By PAM KASEY ∙ firstname.lastname@example.org
KINGWOOD — A West Virginia girl is making a go of it in Nashville.
Kingwood native Morgan Kasprowicz has launched her career as a singer-songwriter with the limited release of a new, extended-play CD, "Two Ways".
Kasprowicz attributes some of her talent and inclination to her mother, Geri Kasprowicz, also a singer.
She started trying out for musicals in middle school. A director gave her some useful advice: Take voice lessons. She studied classical voice while continuing to perform in musicals through her years at Preston High School.
At the same time, she'd written poetry and studied piano as a child and, at the encouragement of her mother, tried her hand at song writing.
Her experience at the Governor's School for the Arts in her sophomore year emboldened her to take it all more seriously.
"I guess, before that, I didn't realize it was something that was available to me or a viable option," she said. "I think sophomore year was the first time I got a lead in a play and basically between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I decided I'm going to do this — this is what I really want to do."
She began training to audition for Belmont University in Nashville — a school she described as similar to the respected Berklee College of Music in Boston, but one of the few places, she said, to study pop, jazz, or country rather than classical voice.
"I got in and pretty much since then it's been all music, all voice, all the time," she said.
Kasprowicz describes her musical style as a hybrid of folk, jazz and pop, heavily influenced by Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman.
"Lyrics are a major focus, and I like to find chord progressions that take your ears to unexpected places," she said.
"Vocally, I steal a lot from Sarah Vaughan; I love the darkness, the heaviness, the fullness of her voice, and those are vocal qualities that are missing in a lot of current popular female voices," she added. "I have a dark, heavy voice, and I don't try to hide it. I love to sing big. I love to sing full. If it's brash, it's intentional."
Kasprowicz teaches voice in Nashville.
And recently, with friends, she recorded "Two Ways", her first album. She released it in a limited way at a show in Kingwood in April and is making it more broadly available on her website, http://morgankasprowiczmusic.bandcamp.com/.
Asked about her ambitions, Kasprowicz said she wants to keep doing what she's doing.
"I play music because it's something that I like to do. It's something that fulfills me," she said. "I've talked to people who want me to say, ‘I want to be a star!' but really, I don't. Playing and sharing music is what's in me so I'm going to continue doing it."