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Vanessa Carlton Talks the Influence of Stevie Nicks

Music

Vanessa Carlton Talks the Influence of Stevie Nicks

Vanessa Carlton recently opened up in an interview with Forbes about the current progression of her career, and what being close to Stevie Nicks has meant for her both personally and professionally.

Vanessa was one of those artists that happened to have a major hit on her hands from day one. “A Thousand Miles” was her first single and undoubtedly the largest of her career. The song landed in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002, helping her go platinum on her very first album Be Not Nobody. The musician has continued to release music since, without the same level of commercial success, but still to critical acclaim.

But these days it seems like the indie vibe is something that she is actually seeking more of. Her last tour ended in March and featured Troubadour performances from her ten-track album Liberman Live. The piano and the vocals are still there as strong as ever, but the sound is a bit more raw, layered, and well, matured. Not that she can ever completely leave her hit single behind. Vanessa has admitted that she’s “sure as hell tired of singing ‘A Thousand Miles,’” but that she chooses to start her shows with that to get it out of the way and open things up for what’s to come.   

“I look at that song as if it has its own career, separate from me almost. That song belongs to the people so I give it to them. I’m not a nostalgic artist where I’m trying to rest on a catalog that’s behind me because I didn’t really start making the kind of projects I can get behind until I left the major labels.”

As for where she seeks out advice when she needs it, that comes from Stevie Nicks.

“I’ve known Stevie since 2004. She was there holding my hand with me when I had my baby. There are some unusual situations that I end up in that I can’t look up in the library how to get through them, sometimes I have to call Stevie. It’s a very interesting life that we lead sometimes. I feel very lucky to have a mentor like her.”

She went on to explain how that sort of influence has impacted her.

“I think that grace is important. I learned that a lot from friends and the people in my life who are truly successful are happy and they’re happy because they’re constantly humble and they don’t believe the hype. They’re just trying to do better work and they’re graceful, empathetic and kind. I think those are all keys to having a successful career no matter what category of career you are in.”

In addition to being a mentor, Stevie seems to be a pretty close friend. The star actually officiated the wedding when Vanessa married musician John McCauley in 2013. As for whether the two women will ever end up collaborating on a project, Vanessa answered affirmatively in 2015.

“Oh, totally. Creatively, Stevie’s very vibrant. She’s always moving forward and, like, who knows what her next move will be? But she knows I’m always down. Obviously she’s such a wonderful person and artist, so who knows? Timing, it’s totally about timing.”

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Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of genres. Her experience spans blogging, creative writing, screenwriting, and journalism for digital and print magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Find her on social media @KateFerg

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