Kandace Springs was recently signed to Blue Note Records after singing just one song for label president Don Was. Dubbed a “suave songstress” by the Wall Street Journal, the 23 year-old marries jazz, soul, hip-hop, and classic keys into a sound all her own. You can find her as “kandacesprings” on both Twitter and Facebook.
HOMETOWN: Nashville, Tennessee
HOW I DESCRIBE MY SOUND: Classic soul and jazz with a modern twist of hip-hop.
MUSICAL TRAINING: When I was ten years old, a close friend of my family fell on hard times and had to move. She had a very old upright piano and she asked if my Dad would keep it at our house until she got back on her feet. I heard the Beethoven song “Moonlight Sonata” and I started to try and play it on the piano. My Dad heard me and then started to show me how to play. After a while, he arranged for me to have lessons with the Wooten Brothers and also some basic classical training. About three years later, that friend came and took her piano back. I was so sad. Then a friend of my Mom’s gave us a Korg [digital] piano and to this day, it’s one of my favorite pianos to play.
FIRST GIGS: The Kids On Stage summer music/arts camp program, (kidsonstage.com), and playing with father’s Nashville soul band The Scat Band.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: My father, Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones, Nina Simone, and Erykah Badu.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Sade, Sam Smith, and Jhene Aiko.
MY BIG BREAK: When I was a teenager, Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken from SRP Records came to Nashville to check me out because a friend of my dad’s told them about me. They offered me a production deal, but I wasn’t ready at that time. Three years later after paying my dues (being a valet attendant during the day and playing at the lounge of the same hotel at night), I decided that I was ready. I called Evan and he answered the phone and said, “Are you ready to be star?” My other big break was when I auditioned for Don Was, the president of Blue Note Records at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. After playing one song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” he offered me a record deal.
LATEST ALBUM: Kandace Springs, my new EP, out now.
FAVORITE KEYBOARD GEAR: Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos plus Nord, Yamaha, and Korg keyboards.
WHAT’S NEXT: Performing on the Late Show with David Letterman and VH1 Soul, plus tours with Ne-Yo and Chance the Rapper.
ADVICE: Work hard, never give up and do what you love. The world likes originality. A lot of people will want to give you advice, so stay humble and listen. You might get something out of it, but in the end stay true to yourself.