Master Storyteller James Kevin O'Connor creates a platform for inspired interviews from SInger/Songwriters, Authors, Speakers, and Thought Leaders, Music and Film Producers, Fashion Models, Life coaches, Social Media experts and mentors, and all who have an Inspired story to share, this show is all original, complete with original music!
Sarah Christine, Shows Us How We Are All “In it Together”
We’re heading out west today. All the way from Colorado, let’s take a ride on the musical journey with the sole theme of “In It Together” with singer-songwriter Sarah Christine!
With eclectic inspirations from pop, indie, folk, to even electronic sounds, Sarah Christine’s music is undeniably rare. She enjoys the technicality behind EDM and finds interest in learning how to put that together and produces some of that music on her own.
Sarah Christine’s journey unravels the cathartic episodes she has experienced and overcome in life. She once faced a near-death accident when she got hit by an F-150 truck. Consequently, her experiences in life, even when she was still juggling her corporate job and music career to going full time in music and everything in between ended up pointing her to what she is here for.
Moreover, these have been the inspirations to the lyrics of her songs. “Like the Movies” was about her getting married at a young age; everything seemed awesome, then things started breaking apart. One day, she woke up literally with nothing.
On a lighter note, when she just moved from Minneapolis to Colorado. Her neighbor was throwing a rager and blasting some John Mayer songs on a vinyl player at about 2 a.m. She got up and knocked on the neighbor’s door. Instead of asking him to lower the volume, she asked him to turn the music up. She got hooked with the music. As a result, she was inspired to write “Summer Nights”
Thoughts about streaming services, dealing with the pandemic
Sarah Christine is adapting to the emerging streaming services by learning the nitty-gritty like the QR code with Spotify, setting up playlists, understanding how everything interconnects with the algorithm, and how that to connects with other platforms. She believes that these platforms are invaluable to her. Hence, she focuses on how can she use the platforms to get as many people as possible and try to connect with them through her songs. And from there, she tries to figure out how to build relationships with those people.
Like with any other businesses, Sarah Christine’s career is also affected by the pandemic. 52 shows that she has set up herself have now been canceled. Right now, Sarah Christine is working on private shows and doing custom songs on the side. Above all, the value is the relationship she builds with and the lessons she learns from the people she writes the songs for.
Learn more about Sarah Christine
To know more about her life, music, or should you ever wish to have a custom song made by the one and only Sarah Christine, please do not hesitate to visit her website and other links listed below.
3:28 How does she prefer to be called?
5:24 Who are Sarah Christine’s musical influences?
8:28 Listen to “Summer Nights” by Sarah Christine
13:34 Story behind “Summer Nights”
16:36 Listen to “For You” by Sarah Christine
22:47 The love for vinyl players
27:21 What are her thoughts about streaming services both as a consumer and an artist?
31:47 Listen to “Like the Movies” by Sarah Christine
37:00 Story behind “Like the Movies”
42:44 Continuation of the discussion about streaming services and dealing with the pandemic
50:26 Listen to “Aspen” by Sarah Christine
57:18 The story about the accident she was involved in with an F-150 truck
1:04:08 Connect with Sarah Christine
1:05:14 Parting message and motivational words
1:07:31 Listen to “Connected” by James Kevin O’Connor
The mistakes are sometimes the best part of the music.
I replaced all the anger and hatred with love and forgiveness. And once I did that, it was like, oh man! The world is off my shoulders.
You have certain things that happen, where they end up pointing you into what is your purpose, what are you here for.
I think I think we have to just try to enjoy the journey a little b
Megan Nadin, Debut Album “This Was Then” One of Her Beautiful Things (DE290)
It’s always a joy for me to see when someone is blessed with musical talent and then decides to share her blessings with others. I am very delighted to be joined today by a musician with a good heart - Megan Nadin!
