Six Questions with Wendy Bradshaw: Recording Artist -Singer, Songwriter, Author
As a nominee of the Native American Music Awards for her song, A Great Gift, it is without question Wendy Jo Bradshaw is a talented and gifted artist. Her voice not only sweetly presses upon the senses, but pulls a listener towards serenity. Also without question is Wendy’s beautiful and giving heart. This is clearly recognized through all her works and reveals that one of her best talents is offering inspiration and love.
Wendy was one of the first friends I met while working on The Thrill of the Chase treasure hunt by Forrest Fenn. There was something wonderful about the Chase which motivated us both. Since meeting her, I have enjoyed her enthusiasm towards life and her optimistic outlook.
It’s often advised to surround yourself with positive people. Wendy is certainly a person to have in one’s circle, and I am sure this is evident from her following answers. Enjoy!
- 1Q) You have mentioned that your recently released song, Magic Forrest Treasure, was greatly inspired by Forrest Fenn’s The Thrill of the Chase treasure hunt. What do you feel it was about Forrest’s hunt that encouraged you to create such a touching piece of music?
If you’ve ever experienced the thrill of the chase, then you understand the gift that Forrest Fenn gave to the world! I have experienced that thrill while gold panning, gem hunting and metal detecting. I love to explore ghost towns and historic ruins. As a child, I lived in many states in the west, and loved exploring there. I became interested in Forrest’s story because I could relate to the clue research and adrenalin rush of the hunt!
Because of my interests and because I am a children’s book author, I thought it would be great if Forrest and I wrote a book about treasure hunting for young readers. As well as writing, my plan was to create an original theme song and to produce a sound track that will be included with the purchase of the book.
After a good start to the book, Forrest told me that writing fiction was not for him, but that he would let me know if he changed his mind. Though I was disappointed, I decided to proceed with the book as planned while simultaneously writing the theme song that goes with it.
I wrote and recorded the song titled Magic Forest with different words but the same tune. I was satisfied with it until something remarkable happened… shortly after I recorded Magic Forest, I was humming the song and new lyrics started swirling around me. These new words were a melding of central words from Forrest’s poem and my original lyrics and score. Like all of my musical compositions — it was intuitive. I had no intention of incorporating Forrest’s poem into the song, but it came to me from a very mystical place, as if it was inspired by my muse or higher power. So, I went back to the studio and recorded what is now, the Magic Forrest Treasure.
I wasn’t sure how Forrest would receive the song, but I knew that I had to share this version with him. Here is an excerpt from an email that Forrest wrote to me after hearing the song, “Wendy, I absolutely love that song!” – f
- 2Q) The word Treasure holds many different meanings; and while searching for one type of treasure, other types are often found. It would seem your book that is soon to come out, and complements the Magic Forrest Treasure song, reveals some of this Truth. Can you divulge anything more about this upcoming book and the treasures discovered within?
The upcoming children’s book will depict not only the rewards, but the perils, pitfalls, and the perseverance required in searching for treasures of all kinds. Whether we complete the book together, or I finish what we started alone, it will soon be published. I hope to release the book and soundtrack collection by treasure-hunting season 2015.
Who knows, maybe Forrest will find that he has a gift for writing fiction after all……..and if not, we can always let the readers discern for themselves, what is fact and what is fiction.
- 3Q) Vippi Mouse is adorable. I absolutely love his full name. Can I disclose Victor Ichabod Poindexter Paul Izippy is a code name for Very Important Person Private Investigator? 🙂 More so, I love what messages you promote by way of Vippi through the series of children books. What message is most important to you and what do you enjoy most about sharing it?
Yes, by all means Jenny. Vippi will be happy to hear that you like his full, legal name! VIPPI is a large yellow mouse detective with floppy ears, whose job is to research, uncover and present the various plots of each book in the series. I created this series of books and music as a tool for parents to use to help their children overcome self-limiting beliefs, self-doubt and fears. All five books in the series are capable of being personalized with their child’s name. VIPPI books are designed to remind the reader that each of us makes a difference in the world–every person is a Very Important Person! I’m even working on a VIPPI video game!
You can subscribe to the VIPPI Mouse Kids Show on YouTube, and be notified when new episodes are released.
- 4Q) From your surprising opportunity of singing on stage with the famous singer Barry Manilow, you experienced how one single event can have a major impact on a person’s life. In what ways did this particular incident change you? Did the experience impress upon you how the small things we do each day, can have huge influences on others?
I was inspired early in my life by a fortuitous encounter with the great singer/songwriter Barry Manilow. Mr. Manilow picked me from an audience of over 12,000 fans in Salt Lake City, UT, to sing on stage with him! It was a life- changing encounter for me. Up on the stage with Barry, I knew in an instant that the feeling of the stage under my feet was meant for me. When you connect with people through music, the intimacy that can be communicated with one or with thousands is a powerful experience. It was that night that I made up my mind to follow my dream of being a singer/songwriter. Since then I have endeavored to create healing music that promotes peace within and harmony throughout. I optimistically believe the line from my song that says, “We The People Can Live In Peace.”
Music is the universal language that connects us as a people, it can also heal people and our planet from dis-ease. Music was a powerful source in my own healing. That is why I create nurturing music for healing the body and the mind. I hope to inspire listeners to make a positive difference in the world. As Barry Manilow says, “All It Takes Is One Voice.”
- 5Q) First, I must say you sang one of my favorite songs, My Funny Valentine, splendidly. Your accomplishments expand skillfully into different genres. Which is your favorite, though? And what can we happily expect from you next?
Thank you, Jenny. I love all the classic songs that I recorded on my first Jazz album entitled, Evening Interlude. That album also features Lex de Azevedo on piano. I really enjoy singing and recording new arrangements of the torchy, smokey jazz style standards from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.
As for music genres, I think that you could say I have a Native Heart. My maternal Grandfather was part Nez Perce, and that is the part of me that yearns to express love of the Earth and of its People. In my original music recordings, I have been fortunate to be accompanied by several well- known American Indian performers. To answer your question, I would have to say that writing, singing and producing my original songs is my favorite thing to do–ever.
- 6Q) It seems you are always busy creating works that uplift, encourage, and inspire; but what inspires you? And what do you like to do for just fun? Is there something you haven’t done that you want to do?
I have a very interesting life. I like sports such as four wheeling and hiking especially when exploring at high altitudes. I also feel a kinship with raptors, and I take great pleasure from watching them in nature. I thoroughly enjoy treasure and relic hunting using a metal detector, gold panning and fishing with my family– in short, I enjoy adventure!
As to something I haven’t done that I would like to do? One of my dreams, and I have many, is to produce a children’s television program featuring Vippi Mouse. Another dream is to compose the score or theme song to a feature film, documentary, or television series– like the one I just wrote about my friend Forrest Fenn and his now famous poem.
In conclusion here’s a quote that came to me today that sums up my thoughts on life, “When you hit rock bottom, remember, bedrock is where you find the gold!”
Wendy Bradshaw – Treasure Hunter
Thanks so much, Wendy, for yet another great Six Questions! I will never tire of asking Six Questions when the answers continue to be intriguing, captivating, and truly inspiring. It’s easy to see you love all that you do, and this offers such encouragement to others (and myself) to find their own passions and to chase these enjoyments always!
You are an example that a life filled with such adventure and fun can be achieved. And what is so fantastic about this ‘achievement’ is it never ends. As they say, ‘Success is a journey, not a destination’. From taking in your answers, I feel the thrill of the chase. It is there for each of us. Thanks again!
And I love Wendy’s new song! Don’t forget to check it out and tell us what you think. Forrest would like to know, too!