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Wee Chat with John Craigie – Singer-Songwriter

John Craigie

In this Wee Chat we talk to John Craigie, singer-songwriter musician.
John describes music as a “necessary expression” and a great release. He goes onto talk introspectively about his thoughts and feelings about his performances, how he reads the audience, copes with nerves and the joy it clearly brings him to be on the road and live and breathe his music.
Being in the present moment is a key aspect for his successful performances and something we know is important for many other top performers.

This was a really fascinating wee chat and we hope you love it as much as we did chatting to John Craigie.

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Check out for more information about John Craigie.

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Wee Chat with Gwendolyn Mok – Pianist

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In this Wee Chat we talk to Dr. Gwendolyn Mok, a world renowned pianist and current Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at San Jose State University School of Music and Dance.  She is a New York native who loves playing the piano and learning about their history as well.  Her passion for performing has rewarded and allowed her to perform on various stages around the world. In this chat she talks about the mental side of being a professional pianist and performer.  Gwen mentions how preparation is important to her along with her pre-performance routine which at times can include a pan! Listen to her also discuss the similarities and differences between athletes and musicians. Enjoy this Wee Chat with Gwendolyn Mok.

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Wee Chat with Steve Poltz – Musician

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In this Wee Chat we talk to Steve Poltz, a Canadian born singer and songwriter.  We have all at one point or another probably heard one of his songs on TV or the radio as his songs have been amongst the longest running ever on the Billboard Top 100 and they regularly appear in movie soundtracks, television shows, and even the odd commercial. He talks to us backstage before a gig at Slim’s in San Francisco about the mental side of being a professional musician.  He mentions how he prefers to have uncertainty rather than a set playlist for his shows and with no routines.  This transfers to his shows where the crowd, along with him, do not know what to expect; he only relies on what is in his control, which is the music. This is an excellent skill that we love working on with performers.  He makes each show unique in order to keep things spontaneous for himself and the audience.  Listen to how he credits his success to the positive thinking that was taught to him by his father, this is a great example for us interested in mental skills for performance. This Wee Chat was a lot of fun, so enjoy listening to Steve Poltz’s brilliance and his many stories!

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Wee Chat with Sam Chase – Musician

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In this Wee Chat we talk to Sam Chase from The Sam Chase band fame. Sam is a San Francisco native who talks about how important the audience is for a performer and how they form a reciprocal relationship. He covers his views on how failure is not necessarily bad and is sometimes necessary in life. He also discusses how he prepares for his shows, which is a very interesting listen indeed! For fans of his music, we also asked him about his love of bones in his songs. So join us on this for this Wee Chat that took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

As mentioned on their website, “The Sam Chase has a voice like a Nun on the lam with a mouthful cigarettes and curse words in a lonely bar, drunkenly dancing next to a broken jukebox. His songs are scribbled, not written, on lipstick and sweat stained motel bedsheets because he likes the way the ink bleeds. His guitar runs on diesel and leaks like the morning after too much Whiskey. His is a show you’ll probably want to tattoo on your body so everyone will know that you knew him before he was cool.”

Sam and his band hail from San Francisco, California Sam and his band, whom he lovingly refers to as The Untraditional, have been on this musical journey for many years now. In 2012, came the release of their long awaited first studio album, THE SAM CHASE WILL LEAD US TO VICTORY. It took the group all across these United States and back to their home in the Bay Area. The album was a hit and fans came calling for new music. So the band dove head first into writing and preparing a new album. In late May of 2013 THE SAM CHASE WILL NEVER DIE was released. Once again the band struck gold and produced a great album which was well received. As of the early hours of 2016, Sam and the band have gone back into the studio and laid down 13 brand new tracks. The new album “Great White Noise” is out now CLICK HERE TE BUY
Check out  for more information about Sam and his band.

Wee Chat with Catherine Arlidge – MBE, Violinist for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

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In this Wee Chat we talk to Catherine Arlidge, MBE. She is a violinist and presenter for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in England. Since starting to play the violin at the age of 5 Catherine has gone on to achieve many accolades throughout her career. In January 2016 Catherine was awarded a prestigious MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list, for services to music education. In her career she has started various programs to help use music as an educational outlet, whilst also continuing to play for the CBSO.

In her Wee Chat she talks about what it is like to work with some of the best conductors in the world, like Sir Simon Rattle, the difference between striving to be a top performer as a violinist versus being a team player in the collective of an orchestra, being an ambassador for some of the greatest art known to us, she also touches on what her 3 Ps of preparation are and she talks about what she does to counter nerves before performing. She discusses the excitement that music brings to her and especially being able to convey that to young audiences in her teaching. Check out for more information about Catherine and her work as a violinist.

Wee Chat with The Brothers Comatose – band



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In this Wee Chat, we talk to The Brothers Comatose, a “Fun folk/bluegrass/Americana rowdy string band with a party vibe” (their own description of themselves!). This is our first interview with a whole band (and the 18 month old Charlie helped out) and what fun it was! Over a cup of tea and some British biscuits, they talked about their secret to traveling together and still getting on, the difference between performing in small bars and bigger venues, what they do to warm up, the role of alcohol in performance, and how they get their game face on! Enjoy this Wee Chat with the brilliant and exciting Brothers Comatose.
If you would like to learn more about The Brothers Comatose and how to connect with them directly, check out for more information.


