Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ellie Stone Photography

Ellie Stone
http://www.elliestone.smugmug.com



Ellie has a magnificent combination of passion, enthusiasm, and skill in photography!
Ellie Stone's experience with photography goes back 30 years. Her photographic interests are quite broad; from landscape to wildlife, weddings to photojournalism, portraits to night photography, and even the fast action trickery of sporting events. Years ago, Ellie combined one of her passions with another and plunged head first into volunteering for animal welfare. Ellie has spent time in Africa, volunteering for Elephant Voices Conservation and Research Project, and the Mara-Noboisho Lion Project. She provides valuable information, along with wildlife photos, which aids in the ongoing research of these projects. Ellie also volunteers her photographic talent on a weekly basis for the Humane society, where her high quality images help homeless pets find their new forever homes. Her work proved remarkable, and she quickly received notoriety by being published in magazines and newspapers.
As a teacher, Ellie's passion, enthusiasm, and affection for capturing the beauty of the world through photography is infectious. Teaching is one of her tremendous strengths as she has an uncanny skill of listening and understanding her student's unique ways of learning. By doing so, she caters to each student's learning style so her students maximize their photographic learning potential.
Besides Ms. Stone's obvious passion for photography, her diversity and interests are infinite! She is a triathlete, accomplished equestrian, chef, business woman and gifted runner. Ellie qualified for and competed in the Boston Marathon in 2011, the most competitive marathon in the world, and re-qualified for 2012. She currently resides in the SanFrancisco Bay area.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monique say's "Goodbye" to the Record Label

For many artists, signing a record deal is the ultimate dream come true. It means that someone bigger than you believes in your craft and hopefully can use everything within their power to help you reach a bigger platform. Many of you know that one year ago I signed a record deal. I was super excited! Who would have thought that after 20 years in this industry, many releases, and working my ass off, and let's face it, I'm not 19 anymore, a label wanted ME! I'll be honest here, I was very much looking forward to someone else taking the reins for a bit, allowing me to focus more on my music.

But this is what I realized in the process......


Signing a record deal means that before you make ANY moves, regardless of what it is, there's another entity that has to approve it. That took some getting used to. It also meant that there was one more person that got a chunk of my rewards. But perhaps the one thing that was my deciding factor in NOT re-signing my contract when it termed a week ago was that in the scheme of things I realized that I was trying to write songs that would please them, instead of staying true to myself. Somewhere within the last year it started to feel like a job instead of my passion, and that wasn't going to work for me! Music is the expression of feelings with instrumental behind it, and it's vastly important to me that each time a fan downloads my music that they're getting everything I've got, and listeners aren't stupid, they'll hear the difference.

I do want to say that I'm not against record labels, AR peeps, or any other companies associated with management of artists, I'm always open to new ideas, this was more about me taking the reins back of my career and releasing some really great music.

So what's next? Well, a date has been set for the studio to start writing my first album. A collection of original material. My guess is that the process will be quick with Bill Hare at the controls, and I'll be so excited to share the album with everyone.

Thank you to so many of you that support my dream!

Monique




Thursday, November 14, 2013

The next chapter


Sometimes along life's journey there are difficult choices
that we have to make to reach that ultimate goal you've set for yourself. It's important to keep that dream in sight, dogging the curve balls, and working hard to stay on course.

Recently I made the decision to dis member my band. It wasn't an easy decision since the guys and I are extremely close, but what I've come to realize lately is that my true love is to write. The ability to create a story that anyone can relate to, and then sit with my amazing Producer Bill Hare and give life to that story is something hard to describe. It's something you breathe and can't imagine being without.

I'm definitely not saying that I won't re-visit the band idea again,
I'm simply going to enjoy what I love the most for a while. There are so many songs just laying under the surface for me. It's time to let them out!


Monique


Saturday, October 12, 2013

The dark underbelly of Rock n Roll



Besides having talent, the single most important thing you could wrap your head around in the music industry is the business side. I'm speaking from experience when I say that no one is going to watch your back but YOU! You have heard the phrase, "Knowledge is power"? Arming yourself with the basic foundation of how the industry revolves, and how to protect your product is key. I say "product" because let's face it, that's what we are. We spend countless hours honing our craft, standing on every platform we can find shouting "Look at me!", while trying to find that back door into the spotlight, then we have to find that edge over all the millions of other very talented artists doing the exact same thing, and it's important to understand that along the way you'll encounter what I like to call.....PREDATORS!

Like any business, you will encounter those that do not want you to succeed. They may see you doing something you love, AND making money at it, or perhaps jealousy has reared it's ugly head and deep down they realize they do not have your drive and determination, and will do whatever they can to throw you off track. Honestly, this is where you'll need to dig deep and stay true and on course with your goals for your career. I personally have always taken the stance that we must support others, share their music, talk about what they're doing, and support their dream as well, and if you think about it, if you are supporting THEM, they will support YOU!