Today we will have a glimpse of Megan’s life, music, and her debut album “This Was Then”. All the way from Thunder Bay, Canada, Megan moved to the music city last January. This emerging artist has a very unique and original sound, with her voice being her main instrument, it is a surprise to many that she only started her music career in 2017. Her mission is to change lives by being an honest and authentic voice to those in need and providing hope through altruistic platforms. This is very palpable to Megan’s life because she was a teacher before she pursued her career and passion for music.
Wanting her music to be so real, she masterfully uses lyrics and melody that help paint the picture of the story, Megan is lucky enough to work with some really great creatives in the industry. Producer/songwriter Johnny Black has helped her create a demo. From there, she has built it up with the producer, Keith Thomas, who has worked with incredible people like Whitney Houston and Amy Grant. With this wonderful team, the production is stellar. The brilliance of how it was crafted around the subtleties of Megan’s voice is very evident.
Weight loss journey
Megan is not only an inspiration in her music career but also her weight loss journey. She has lost 61 pounds! Knowing family and friends with medical conditions, and wanting to be around for a really long-time inspired Megan to make sure that she has a healthy body and mind. She apprenticed to be a chef for two years and started making her meals from scratch. It did not happen in an instant.
It also helped that Megan is surrounded by strong and empowering women helping her not to view her weight as a struggle. As an artist, she wants us to stand up for who we are as people. That it’s all about a good mindset and how people treat themselves.
Inspirations behind her songs
Beautiful Things was written when her friend gifted her the Rumours album by Fleetwood Mac. Megan and her friend were talking about the success and everything good that came from the album, but the band was suffering as a group. Unexpectedly, the lyrics came out from her mouth: “it's crazy that some of the most beautiful things come together when things are falling apart, like the sweetest song written by a broken heart”. While the album inspired the main lyric, the actual verses are built upon a series of journal entries written down by Megan.
Heart of a Lion was Megan’s first opportunity to work with the producer, Keith Thomas. It was her first writing session with Keith, and he just started playing the piano and Megan began singing into the air. Voila! Lyrics and melodies are coming out, and the song was created within that day. This has set the precedence of their future projects together. In fact, he ended up being the executive producer of this new album.
The song was influenced by the notes that Keith was playing. It painted a picture in Megan’s head where she envisioned a person that had it all together but deep down, this person is falling apart.
The Joker was literally from the movie “Joker”. The movie unmasked and unveiled a lot of the things people deal with in society. She was so moved and inspired that she was able to write the song in one night. She painted the life of this beautiful person who had been jaded and treated unfairly.
Learn more about Megan
Get to know more about Megan’s life, music, and even blogs by visiting her website. Her songs are also available on different streaming platforms listed below.
4:40 Transition from Thunder Bay, Canada to Nashville
6:31 Listen to “Beautiful Things” by Megan Nadin
13:14 Production process
Into the life of Cory Singer, On music and being in the higher end of the spectrum
Let’s welcome for the second time on the Dharmic Evolution, full-fledged singer/songwriter, musician, and theatre performer, Cory Singer!
What’s new with Cory?
Cory hopped on the bandwagon and started his own TikTok account with music and funny content. People started noticing him when he uploaded a video talking about autism, specifically Asperger’s disorder or high functioning autism. With the unexpected turn of events, he got many views, likes, and even questions from parents with kids who are also on The Spectrum. Cory then started putting out more content talking about what it’s like being on the higher end of the spectrum, his interests, and also the things that bother him.
His videos inspired a lot of people making them realize that they are not alone anymore and that there are others who are going through the same situation. Cory shared that this was also true to him back when he was in high school. Luckily, he has a best friend, who also has Asperger’s disorder - he has been with him even when they were students and now considers him as his brother. He highly believes that kids on the spectrum should have a safe space to talk and relate with people for them to be assured that they are not alone. Aside from his inspirational videos, Cory also uploads funny skits to make people laugh and brighten their day.
As a theatrical performer
We can recall on Cory’s past guest appearance in our podcast where his mom shared that certain people are trying to convince him to change his style of voice, but Cory stuck to his guns and grew comfortably to his own skin. He believes that in this superficial society where everybody is trying to fit in, he still chooses to be remembered by sticking out and being different. His voice is basically his brand; this led him to great opportunities especially with being part of theatre shows.