Wee Chat with Mike Seal, conductor

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In this Wee Chat, which took place backstage at the great Philharmonic Hall of Liverpool, Alison talks to Mike Seal, who is an Associate Conductor for the CBSO (the prestigious City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), and he also conducts for other top orchestras. Mike talks about how he gets the most from his players, how he helps them feel more confident, what mental training techniques he uses to help his “mental triggers”, how long it takes to learn a score and other fascinating stories. He includes lots of sporting analogies along the way, especially ones around the game of cricket, which is one of the loves of his life! If you would like to learn more about Mike’s background and how to connect with him directly, check out for more information. So enjoy this Wee Chat over a cup of tea with the brilliant Mike Seal.

Wee Chat with Ruby Biloskirka-Conley, musician



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In this Wee Chat Ruby Biloskirka-Conley talks about her training from a young age as a classical pianist and how her life has changed since becoming a touring musician with shows such as American Idol, The Voice and Disney, and now she works as the Social Media Curator and Artist Relation manager at Roland Corporation. In this Wee Chat she describes what life is like on the road and how having a professional attitude around all aspects of preparation is the key to success. She gives top tips on how to focus and what to do when nervous before performing. She talks about having a healthy and positive mindset for a sustainable career in the music business. If you would like to learn more about Ruby’s background, check out for more information. Enjoy this Wee Chat over a cup of tea and some shortbread with Ruby Biloskirka-Conley.


Wee Chat with Tess Henley, singer-songwriter


In this Wee Chat, the fabulous Tess Henley, singer-songwriter, describes her vibe, how much of her performances are mental games and how she mentally prepares for concerts; how she deals with nerves, how she focuses, plus the importance of social support in her life, and what soul really means to her.

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Soul singer-songwriter Tess Henley began Suzuki piano training at age three, and by age five was dissecting harmonies that even her mother – a singer by trade – found difficult. Multi-Grammy winning producer Don Was (Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt) recently selected Henley from over 10,000 performers as the winner of Guitar Center’s National Artist Discovery Program.

“She’s unlike any artist that’s out there now, a world class singer with a true gift” says Was. Billboard describes her music as a classy brand of soulful R&B that could hold up in any era of Was’ storied career.

Was produced Henley’s latest EP, “Wonderland”, tracked at Hollywood’s Henson Recording Studios (birthplace of celebrated projects like Carole King’s Tapestry and Joni Mitchell’s Blue). Acclaimed musicians included drummer James Gadson (Beck, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers), James Hutchinson on bass (Bonnie Raitt, BB King), guitarist Mark Goldenberg (Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt), Mike Finnigan on Hammond Organ (Jimi Hendrix, Michael McDonald), percussionist Michito Sanchez (Train, Aretha Franklin), string arranger Davide Rossi (Ed Sheeran, Coldplay) and Henley on keyboards, vocals and background vocals.

As Was describes the project, “Sometimes magic just happens, you can’t really legislate that. There’s no producer in the world who can make that happen. All you can do is try to set up a situation where if lightning strikes the room, you’ve got the tape rolling. And lightning struck. It was a really charmed session, and Tess was amazing, didn’t miss a note all day.”

Henley honed her live performance by opening for folks like Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton, while continuing to build her profile as a songwriter. She got to display those skills during her first national television performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in February where she performed a pair of songs from her EP, “Wonderland.” Henley’s songs have won over $100,000 in awards and honors over the last few years.* Henley recently wrapped an 18-city US/Canadian tour and will kick off her summer tour with Eric Hutchinson on July 22nd. (For tour information visit

To follow Tess on social media, go to and


*Independent Music Awards (Best R&B Song for Boy In The Window, Best Pop Song for Daydreaming), the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition, Show Me The Music Songwriting Contest (Grand Prize for Who Are You), and Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter III Grand Prize Winner for GoingBack.

Wee Chat with David Choi, musician

In this installment of Wee Chats with Brilliant People, David Choi, musician and songwriter, talks to Alison about what he does to prepare before a concert. This particular episode was recorded backstage about an hour before he performed in San Francisco in April 2015. He talks about mental strategies he uses, how an analytical mind can get in the way and how important his social support is. He reveals a couple of secrets even his die-hard fans don’t even know about him!


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David Choi is a native Los Angeles singer/songwriter/producer and former Warner Chappell Music staff writer whose songs and tracks have been heard on NBC, FOX, VH1, MTV, A&E, E!, Travel Channel, Style, PBS, Food Network, Disney, retail stores all over the world, as well as in national commercials overseas. He has worked with brands such as Kelloggs, Starburst, American Cancer Society, GE, YesStyle, Blue Microphones, Google, Toyota, Samsung, Hyundai and JC Penney. On YouTube, David has close to a million subscribers and over 125,000,000 total video views. He has been interviewed by such notables such as Larry King (Larry King Now), Baek Ji Yeon from “People Inside” (Korea), and was recently invited to be a speaker at the prestigious Tedx in Orange County.

David has toured all over the world performing his original songs and covers in front of tens of thousands of people — all without being signed to a record label. He wrote and self produced all his albums “Only You”, “By My Side”, “Forever and Ever”, and most recently “Stories of You’s and Me”. His recent collaboration with Indonesian pop star Maudy Ayunda for the song “By My Side” hit #1 on the charts.

He continues to tour and share his music with people from all walks of life to every corner of the world.

To find out more about David and his music, check out his and follow him:,