There are many ways in which a Predator in this industry may try to push you off course. If you're a Songwriter, be careful about who you share your music with. I personally have a select group of industry people I will bounce new music off of, and I learned this the hard way having a song stolen from me. Fortunately with the CDbaby Legal team and ASCAP behind me, I was able to recover my song. This brings me to another point, please, copyright your material asap. If I hadn't copyrighted my song, I would not have been able to prove  the copyright infringement had taken place.

While it's great that as your career grows you will find a bigger web presence surrounding your music, I have found that it also brings out the unscrupulous as well. I have found websites selling my music for triple the price I do, my cell number listed along with my email address, (which explained why I was getting very strange voice mails), and a record label claiming I was signed to them. WHAT? This particular label even had the balls to link their site to mine. Fortunately, most of these "low lifes" will back off once you threaten legal action, so I would recommend a music industry attorney. I have a great one!  Google yourself!- find out what you're being linked to out there!

Lastly, keep in mind that since you are putting yourself out there in a very big way with the Internet being a very powerful tool, you will encounter the weirdos too. I've gotten the obscene, right down to a guy that wanted to buy my shoes. This one got a little crazy, as it came into my Facebook messages, and although I blocked him, he would simply create a new profile and message me again. As of now he has stopped, but my point is that some people have nothing better to do, and see your high profile image and need to feel important. Ignore these messages, and NEVER respond publicly to these people. My experience has been that if they don't see you squirm they've got nothing! Ignore the idiots. You wanted your name and music out there right?

I could type forever with stories like above, but my point is this, we do what we do because we love it right? We want the world to know who we are, appreciate our gift of music, and be acknowledged and a force to be reckoned with, but do it smart. Arm yourself with as much information as possible.

I hope this helps everyone in some way.
Until next time!

Monique






Thursday, September 5, 2013

"The Box" Press Release


PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release

Editorial Contact:
Monique DeMoulin, Recording Artist, Songwriter
Email: Monique@moniquedemoulin.com
Phone: 661-269-5507
Website: http://www.MoniqueDeMoulin.com


Monique DeMoulin, Songwriter & Recording Artist, Released Her Newest Single, A Moving, Heartwringing Original Song, “The Box,” In Collaboration with Fellow Recording Artist Rick Tucker and Grammy Winning Producer Bill Hare

Fresh on the heels of the successful release of her original song, “Part-time Princess,” and signing with Larchfork Publishing and Rock Garden Conspiracy, LLC/Gold Pan Records, the prolific and immensely talented Monique DeMoulin has released “The Box,” now available on cdbaby and iTunes.

San Jose, CA – immediate release – On the heels of the release of her newest single, Part-time Princess, Monique DeMoulin, vocalist, songwriter and recording artist, announced the release of an original song and her first single from her upcoming EP with Larchfork Publishing and Rock Garden Conspiracy, LLC/Gold Pan Records. The Box is a deeply personal song to Monique, and she is excited to bring it to life, thanks to her collaboration with Rick Tucker and Grammy Award winning producer, Bill Hare. 

“’A little girl writes…a little girl heals.’ Those words have deep meaning to me,” said DeMoulin, describing her newest single, The Box. “This song is a personal favorite for me. I love the universal message it conveys, and that message is, that healing a childhood pain can often become that thing that moves us into a fulfilling path as an adult. There is something so bittersweet about a child missing a parent, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have happiness in her life, too. And that is the core of this story:  Life can be rough at times, but there is still happiness to be found – and happy endings.” 

DeMoulin is currently in the studio working on her first EP, performing with The Monique DeMoulin Band, and supporting independent artists as DJ “Missy D” for Jam City America radio.

To learn more about Monique DeMoulin, or to contact her, visit her website at http://www.MoniqueDeMoulin.com and her blog at http://moniquesmusicnotes.blogspot.com/. You can download her music at http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/monique-demoulin/id412669997.

###

About Monique DeMoulin
Born in Palo Alto, CA, Monique attended Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, where she formed her first band, Hexagon, with Bill Hare (who is now her producer). In 1983, she participated in the Miss Teen California pageant and took first place for her talent. While attending Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV, Monique studied music and vocal performance, and received the Jim Paris and Bank of America music scholarships. After college, she found herself in the position of being a single mother, and dedicated herself to her five children, rather than music as a profession. This choice ultimately benefitted her by adding an incredible richness to her life that would take her talents to another level. 

In June 2010, Monique released her first single, Have I Told You, which topped the charts on cdbaby™, making it to #1 in the Smooth Jazz category and #2 in the Adult Contemporary category. A few months later, she released, What Makes You Stay. It also topped the cdbaby charts, as #1 in downloads in the Vocal Pop category. In July 2011, she released her stunning version of You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me, the famous classic written by Jim Weatherly (“Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Neither One of Us”). Following its release, Monique was contacted by Weatherly about recording his not yet released song, It Wasn't Me. With his support, Monique and her Grammy-winning producer, Bill Hare, developed and released It Wasn't Me with the spirit, sound and exciting styling that is uniquely the "Monique spin." 

