Tinsel Korey

“Show your light.”


Songwriter’s Monthly - April ’11, #135


Eye Behold Photography

There is an intensity in Tinsel Korey’s eyes. Even when she is relaxed, the pensive tilt of her graceful dark brow, the subtle tightening of her lower eyelids, and the reflective stare that

Dushku and Zach Galifianakis. She’s been working steadily ever since. Unfortunately, the endless hours of filming do not leave the songwriter much time to pursue her craft. “Acting has definitely gotten in the way of music,” she agreed. But not in a way she regrets. Korey is a storyteller and she thrives on telling her stories through any medium available to her. “People are always asking, ‘If you could pick one or the other, which one would you pick?’ But to me, it’s like back in old Hollywood, you had to do everything. At the end of the day, no matter what medium I’m working in, it’s all just storytelling.” However, Tinsel acknowledged that her music has been tugging at her with a little bit more insistence lately. “Music has just been sitting on the back burner for so long. Every time I’ve tried to put

“I’m a storyteller, I observe what’s going on in the world and I pull from that.”
seems to penetrate more inward than out suggest this multi-talented artist is in a perpetual state of rumination. In other words, there’s always something running through her mind. “This is very, very true,” Tinsel confirmed with a charged L.A. vitality brightening her voice. “I’m definitely a cerebral person. I think I have insomnia most days because my brain just doesn’t have the ‘off’ switch. I wish I could find it, but I don’t know where it is. So, yeah, I’m definitely a thinker.” “And art is my therapy,” she continued. “If I’m going through something and I can’t sketch or I can’t play music, it’s like I’m suffocating because I don’t know what to do with those emotions. Performing is a release for me, as well. It’s very cathartic.” Don’t let the unmarred flesh throw you, you already know this young woman. Tinsel Korey plays Emily Young in the phenomenon known as THE TWILIGHT S A G A . T i n s e l ’s f i r s t p r o f e s s i o n a l television role was in 2003 on FOX’s T RU C ALLING which starred Eliza Songwriter’s Monthly - April ’11, #135

“If I’m going through something and I can’t sketch or I can’t play music, it’s like I’m suffocating because I don’t know what to do with those emotions.”
out a CD, I’ve booked an acting job . . . which is good, but I want to do music. I just spoke with my manager and I said, ‘I need some time to do music and to http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

elaborated, “I’ve done acting for so long that, unless I find the perfect role, it can become tedious. I find so much material that has come my way is not something that excites me. Right now, music is where my energy is going.” But what is it about music that has such an allure for Korey? “It’s the one place that I can go where I can . . . where I can b e m y s e l f,” s h e confided. “When people ask me, ‘What kind of music do you write?’ I always answer, ‘Soul music.’ Not in the sense of James Brown, but more like that’s where it comes from.”

concentrate fully on it because I’m always being pulled away from it.’ I think it’s just about me saying, ‘Hey, I have to put this in the foreground for a second.’” “A t t h i s p o i n t i n m y l i f e ,” s h e Songwriter’s Monthly - April ’11, #135

Tinsel’s current single, “Letter,” is a breathy, soul-searching ballad about finding the resolve to move on from an unhealthy relationship. The lyrics are boldly intimate while the melody encourages inner strength. Korey’s skill as a writer is even more impressive than her ability to engage an audience and draw them completely into a story. When asked what she went through http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Eye Behold Photography

that made her write “Letter,” Tinsel song, there was truth in it — it might revealed, “A lot of my songs are not not be what I was going through, but it necessarily what I am going through. was the truth of the situation.” Sometimes, for example, in order to u n d e r s t a n d t h e o t h e r p e r s o n ’ s “I know this is Songwriter’s Monthly,” perspective in a Korey furthered, “but I relationship, I’ll write believe acting also “In acting, you’re helps you through the songs as the other person and not as writing process. Every taking a truth of myself so it gives me a should yourself and you’re single person class at grasp, fully, on what take an acting the situation is rather least once because it pushing it to the than just being selfish helps you get in tune limit.” and thinking about it with yourself. I started from my perspective. a Tumblr page [http:// ‘Letter’ was actually written after I tinselkorey.tumblr.com] and I put all my found out that my friend was going acting classes [101 to 401] that I’ve through a domestic violence situation. I written out for people who want to get wrote it from her perspective in the into acting on there. A lot of people sense of what I thought should happen: have asked me how to get into the s h e s h o u l d wa l k away f r o m t h e business, so I’ve just kind of written it situation because love doesn’t hurt. The out. Its my personal experience.” song is also a reflection of just the relationship in general: sometimes you Despite the many focuses Tinsel has in can try your hardest [and it still doesn’t her life and her career, every interview, work out]. So, there were lots of every story you can find about her, different levels. It wasn’t about my eventually leads back to one thing: personal experience, I took different TWILIGHT. elements and thought about everything that was going on and that’s where that “That’s because TWILIGHT is so hot song came from.” right now,” she commented. “I get it and I love being a part of this film and The performance is so emotional and this cast and getting to meet the fans convincing, it’s hard to believe Tinsel and all of that stuff! But I do have a didn’t extract the lyrics directly from career . . . I had a career before this. her own private diary. There’s more to me than meets the eye, I guess?” “I’m a storyteller,” she reminded. “I observe what’s going on in the world When asked if she’d even want the and I pull from that. It bums me out magnitude of attention TWILIGHT has when people are like, ‘Oh, actors are placed on her acting career directed just really good liars.’ In acting, you’re towards her music, the artist replied, taking a truth of yourself and you’re “Of course! I want people to hear my pushing it to the limit, so even with this music. There are so many artists who Songwriter’s Monthly - April ’11, #135 http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

think when they are underground or independent that they are not allowed to have success. Don’t you want to be a

“When you are able to open your heart and show your light, it allows other people to do the same thing.”
paid artist so that you can do more and possibly create more opportunities for other artists who are coming up? Artists who think that money is evil or it totally takes away their street cred . . . that’s insanity. At the end of the day, you need to put food on the table. So, of course, I would love lots of people to be able to hear my music!” “But do I want the fame side of it?” she asked herself. “I’m not interested in fame. I want people to see the art, but I don’t want them to see all the material stuff with it, you know? That’s the struggle with me getting something like T WILIGHT which is so big, sometimes people miss the small things because it is so grand. A lot of my fans have noticed the small things I am doing, but it’s been work: ‘Hey, pay attention to this! I’m doing something else.’” In closing, Korey brought up something she believes is an unspoken responsibility that

artists have: “When you are able to open your heart and show your light, it allows other people to do the same thing rather than us all just sort of going through the motions of life. Especially with the internet and social media, that disconnect is there, you almost don’t know how to be human anymore. When songwriters allow themselves to just be free and have those emotions, I think it allows other people to recognize the humanity in themselves, as well.” It’s not likely that you’ll have much trouble locating more information on Tinsel, but if you want to visit some of her official sites, start here: www.tinselkorey.com http://www.twitter.com/tinselkorey http://tinselkorey.tumblr.com www.youtube.com/tinselkoreytv

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Songwriter’s Monthly - April ’11, #135


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