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  • Smooth Jazz Network

Lindsey Webster: Behind the Beats

Updated: May 4, 2022

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Lindsey Webster. With Lindsey’s current single “Close To You” holding strong in the top 20, we go behind the BEATS and talk about her success as a singer in the smooth jazz world.

Tell us about your musical life prior to Smooth Jazz.

Before 2015, Keith and I were always working hard to get out there. We would play any venue, anywhere...that included restaurants, bars, country clubs, BBQs, weddings...literally anything. I was singing with a corporate band for a while, and Keith played with the Jimmy Sturr Orchestra for a long time before our national success, as well.

How did you find yourself in the smooth jazz genre?

It wasn’t planned at all! Ever since Keith and I started writing together, we always wondered what genre our music fit into. It's not quite jazz, not quite pop, not quite soul - but a mix, which the smooth jazz format has totally embraced! Getting into the format changed my career forever!

Your chart success in smooth jazz has been compared to Sade’s past achievements.

Whenever I get put into the same sentence as Sade it is an honor. To be one of the few vocalists since Sade to have big success on the chart is a shock and an honor. I still can't believe it sometimes!

Tell about the singers who inspire you.

I love all sorts of singers and styles...I gravitate towards soulful artists with compelling lyrics. Some of my biggest influences are Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, Aretha, Chaka Khan, Jeff Buckley, Brian McKnight, and so many more!

Tell us about your songwriting experience.

When I sit down to write I automatically know if there is anything good in Whenever I try to force it, I end up hating the song. So, I have learned to be patient with my process, try to remember to connect with the subject I am writing about; Remember the color of the mood, the smell of someone, the emotions felt at that certain time. Really get into the moment and role.

Do you prefer the recording studio or performing live?

They are really apples and oranges, and I love both deeply. Performing live gives a sense of 'if I try to hit this note and it doesn't work, it doesn't matter, it's the moment!' While in the studio, if I don’t hit the note I get multiple times to try it again (most times overthinking it, doing take after take, until you listen to the first one and it was the best one) There is a freedom to performing live that you don’t necessarily get in the studio. Also, the crowd always helps me sing better. It’s all about the energy.

What instrumental musicians have you performed with? Any favorites?

I always love working with Kirk Whalum. He is such a great guy. I have also recorded with Rick Braun, David Benoit, Tony Watson of Pieces of a Dream, and a lot more. It's hard to choose a favorite!

What would be your dream collaboration?

I really would love to work with Stevie Wonder.

How have you been dealing with COVID-19 and the vast impact on live performances.

The reinvention was a long process. This past month, Keith and I moved our studio and operations to Todd Rundgren's historical Utopia Soundstage in Woodstock, NY. There we will be focusing more on writing and production for other artists. Also, The Bearsville Theater (another piece of music history) is located in the same complex as our studio, and we have been chosen to be their artist-in-residence. So we will be doing monthly livestream shows from there, plus some other video. We also just launched a brand new Patreon page where people can subscribe and receive all sorts of perks like exclusive content, personal shoutouts, downloads, exclusive merch, and a lot more.

Any time for hobbies?

Yes, I have spent a lot of time hiking, running, cooking, reading, writing, and training and playing with my puppy, Calla!

Anything that might surprise fans to know about you?

Before I decided to shift all my energy in my singing career, I had jobs as a server, landscaper, surgical assistant to an oral surgeon, and I was also an EMT/firefighter for my teen years.

Goals for 2021-22?

My goal is to be constantly creating! Between our residency at the Bearsville Theater and our Patreon, I have a lot to do until the touring scene opens back up.

Learn more about Lindsey Webster here.

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