Q and A with Tidal Detroit $1 Million Grant Program Contest Winners.......
Raye Williams, Olivia Millerschin, Emma Guzman, Laurie Love and Sam Austin
September 17, 2019
Senior Writer: Kamilah McLeod
Detroit musicians Raye Williams, left, Olivia Millerschin,
Emma Guzman, Laurie Love and Sam Austins
What was your reaction to the news that you were selected as a finalist for Tidal?
Raye Williams -- I was very surprised, a 60 second video submission through Instagram got me here. So I am super thankful and very emotional.
Olivia Millerschin – I was very shocked, I submitted the video and I forgot about it, but once I got the call I called my family and this is a huge honor to be repping Detroit.
Emma Guzman – I was very shocked and surprised. I wasn’t sure how to feel because they played a joke on me – making me think I didn’t win, but after that I cried because I was happy and honored that they choose me.
Laurie Love – I was very surprised, because my submission was done at the last minute with getting the band together, but through the ups and down, I made it.
Sam Austins – I was excited. Just to know that my work ethics and the quality of the work paid off. It’s a blessing that people will be able to see you as an artist.
2. What are your plans for the grant money?
Raye Williams – Being from Belleville, MI. I was a 1 man show, so this will give me freedom to record plus having a team to do videos. I will longer have to spend time editing. I will have resources to create.
Olivia Millerschin – I’m actually going to LA tomorrow for 1 ½ week to work with some dream producers. I will have funding, time, and marketing. I will also take vocal, opera and piano lessons to perfect my craft.
Emma Guzman – I will be able to record new music, and take courses to become a better musician and songwriter. I want to do things to elevate my career.
Laurie Love – I will do things to become a better artist, use the resources to work with the best producers, songwriters, and coaches to help with performing.
Sam Austins – I will be able to elevate my art to another level. I will be able to push boundaries, travel, and record with new artist and work with dope producers. I want to able to be in the right place with right connections.
3. How has life changed for you since you have won the Tidal contest?
Raye Williams – Well it’s been on the down low for 3 months, but now that it’s out the last 36 hours have been a whirlwind. I felt pressure, excitement, and I’m ready for the spotlight. I’ve been seeing the comments on social media and I’m ready to rep Detroit.
Olivia Millerschin – I’ve been writing more and focusing on the music so we can pick the right 3 songs for our album. Since I was 18 years old, I have been working as a full time musician.
Emma Guzman – I have been extremely busy. I’m still in high school. I have been spending time in the studio, and mingling with people in the industry.
Laurie Love – I have doing more to get out of my comfort zone. I’m not really into change but change is good and I’m totally grateful.
Sam Austins – I feel like I have more options, more freedom, more pathway, more time, and more opportunities.
4. Do you feel that your time of preparation in the music industry have landed you in this grant program?
Raye Williams – It has been a lot of twist and turns in the preparation for this moment.
I have been actively pursuing music since I was 12 years old. I moved from Belleville, Michigan to Nashville, Tennessee at 17 to get my foundation. Moving back to Michigan was in a way admitting defeat. But this homecoming back to Belleville was truly an Act of God and a blessing. I learned a lot of the business down south but if I had not moved back I would not had qualified for an opportunity like this.
Olivia Millerschin – This has been a winding road, and I have been pursuing music since I was 7 and I had my first show at 15. I have done reality TV show, but if I had not had the years of experience I know for a fact I would not have been ready for this exposure and experience.
Emma Guzman – I have been active in the music industry since I was 11, and my dad took me to plenty of open mics, bars, workshops, and I have released 2 albums. I knew one day that all my hard work would pay off and plus I stay on humble street.
Laurie Love – I have been writing songs since I was 14, I performed on American Idol, and learning by trial and error has helped me. I also took a break to live.
Sam Austins – Time for the vision to manifest, know the business, experience and learn all you can.
5. Do you have any advice for anyone who is trying to follow their dreams in the music industry?
Raye Williams – Be prepared for rejection. Be strong and get thick skin. Have the attitude when you know, you know. I hope my story can give people to truly pursue their dreams regardless, and follow your heart no matter what.
Olivia Millerschin – Play as many shows, know yourself on and off the stage. Check your intentions. Be in the music for just that and not for the benefits and perks that it brings.
Emma Guzman – Find people who are truly supportive and who will help you to grow. You want people who will be honest and be able to take critical criticism. Be passionate about your craft.
Laurie Love – Stay true to yourself! Keep believing in yourself regardless if people get with you or not. Remember it’s your creativity.
Sam Austins – Do not sell your soul. Do not sell out. Stay true to your integrity. Be you and stay unique. Push your art and be creative. Last by not least do your best at all times.