Becoming a theatrical performer has always been a dream of Cory’s. He loved watching movies and seeing productions. He got his first break when he was in grade school, and landed all the lead roles during high school. He also joined the American reality competition on Bravo called “The Kandi Factory” which sparked his interest in songwriting.
As a songwriter
For Cory, the best songs happen when he’s inspired, specifically in the evenings when he is finished working his two jobs, and he can be “in the moment” to write good songs.
In addition to being a singer, songwriter, and theatre actor, Cory is also a fulltime warehouse worker and part-timer at a local deli. He does not want to be stagnant and keeps himself busy particularly during these times when theatres and other venues for artists are shut down due to the pandemic.
Journey to becoming fit and healthy
Staying in shape is very important for singers. Cory used to be overweight, weighing in at 220 lbs! But was motivated by a songwriter in Nashville to change his lifestyle and start his journey to becoming fit. He lost 70 lbs and has maintained his weight by watching what he eats and working out.
Learn more about Cory
Get to know more about Cory, his music, theatre performances, and TikTok videos through the links below.
Stories behind some of his songs
“Everybody Sing” – This song was written in thirty (30) minutes. It is about personal freedom and everything that is happening in the world at the moment when Cory wrote this song.
“Blind in Love” – This was produced by Wes Edmunds (Wyclef Jean’s producer)
“Goodbye Felicia” – This song is the closest to Cory’s personality. It came from the term “bye Felicia”. Cory heard this from his mom when she was dealing with a specific person and she kept saying that term, so he decided to write a song about it.
“Girl”- This is stemmed from his mom encouraging him to write a romantic song because he usually writes dark and depressing songs. It is
The Ivey’s, Family And Music, Born To Be Creative!
With 10 years and counting of making music together, let’s get to know more about the humble beginnings, struggles, and successes of the wild sibling group – The Ivey’s!
I am joined by 4 out of 5 members of the band, unfortunately, Hugo (lead guitarist and banjo player) can’t make it today. But I am delighted to be graced by the presence of Jessica, Jenna, Galen, and Arlen here on the show.
With seven kids in the family and five of them in the group, their other sibling Julia, used to be part of the band as well, and their oldest brother Shannon is into farming, it is very evident that the family loves music so much. Their interest in music started with their dad who they always hear singing while they are growing up. Their dad also exposed them to trying different vocal harmony lines; eventually, they individually learned to play musical instruments - Jessica with piano, Arlen on guitar, Galen took drum lessons, and so from there, everything evolved into the music that they have today.
To keep the creative flow going, the siblings put a lot of time and effort into discussing, planning everything out meticulously, and establishing the goals ahead of time, even scheduling the days when they have to go to the studio for recording. Luckily, they’ve got a studio a couple of miles away from where they live, and they consider this their second home. It is called Sonic Ranch Studios located in Tornillo, Texas. Over the years, they have gotten to know a lot of different musicians and artists who they’ve got the opportunities to do a collaboration with. One of them is Jerry Ordonez, a fantastic music engineer who co-produced their last two projects, Leslie Johnson played the bass for some of the recordings, Michael Ways recorded cello with them and many other musicians.
Democracy of siblings in a band
As with all relationships, disagreements cannot be avoided, especially with The Ivey's because not only are their siblings but bandmates as well. Their mindset is really to try to be always focused on their goals and continue moving forward, always trying to remember that it’s not one person against the other. It’s more about having different ideas and coming together for the best possible option. They will always be a family and have each other.
Get to know more about the members of The Ivey’s:
Galen is the drummer of the band; he graduated just last December with a film major. “Running Wild” is one of the first music videos he directed with his siblings. He is now in charge of the music video direction and post-production.
Jenna is 23 years old, graduated just last semester with a degree in theatre arts. She was helping the band to write songs even before she joined. She usually collaborates with Arlen when conceptualizing and writing songs, and works with Galen when filming their music videos.
