We had the pleasure of chatting with Kristina Train about her debut album, her musical influences, and her hobbies. Check it out below!
Tell me a little bit about your journey to get to where you are now.
Kristina Train: I basically have been playing music my whole life. I was heavily involved in music classes, lessons, and after school groups from elementary school to high school. Then after that, I joined some bands. I always knew that I wanted to figure out a way to always be able to play music and also pay rent. The later part turned out to be a little tricky… I was involved first with blue note, then had some exposure to other labels and was able to really see what was out there. I began writing songs and figuring out what it was that I had to say. I heard very few yes’s and a lot of no’s. It was very difficult, but I knew that I had to find the right person to hear my voice and understand and believe in what it is. I found my believers at blue note. Eight years after first meeting with them, it is all happening.
How difficult was it turning away from the development deal that you were offered in order to attend college?
Kristina Train: It was very difficult. I was chomping at the bit and wanted it so badly. I was devastated and confused but the in between time proved to be the best thing for me. I am a better singer, player, and writer now than I was then. To have ‘Spilt Milk’ represent me out of the gates is a vision come true. For me personally, college was the wrong choice. I disliked it intensely and got out of it as soon as I could. I had a one track mind and once everyone in my life was at peace with that, I was able to devote myself fully to music.
How excited are you to be releasing your first album?
Kristina Train: It is so important, special and sacred to me that it’s hard to explain. The years leading up to this were filled with contentment but also doubt, fear, and pressure. ‘Spilt Milk’ embodies the path leading up to its creation. It is a long awaited physical representation of years of hard work and diligence.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting to where you are now?
Kristina Train: I always believed that I was given a gift for some unknown reason. I wasn’t sure how it would manifest itself but I worked to make my voice better and study violin and music as a whole. The years leading up to twenty were years that my belief in myself was steadfast and unshakable. Twenty to twenty seven have been a little darker. I knew the great joy music gave me and I always hoped that I could give it back to people. I thought that was the natural cycle it would take. But there were so many ups and downs in that time. It often felt like I would take one step forward then ten steps back. I saw friends achieving milestones in their lives and settling in. I felt stagnant and scared. The down times have been the worst. But I do have to say it makes this taste a whole lot sweeter.
If you could describe your album in three words, what would they be?
Kristina Train: Honest, soulful, sophisticated
Which song is the most meaningful or most personal to you?
Kristina Train: You’re Still Going to Lose
Is there a certain song you love to play live?
Kristina Train: Spilt Milk
What bands have been an influence on your music?
Kristina Train: Aretha Franklin, Karen Dalton, Mable John, Dusty Springfield, Candi Staton, Anne Peebles, Bettye Swan, Joni Mitchell, Gladys Knight, Staple Singers, Carole King, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone, Patsy Cline, Donny Hathaway, Bobby Womack, Charlie Rich, Duane Allman, Nat King Cole, Eddie Hinton, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra.
Beingfrom Georgia myself… and loving Savannah – I have to ask if the city itself has had any influence on your music or your style?
Kristina Train: Savannah definitely shows itself in my music. One example of that is half light. It is obviously about a relationship, but it is set in Savannah. The opening chords allude to the hourly chimes of church bells. I grew up right next to the cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Lafayette square in downtown Savannah. My bedroom window had a direct view of the spires. For me, the bells always felt like a reckoning. I guess that’s because on the other side of my house was pinkie master’s pub. Supposedly, Jimmy Carter stood on the bar and announced that he was going to run for president, toasting his candidacy with a pabst blue ribbon. So, on Saturday nights I’d turn right and Sunday mornings I’d turn left. Half light contains the sounds of what I grew up with.
Is there anyone that you’d love to perform with?
Kristina Train: Willie Nelson
When you’re not working on music, what are your favorite things to do? Any must see television series?
Kristina Train: I love to scuba dive and fish. I’m still trying to figure out how to do that in New Jersey, which is where I live now. I read a lot and love traveling and being on the road. I get antsy being in one place for too long. I am slightly obsessed with the Food Network. I also love ‘Law and Order SVU’ and have been known to occasionally watch any of the ‘Real Housewives’ series. Those ladies are unreal!
What’s next for you?
Kristina Train: Next up for me is getting the music to the people. I’m hitting the road and am very happy about it. I’m always writing and am already thinking of album number two. I plan on doing this for the rest of my life.
Interview By: Emma Loggins