Candy Lee Prepares for Live Tour

Candy Lee Prepares for Live Tour
Courtesy Photo Candy Lee

Courtesy Photo
Candy Lee reached her kickstarter goal of $5,000 to buy a travel trailer so she can make and play music across the U.S. full-time.

There’s just something sweet about the Fayetteville singer-songwriter, Candy Lee.

Her voice and music likens to a silkier Regina Spektor, with quirkiness and serenity balanced in the feel of the music. It feels angelic in a whole, and the harmonies at work in the music evoke the music of 1950s harmony groups.

A big musical influence for Lee stylistically is jazz. Growing up in a musical family, she spent a lot of her time at her grandmother’s jewelry and clock shop and she would have jazz music playing on the radio. Her grandfather was in a jazz band, too.

While Lee’s music isn’t exclusively one type of musical genre, she said her songwriting has been a reflection of her mentality as she’s grown up.

“It’s just a constant evolution I guess,” Lee said. “I started writing music when I was in middle school, and I used to write about really silly things like boys, and I just read some of mine from a journal that I had in middle school and I was just like oh god, I was obsessed with that kind of stuff. I guess the content of my music evolved with my own personal thought process and learning over the years.”

When it comes time to sit down and write a song, Lee said she tends to write the lyrics and vocal melody simultaneously.

“It’s different for every song. For some, when it’s being written I can hear the horns or strings, but a lot of the time it starts with the vocals and the guitar comes later. I definitely write the vocal patterns while I write the lyrics. I never write the lyrics first and then the vocal pattern. The melodies stick in my head, they never really leave.”

Lee has been playing the area for six years. Originally from Florida, she eventually got to a point where she realized she needed to move and get out of town, because her home town didn’t offer her much for independent musicians.

Based on a friend’s recommendation, she visited Fayetteville and fell in love with the scenery and the community.

“The music community here is amazing and welcoming,” Lee said. “It really kept me here. It’s been awesome.”

Check out an Exclusive Performance of Candy Lee’s “Bang My Drum”

Jeff Kearney from the 1 Oz. Jig booked Lee’s first show at the Green Door at what were then called the Skinny Squinty shows. She was a newcomer from out of town, but Kearney took a shot with her. The best part, Lee met her mandolin player, Warren Dietzel that night. She never really had to fight her way into the music scene, she said.

Now, Lee has reached her kickstarter goal for raising enough money to take her music on the road full-time. The goal of $5,000 is for a travel trailer was met, so she’ll be able to have a temporary mobile home she can live out of while on the road.

Some of the rewards from funding the kickstarter include hand-made beanies, house shows and “Candygrams” where Lee will bring a loved one flowers and chocolates and sing them songs.

Lee will be touring solo without The Sweets for logistical reasons, but she has experience doing solo tours. She will be with her husband and dogs to keep her company, though. The first leg is in Missouri, where she’s planned to hit up Kansas City and Lawrence, Kan. After that, she’s headed to Colorado and working westward from there.

At the end of the day, the connection listeners get to her music is what keeps her motivated and inspired to keep making music.

“The coolest thing is when people really connect with the lyrics. When people say hey that line you wrote, I really connected with that or I never thought about it that way,” Lee said. “One person told me my album helped them get through a rough period in their life. I’m hoping that my music is a source of inspiration and healing for people.”

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