Whitney Kendall conducted this interview with Amileigha Blue on September 10, 2017. Amileigha is the lead singer of Rebel Grace, a country cover band from Milwaukee, WI.
Amileigha moved to Milwaukee in 2005, the same year the band was formed. This interview is about Amileigha’s opinion of the music scene in Milwaukee.
WK: How would you describe the music scene in Milwaukee to someone who has never been?
AB: Okay, so, what I would say is, it is a very collective group of people. We go all the way from people who play only original music, that are more the artist side of things, then it goes all the way up to people who do, kind of, what my band does. We play cover music, but we add kind of our own little twist to it, and we focus more on putting on a show than we do, necessarily, the writing of our own music and stuff like that. So we make sure we learn the songs as close to the album as they are, and then that kind of progresses as they end up morphing into our own version of songs. But then, it’s just a huge group of a lot of different personalities, but all in all, everyone is just one big community, really.
WK: So if you had just three words to describe the music scene, what would they be?
AB: Wow, that’s hard. Um, I would say it’s very busy; it’s thriving, for sure; and I’d say it’s very unique, because not every city has the music scene like Milwaukee does.
WK: What is the most popular genre, or genres, of music found in Milwaukee?
AB: I can’t say that there really is a most popular one. There’s something out there for everyone. We play Top 40 Countries, but there are bands out there that have been playing in the area for more than twenty years that play classic rock, or current rock. There’s pop bands. Honestly, I don’t know that I can tell you what the most popular genre is because there are so many option out there.
WK: So you would say the city is encouraging to up-and-coming bands?
AB: I think that for the most part it is. There’s always people out there that don’t want to see other people succeed because they don’t want to be overshadowed by them, but I think ninety percent of the Milwaukee scene, everyone there is willing to help new up-and-coming people kind of get their feet wet and help them learn how the industry works in the area.
WK: I saw that Milwaukee has Summerfest. What has been your experience with the Summerfest, both playing there and just being a visitor?
AB: So, as a visitor for Summerfest, it’s something that you can’t really find anywhere but Milwaukee. There are tons of stages and there’s live music going on from open to close every day for eleven days. It’s somewhere that you can go and hear pretty much any genre of music that you want, with a ten minute walk between each stage. As a spectator, it a very unique experience, and as a music lover it’s a place that you can just really lose yourself in getting to watch all the different artists that you like.
WK: So would you say the Summerfest is great for families, or is it more for adults?
AB: I would say it depends on the time of day. During the day I’d say it’s a place that you can take your family, but in the evening I would not say it would be a place to take you family, just because of the scale of the festival. It’s such a huge place, and it’s very loud, so it would be very easy to lose a small person in the big crowd.
WK: Final question—What is your absolute favorite thing about Milwaukee, pertaining to the music scene?
AB: I would say that it’s the people in Milwaukee, it’s their love for music. It’s the fact that no matter what’s going on with the economy or anything like that, people always find the time and the money to come out and support live and local music. So without the people in the community supporting music, nobody would be able to do what we do in the music industry, so I think that’s the most impressive part for me.