XPoNential Artist Spotlight: Escaping the everyday with Jersey singer-songwriter Ginger Coyle - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Photo by J. Potenta

There is nothing ordinary about Ginger Coyle.  From her style as a vocalist to the lyrics in her songs, she shows us that creativity has been an innate thing for her ever since she was young.  She is proud to be making music here in the Philly scene (she lives just across the bridge in South Jersey) and is excited to take the XPoNential Music Festival stage this weekend.  This week, we swapped emails with Ginger to get to talk about blasting Billy Joel and Carole King, to get a taste of her new single “The Big Picture” and see who she’s excited for at XPoNential.

The Key: Who did you listen to growing up?

Ginger Coyle: As a product of the 80’s I recall liking The Police, The Bangles, Hall and Oates, and Cyndi Lauper – as a toddler I actually preferred watching MTV over children’s shows. The 90’s were a great time for music, and as a teen stuck on a farm in rural New Jersey, I would sit in my room and get lost in Tori Amos, Nirvana, Ani Difranco and Sublime. My dad would usually have The Doors or Billy Joel blasting when we would ride around in his truck and my mom would play a lot of Carole King while cleaning the house on the weekends, so I got doses of them as well.

TK: How would you describe the music scene here in Philadelphia?

GC: The Philadelphia music scene is ALIVE and it’s eclectic. I’ve been making music professionally for half of my life now, and having lived in several cities I can honestly say that this is a great place to be. Yes, there are a lot of artists in this town, but what I’ve seen that sets us apart is how we all come together and support each other. Another key element in the equation is the audience. Because of XPN there is a large group of listeners hungry for new local music all the time. Not only do these people come to shows, they come up to talk to you after you’re done playing and leave with your music in their hands. We are so blessed to have a station like this here in Philadelphia connecting the local artists to music lovers. I certainly do not take it for granted.

TK: What Philly artists have you collaborated with recently?  Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

GC:  The past year I’ve been focusing on finishing up writing with my next record, but have managed to stay in the studio lending my vocals other projects. Tom Hamilton and I recorded some stripped down versions of tunes from the American Babies collection. Those songs were released in April as an EP called Stark and Red. I’ve also done a fair share of back up singing for other artists like Kwesi K, Kuf Knotz, Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band, Katie Barbato, and Orion Freeman. The future is full of possibilities, I try to take opportunities as they come. Some of the work I do is done as barter… don’t be surprised if some of the names mentioned above appear in the credits of my next record. One hand most definitely washes the other!

TK: Who, in your opinion, is dominating the Philly music scene right now?

GC: I see artists in this city being presented with incredible opportunities everyday, so I wouldn’t say one band in particular is dominating. I feel that as a whole we are rising. We are being seen and heard and appreciated. The Districts are kinda killing it right now… Oh, and Chill Moody! That kid’s work ethic is ridiculous…

TK: When do you expect to release the new record? What is the inspiration?

GC: The new record is expected early first quarter of 2015. I’m going back and forth about the title of it the at the moment so I can’t announce that part just yet… The new tunes take a jazzier/funkier feel, but my lyrics are introspective and very conscious to the present state of the world we are living in. I wrote the record on my vintage yamaha CP-70 suitcase piano. So there’s a definite 70’s feel with us using that piano to record in the studio.

TK:  Are you “fan funding” to produce the new album?

GC: Internet begging is a strenuous and awkward process. I successfully  crowd funded my last record Homeward Bound via Kickstarter in 2011 and am so grateful for it because it got me off the ground and running. I tried again last summer to fund this current record and over-shot my goal. I feel like when I raised the money the first time I was one of the first people around here to do it. These days, my FB feed is flooded with artists, authors, photographers, inventors, and potato salad makers all trying to do the same. It’s neat because I get to support my friends in making their dreams a reality, but it makes me wonder if the general public is tiring of the constant passing of the hat. As right now I’m funding everything out of pocket. I may call upon fan funding when we are close to finishing things up to fund production, promotion and touring.

TK:  How will the second album be different than the first?

GC:  The new record is headed in a soul/funk/snazzy/jazzy direction. I’m producing it alongside Charlie Patierno who played on and produced Homeward Bound. “The Big Picture” is the first single and we chose to do it at Sine Studios for the mere fact that they have a Yamaha CP 80 electric suitcase piano. It’s amped and sounds pretty rad on the track!

TK: Who are you most excited to see at XPN Fest?

GC: I’m really looking forward to seeing Lake Street Dive again. I saw them play Johnny Brenda’s a few years back and was absolutely blown away. I am also jonesing to see Nicole Atkins live, and oh this guy Beck…I hear he’s pretty good.

Ginger Coyle plays the Marina Stage at 12:00 PM on Sunday. Visit the XPoNential website for the full festival line up, and check back in for more previews on artists playing this year’s festival.

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