In 2013, Monique’s career stepped into high gear with the release of her sassy, girl-empowering original song, Part-time Princess. As a result of this song, she signed on as a recording artist with Larchfork Publishing and Rock Garden Conspiracy, LLC/Gold Pan Records (http://rockgardenconspiracy.com). Part-time Princess was then opted to be used in the short film, “The Adventures of Shelby.” Her passion for helping other independent artists live their dreams led her to becoming a very popular DJ (“Missy D”) and station manager for Jam City America (http://www.jamcityamerica.com).

Monique currently resides in San Jose, California, where she performs with The Monique DeMoulin Band, is working on her first EP, and continues to give life her sublime and enchanting Monique spin.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"The Box" ....... A personal journey within a song!

Photography by Nicole Dalhuisen Photography
As most of you know, I recently released a tune titled, "The Box", an emotional journey of a little girl holding onto a dream in her tight little fist. To say that writing "The Box" was difficult would probably be an understatement, but like many musicians, sometimes songs close to us need to sit in the vault until we're ready to re-visit them. Writing the lyrics was the easy part, they were something that kinda just poured out of me, one of those Thirty min deals, it was the music I struggled with.  The lyrics are powerful, so the music needed to be just as intimate. I have Rick Tucker of Rock Garden Conspiracy/Gold Pan Records to thank for finally, after two years of sitting on the song, giving the song life. Rick wrote a beautiful basic melody line on piano and helped spark something else within me to bring to my Producer Bill Hare. 


Recording day: I was actually nervous for Bill to hear what I had so far on the song. Being that he's a Grammy award winning engineer and Producer, the bar is very high when I walk through the doors of his studio, but, I knew I had something very special. Bill liked what I had so far and we proceeded to lock ourselves in the studio for the next Twelve hours. Bill's wife Jennie was nice enough to throw us food and coffee here and there and by the time evening rolled around we had laid some great tracks. Sometimes it's very difficult to block off that much time with Bill as he's hugely in demand, but I know he knew how much this song meant to me, and how long I had waited to write and record it, and there was no one better than HIM to help me make that happen. 

The song in it's released form is very close to that day I left the studio. Very little has been added since. It was important to me that the song remain very true to it's original form. Not over done or over produced, simple yet intimate. We accomplished that. 

"A little girl heals"

Monique


Special thanks:

"The Box"© Monique DeMoulin, Rick Tucker
Engineered and Produced by Bill Hare
Single Photography: Nicole Dalhuisen
Photo editing: Cherie Davidson
Model: Kayla Dalhuisen








Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bill Hare, my producer, my friend.

It's almost comical to me that I've been accused of being verbose with my blog, and yet I sit here and try to articulate just the right words to express my gratitude and love for this man right here.............>

I've known Bill for over Thirty years. We grew up living next door to each other, and along with that came forming a band, and a deep connection of mutual respect and friendship. Life took many twists and turns for us both, Bill and his Mother opened a Recording Studio, and I ran off and got married. Then in 2010, after a short stint with another Producer, it seemed natural to me that I work with Bill. I'm not really sure why I hadn't before. I guess I kind of felt that my commitment level to my career wasn't to the point that I could work with someone of his caliber yet, that maybe I needed to figure out first what I wanted. I mean, he's working with major Labels, huge names, why would he work with me? It was really then that I discovered some awesome things about myself too.

See, Bill is the kind of person that guides an Artist with an easy hand, he's laid back, goofy as hell, and probably the most gifted musician I know. I don't even know how many instruments he plays, but I can tell you that every song I've released, he's played the majority of the tracks. He's known all over the world for his Engineering in the A Capella world, been portrayed in the novel "Pitch Perfect", he's received probably over 100 CASSA awards, and last year, a Grammy! Or is it two? A Capella Groups from all over the world line up to work with this man, and yet, (Don't tell anyone) many times he's pushed aside work for ME! How lucky am I?

Bill's taught me a lot. Both in my professional world, and personal life. I've learned that many times I will stumble in this crazy business, but I'm to suck it up, deal with it, learn from it, and get right back up! I've learned how to listen and appreciate all different kinds of music, and hear what's there, and what isn't. I've learned the ability to sit behind the board and literally feel him work. I've learned that when I'm sitting in the vocal booth and he pops into my headphones with direction, I know he knows what I'm capable of, and he knows how to get me there! He did pop in and call me a "Bitch" once though. I think I still owe him one for that!

I've also learned over the last three years how crucial a supportive producer can be in a music career. Someone who listens to your ideas, shares thoughts without criticism, can stand back when your adamant, and can follow behind you making sure you're grammatically correct. (He's not getting his hands on this blog post)

The interesting thing about Bill, and I relayed this to a reporter last year when I was asked, " What's it like working with a Grammy winning producer like Bill?" To which I replied, " I don't know, he's just Bill." Bill is one of the most down to earth, modest people I know. I know he's proud of the Grammy that sits in his Studio, but he's even more proud of all the great music he's mixed and mastered.

Bill, I know I can speak for all the thousands of talented musicians who've had the pleasure of working with you when I say, 'Thank you". Thank you for believing in me, and sharing your gift with us!

                                                Now get back to work!