words by Erin Wolf
Check in with WMSE’s Girlina Show every Thursday from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.? If you were one of those who tuned in last week and caught that particular day’s Local Lunchbox segment, you would most certainly remember show guest and local hip hop emcee, Melissa Czarnik. Czarnik is in the middle of a pretty sweet project — planning for a two months’ artist residency in France, where she’ll work on her next album. Funded through IndieGoGo, the ‘getting there’ part has been funded, but Czarnik has her sights set on even loftier goals and wants to make every moment count, hoping to take her new work on the road while still on European soil. She took the time to not only check in with us last week on Dori’s show (listen in the archives, here), but also to answer a few questions for Sonic Diet to keep the ball rolling and the spirit alive for her once in a lifetime opportunity. Need to read up on the project? Follow this link, here, to find out how you can still help out over the next two weeks.
France is that special place for me. I don’t know how to explain it, other than I feel a calling to it. It’s the food, it’s the language, architecture — I’m drawn to it all. France gives me that familiar feeling and it’s my muse.
What’s the space like where you’ll have your artist’s residency at?
I’ll be staying at Camac Centre D’Art, a country estate in Marnay-sur-Seine (about sixty miles southeast of Paris) that was converted into artist quarters for residencies in the 90’s. The residency hosts several artists from around the world at the same time, so I’ll be there with all types of creative spirits, from visual artists to authors to filmmakers, etc. We’ll share a communal kitchen, but will have dinner prepared for us each night by a chef, and as artists, we’ll have the time and space to really just focus on our craft.
Two months — is that too short amount of time to create an album, or does it seem doable? Do you already have an idea of what direction to go, creatively?
It does seem like a short amount of time, and I am definitely feeling the pressure, but I think it is doable. Some of the songs I have already mapped out, or have song concepts for, but there is a lot more work to be done. My goal is to write at least twenty songs while in France. That’s about two per week and then narrow it down to about ten – twelve songs to be put on the album.
Will your usual collaborator, Eric Mire, still be involved even if not present? Anyone else?
Yes, Eric Mire will be composing the majority of my music as well as acting as my producer. I will be working with him remotely from abroad. If I can reach my higher goal through IndieGoGo, Eric will be able to join me in France during my final week and aid in the recording process. Which would be fantastic, from my standpoint! I will also be doing a track with acoustic/soul singer, Roxie Beane. And there are some other collaborations that might take place, but have not yet been solidified.
You have plans to utilize any additional funding for the project for a European tour — where would you go if you met your goal?
Yes, if we can raise $1,000 more, it will send Eric Mire to France to record with me. If we can raise $2,000 more, Eric and I can pay for transportation on our European tour. We would go and spread that Milwaukee love in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany and England. The campaign ends March 12th…so, it’s possible we will make it. Anything is possible, right?