Rocks Off reached out to the artists playing this year's Houston Press Music Awards showcase Sunday, August 5, and asked them to introduce themselves. Here's what they sent back.
Rocks Off: When and where was your first gig in Houston, and how did it go?
Leah White: Ugh. It's painful to talk about. I was hired for a kid's five-year-old birthday party. It was at a park. I made it imperative that they have a working power source. That's all I asked. It turned out that they did not so there wasn't anything to power my PA/amps/ mikes.
Then to make matters worse, the birthday girl's little brother fell off somee playground equipment and broke his arm. He came back from the ER right as the party was ending with his mother, wearing a cast. I had my acoustic guitar so I did the best I could do shouting my voice so everyone could hear and playing as loud as I could.
I was never so glad to leave a gig as I did that first one.
RO: What Houston-area venues do you play most often?
LW: Discovery Green, Children's Museum, schools, churches, private parties in homes, parks. Every time I post my shows on ReverbNation I am always in the "Non-Traditional" venue category.
We play at some really random places. Last year for our Houston project, the Daughters of the Revolution booked us to play in one of Houston's oldest cemeteries. They brought out a generator and we played among the headstones.
RO: How often do you play in the area?
LW: Four times a month.
Rocks Off: Describe your sound in eight words or less.
LW: Witty, clever music with a schizophrenic style ranging from '60s rock-current pop and '40s swing.
RO: How did you come up with your name?
Leah White & the Magic Mirrors was drawn from the tale "Snow White." My last name is White and throwing the Magic Mirrors at the end worked with the fairy-tale theme but was also a little trippy. The band loved it.
RO: Where would you like yourself or your band to be in one year? Ten years? Forty?
LW: I want to make a living supporting myself full-time as musician doing a variety of music-related projects. I just launched a Music lesson company, MagicMusicLessons.com, and a group music-lesson company for families, MagicMusicKids.com.
I want to use my albums/ platform that I've established for myself to create music businesses. I love playing in a band, but the life of traveling/touring all over would be difficult while I'm raising three children. I see the business growing and me slowing down a bit on being a rock star in a band.
RO: What is one thing you'd like to do (as a musician) before you pack it in?
LW: I would love to win a Grammy. I don't think that is too crazy. I've got a lot of life and a lot of music left in me. That's my ultimate goal.
I've already written music for five albums and released four music videos, sold successful songs to businesses, distributed my music worldwide... things have been as good as you would want them for a local musician in Houston, Texas, especially with my niche genre of family-friendly music.
I've really made something out of it, and for that I'm proud at where I am now.
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Leah White & the Magic Mirrors play 8 p.m. Sunday, August 5 at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, 1201 Fannin.