Arlen tagged Jessica along when he needed a pianist and a singer. At first, they were just doing cover songs together, then Arlen started bringing in original music, and the rest is history. When Jenna and Galen joined the band, and the group recorded “Colors of Honey”, layers upon layers, getting down the piano, guitar, vocals, and hearing it all together, was when Jessica had this epiphany that these have brought The Ivey’s sound to where it needed to be and completed it.
He is the second among the seven Ivey siblings. He is the guitarist, “road manager”, and one of the songwriters of the band. Jenna and Arlen have written songs together; they sometimes write songs out of dreams, sometimes they work together and lead each other to a path, and it fits well. Something magical can happen with songwriters that are connected to each other and constantly working together. Arlen is not only the “spokesperson” of the group but he is also in charge of the bookings and schedules of
Fingerstyle Guitar Extraordinaire Tim Farrell
Join me as we take a ride today from Nashville to Pennsylvania with the musician, recording and performing artist, composer, educator, and finger-style guitar connoisseur, Tim Farrell.
Shifting the conversation on mental health with Mary Albertoli
Mary Albertoli is a former clinical social worker who is on a mission to execute actionable solutions to help individuals struggling with mental health problems. She has a Degree in Social Work from Columbia University and has practiced for 12 years, specializing in counseling children, adolescents, and young adults suffering from mental illness.
Even though she left the counseling profession, Mary kept up with the news and statistics in the industry. With shocking numbers of a 56% jump in suicide rates, coupled with school shootings and drug overdoses, Mary knew that something had to be done in order to help the youth population from continuing on the path of self-destruction.
Having worked with both individuals and group session clients between the age of 10-24, Mary knows first hand from experience that individuals in this age group don’t tend to open up a lot.
A lot of youth go through mental problems, but because this isn’t a popular topic in society, they end up feeling either disgraced or ashamed of these new feelings, and instead of talking things out, they instead act out.
Social media in current times has only acted to catalyze the rate at which young adults experience loneliness, depression, and social anxiety.
A lot of teenagers using social media end up experiencing ‘splintered identity’ A phenomenon in which teenagers report feeling very good and inspired about one post and feeling the total opposite in the next post.
This has made them disconnect from their true and authentic self, further isolating themselves, and going through more suffering.
Handling depression when growing up.
Growing up back in the day, it was very unpopular for guardians to help you through tough mental problems. A lot of these issues were merely swept under the carpet - as you’re told to ‘power through the pain’
This has proven to expose unhealed wounds of the past that need to be catered to. The pain that you powered through is the reason for your current suffering. And it can only be solved by having open and genuine conversations about your feelings surrounding the traumatic experience, and how it has affected you.
Mary was able to handle the mental pain and depression that she suffered as a child in her adult life.
Having faced the demons in her closet, Mary was inspired to help others accomplish the same. And this is the inspiration behind ‘The Shift’ - A platform where individuals can connect with counselors, peers, and other individuals, to share issues they’re going through without the fear of feeling judged or condemned.
Mary now hopes that the platform can evolve to be a diverse tool with resources that help all demographics in working through their mental problems.
In conclusion, remember to always live in the present moment, because nothing is more important than life itself. Be loving, kindful, and generous to your neighbor, especially in these fraudulent times, because we’re all going through something, and the only way out, is by supporting each other.
Text hello to the crisis hotline 741741 and a counselor will discreetly attend to you.
“It’s easy to think that you’re alone in life when you’re isolated, this coupled with the pandemic facto is why so many people are going through depression right now. And when humans suffer, they only isolate more.” - Mary on the quiet loop of depression
“A lot of young adults are embarrassed by their mental issues because this isn’t something they’re accustomed to. The shift is about changing the conversation so that these individuals can know that they’re not alone, and what they’re going through is normal.”
“The important thing to remember is that nothing is permanent, things change, and they’re still changing on a daily basis. Something better will eventually come - How to cope with the current pandemic”