Q&A with Paige Thibault

A concert flyer for Paige Thibault's first "real gig" at Radio Bean on August 27.

A concert flyer for Paige Thibault’s first “real gig” at Radio Bean on August 27.

By Alex Bunten | The Charlotte News

Paige Thibault, 14, has played piano since she was five years old. She recently graduated from CCS and will be headed to CVU. Tonight she’ll be playing her first proper gig at Radio Bean in Burlington from 7–8 p.m. Though on her way to the top, Paige still has time to answer a few questions about herself from her hometown paper, The Charlotte News. The first gig is big, Paige. Good luck!

The Charlotte News: This will be your first “real gig,” will you be nervous? 

Paige Thibault: Of course, I am very nervous, as with any other of my either classical or original performances. However, with such a laid-back atmosphere as Radio Bean (and the fact that it is a “gig” and not a “concert”), the usual omnipresent nerves have backed off significantly. Since Radio Bean is such an accepting environment for a wide variety of people, I can feel confident that I will not be judged for anything but my music, which is what all artists truly strive for.

CN: What instrument do you play? How long have you been playing? 

PT: I have been playing classical piano since I was five years old, which means I’ve been playing for almost 10 years now. My brother and I started taking lessons at that age through the Suzuki method, which is learning by ear, similar to how we learn language as children (through listening and then imitating). Though we also learned to sight-read, the Suzuki training has allowed me to be able to comprehend music through hearing and mental evaluation rather than just reading notes off paper.

CN: What’re the most played five albums in your stereo/iPod/MP3 player right now?

PT: As for musical influences besides classical training, I would have to say that there are two names that stand out. The first is Fiona Apple. I have most of her albums and for fun learn her songs for covers. Her beautifully smooth alto voice combined with her classically trained (yet jazzy) piano is noteworthy enough, but the way she channels such difficult emotions through her music is very inspiring to me. The second is Tori Amos. I fell in love with her music through listening to the CDs my mother had stacked against the wall next to our piano, and from there my inspiration has not diminished. Her album “Little Earthquakes” in my opinion has not one weaker track in it than the rest, making it one of my most commonly played albums. Also, watching Amos perform is a whole new experience in itself. The way she uses her body language with the piano makes me want to step up my performance tenfold.

CN: If you could play with any musician alive or dead, who would it be? Why?

PT: That’s an extremely hard question, but I would have to go with Carole King. I must admit she has only become a muse of mine most recently, but since then I have thought a lot about her musical influence on the industry and on the genres Singer-Songwriter and Pop. King would be a blast to perform with, and the experience would be very motivating and groundbreaking for me as an artist.