Normally the first Monday of the month would be dedicated to introducing you to a future Women in Entertainment member. Unfortunately this month, I was unable to obtain the information needed for my selected honoree, so we will continue with our regular series. Next up to be spotlighted is the other half of California Country records, the undeniably talented Kirsten Proffit, a premier musician, songwriter and producer, and one-third of the hugely incredible Calico the band.
“Brash yet sweet, powered by love, passion, pain, and loss, Kirsten Proffit’s songs connect with listeners on a level far deeper than most of today’s singer-songwriters,” says her official bio, and believe me, it’s not hyperbole! I have known her for quite a few years, and she has impressed me with her professionalism, her talents and her drive during the entire time.
I was first introduced to her when I was working with the Orange County Music Awards (OCMA), heading up the live acoustic performance competition. With a sound that is a combination of the songwriting talent of Joni Mitchell and the musical abilities of Sheryl Crow, she wowed the Gypsy Den audience and impressed the judges panel and walked away with a win in the “Best Female Artist” category.
The judges were not the only ones impressed by this rising star, as she also impressed producer Bruce Witkin (Vanessa Paradis, Johnny Depp), who worked with Proffit on her debut album, Lucky Girl, an album that delves into the often turbulent world of relationships. It resulted in two singles, “Something I Can’t Be” and “Redemption Day,” both of which received their fair share of radio airplay across the country.
Not only did Proffit’s music impress radio’s program directors and fans, it also began to move music supervisors, who placed her music in such shows as Friday Night Lights, Dawson’s Creek, Smallville and The Osbournes, and included them on the DVD soundtracks of Felicity and Party of Five. This in turn led to a placement in Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, a movie featuring legendary Saturday Night Live comedian and director Martin Short, who used three of Proffit’s songs, including the movie’s theme song.
Setting aside the obvious skills exhibited in her recorded music, what truly sets Proffit apart from her contemporaries is her ability to craft amazing live performances, which came in handy when she appeared on such nationally syndicated radio shows as “The Dick and Skibba Show” and the “Frosty, Heidi & Frank” show (broadcast from LA’s 97.1 KLSK). Using songs from Lucky Girl, Proffit won the station’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” competition, resulting in her selection to perform at their songs Birthday Bash Concert.
What inspires her? “I am totally inspired by honesty in songwriting and performances. Anything that is true is great to me and I try not to get hung up on what is cool or trendy. I want to make people feel something when they hear my songs. A song is a great opportunity to say something – – good, bad or otherwise – – and really make a point,” she said. “I just want to make my point in the coolest, most musical way possible.”
Prior to hooking up with Manda Mosher to form Calico the band, Proffit shared the stage with several high-profile artists, including Duncan Sheik, Paula Cole, and the Steve Miller Band, and was chosen by Fender for an endorsement deal, which led to her performance on their stage at the 2013 NAMM Show.
Where does Proffit go from here? “I am planning on continuing with Calico the band, finishing our upcoming record and putting it out in spring. I am also continuing to produce other artist’s records with my partner Steve Berns and putting out records via California Country Records, the label that Manda Mosher and I started. We will see how it goes, but it looks like there might be a California Country compilation in our future – – there are some great Americana artists on this side of the country and we would love to put something together that represents what is happening on the west coast right now.”
For more information about this amazing artist, check out her website and Facebook pages, follow her on Twitter and subscribe to her YouTube channel.