subway station, and walking into a pole and almost knocking myself out. The reason I walked into a pole was because I was staring at a woman’s legs and skirt. Then I thought, hmm, there’s something going on here.
I assume you’re a fan of The L Word…
I’m definitely a fan of the show. I think it’s gotten better and better. What drew me to the show in the first place wasn’t the sexual orientation of the characters, it was the quality of the show; how it gets right to the heart of the human condition, the difficulties of the subject matter that it deals with and the way in which it deals with it. I think it’s an important show. Not enough of those around. Plus there are the cute girls.
Are you as excited as I am that Marina’s back?
Oh yes, I was blown away that she was only in there for the first season. She was always the hottest one as far as I’m concerned.
You look a little bit like her.
No way. But she’s the reason that I kept watching the show the first season, because it wasn’t as compelling as it is now.
Your single “Magic Tree” is perfect for L Tunes (music from and inspired by The L Word). Sexy beat, steamy vocals—was The L Word the inspiration for the song?
That song was like a lot of great songs, a kind of happy accident. I was just singing the blues over a beat, and then looking for a chorus, I started going down the chromatic scale to try and find the note that I was going to start the chorus on. My producer said, “Wow, that sounds like a great hook. Use that.” The lyrics are pretty cryptic, and sometimes when I’m singing the song, I’m singing about different things, and the song becomes about something completely different. In a very long-winded sense the show inspired me but it was not direct.
Do you know when your performance is going to air?
No. Well, I think episode 11 they’re going to have the song in there, but I’m not actually in the show. We were going to do that, but I signed my contract with Twist way too late and they had finished filming.
Then you don’t know what’s going to happen? No insider information for us?
Well, I saw Cybill Shepherd talking about the sex scene on The View with Rosie, and she’s going to hook up with Leisha Hailey. That’s one thing I do know.
Forgive me if this is a supremely annoying but I can’t help myself…there is a porn star with your name.
Yes, well, all I know is my name is Kirsten Price from my birth certificate and she [Kirsten Price the porn star] did pop up fairly recently, and the shelf life of a porn star is not necessarily as long as a recording artist’s. I’m not that threatened. In fact, it’s fun that’s she’s there. I support her 100% in all of her work, as long as I’m not involved in it. Although I hear she has a great line of sex toys. I’d really like to start giving them away at my shows, but I don’t know if that would be appropriate.
Which “toys” would you give away?
I think it would be great to have a vibrator with an mp3 player inside, so you could listen and…you know. Music is very powerful, a lot more powerful than we realize.
Right. You were a big hit at The L Word season four kickoff party in New York.
Yeah, I thought they [the audience] were all very good and very patient, because if I had come to see people from The L Word and to see it being shown, I would have gotten annoyed if someone I didn’t know got on stage and started singing, but they were really into it. It was a lot of fun.
What’s going to happen for you in 2007?
We’re going to put an album out. And we’re going to spread the love, as far as possible.
To see more of Kirsten Price, visit kirstenprice.com or myspace.com/kirstenpricemusic.