Raise Her Voice Revisited

interview by James Stratton

Tonight is 2018’s first installment of Human Influence’s famous “Raise Her Voice” series. In looking forward to tonight’s events, we caught up with two artists who performed at the last Raise Her Voice concert on December 7, 2017. Christelle Miller and Torre Blake tell us about their musical inspirations, current projects, and future plans:

Come see 2018's first Raise Her Voice, 8pm, Thursday January 4th, at Austin's Cheer Up Charlie's.

Christelle Miller

I: How did you get your start as a creative artist?

Christelle Miller: Growing up, my dad always played guitar, so -- despite the hundreds of piano lessons I attended -- it was only a matter of time before I picked it up. I started writing songs in a Lisa Frank notebook in middle school, and played my first gig at a book and record shop in San Antonio a few years later. It feels, however, as though I'm just beginning my journey as a creative artist because I'm still realizing and crafting my "sound". 

HI: Who are your biggest musical influences?

CM: The list is endless, but I'll name five (in no particular order): Kings of Convenience, Erykah Badu, Nick Hakim, Joni Mitchell, and Lianne La Havas

HI: What has been your greatest challenge overcome as an artist?

CM: Patience. 

HI: What does the future hold? Any exciting, new projects?

CM: I'm hoping to release an EP in the new year! In the meantime, I'm just writing and trying to collaborate as much as possible. I plan on keeping my SoundCloud fresh in the meantime. 


Via  Twitter

Torre Blake

HI: How did you get your start as a creative artist?

Torre Blake: Honestly, I have been singing since I was little. I have always had a passion and a love for music. I was in the adult choir at my church when I was 12. I continued to sing throughout the years. I really did not start writing until my sophomore/junior year of high school. I was in a creative writing class and from there my writing started to take form and I was able to create my first couple of songs in studio. My first time in the studio it truly felt like home. I was instantly hooked. I played sports in college and was on a full scholarship and my music kind of slipped away from me. I couldn't focus on it like I wanted it to and get involved on campus like I wanted to. I did a couple of showcases and continued to do a lot of covers on social media. There was a lot of growth there, because at the time I wasn't seen or known as singer or an artist. It was the first time I really put myself out there. So, I would say I really started diving in to my music after school. I could finally put my whole self into being a creative artist. 

HI: Who are your biggest musical influences?

TB: Wow this is a tough question, because I take a little from everything I hear. If were to choose, I would say some of my musical influences are definitely Lauryn Hill, India Arie, and Justin Timberlake. 

HI: What has been your greatest challenge overcome as an artist?

TB: I think my biggest challenge to overcome as an artist is being comfortable with performing. I am so used to being in the studio or being in my own creative space, so I definitely need to get used to sharing my music on stage. 

HI: What does the future hold? Any exciting, new projects?

TB: Right now I am currently trying to perform as much as I can. I am working on some new content, but nothing is set in stone. I really like my music to organically come together. Hoping to release some new material next spring.

You can keep up with Christelle's and Torre's music on these social media channels:

Christelle: Soundcloud

Torre: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter

And a reminder, the first installment of Raise Her Voice is tonight (Thursday January 4th), 8pm at Cheer Up Charlie's.

James Stratton is Human Influence's Digital Content Editor. Slide into his DMs here or here.