By Monica Morones
Since the first day I met Giselle Woo, her openness, sincerity, and talent has captivated me, along with almost everyone else in the valley. She is the girl that is friends with everyone. From Cathedral City, 30 year old Woo has been all over the desert performing with her band Giselle Woo and the Night Owls, as well as solo performances, and with the band Machin, whom she will be set to go on tour with this year. Her sultry vocals and emotive lyrics keep us listening. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t have a band behind her or if the venue is a hip hop show, you will still see her on stage performing with her guitar, singing her heart out. She is a true musician.
MM: When did you start playing music?
GW: I want to say around the age of thirteen, started at mom and dad’s church choir.
MM: What instruments do you play and what is your favorite?
GW: Guitar, Piano, Bass Guitar. My favorite to play is Piano. I’ve always been strongly drawn to it.
MM: How would you describe your sound?
GS: My sound is strongly influenced by singer-songwriters, preferably in an unplugged setting. To me, they are masters of captivating the listener with their emotions, which are so naturally surrendered into their songs. I aim for that, I strive for my sound to make you, the audience, feel.
MM: As a singer-songwriter do you have a formula or a system in which you write your music?
GW: I never really had a system or formula. I’ve written a lot of music in my most emo states and in the happiest of times. Sometimes it’s an emotion or a statement that just really wants to make its way out and when that happens, it pretty much writes itself. The majority of my songs have been written in the wee hours of the night.
MM: When did you form Giselle and the Night Owls?
GW: We formed back in 2010 when our good friend Symara Stone was hosting Music Monday night at the Desert Fox in Downtown Palm Springs. I started playing more often and Erik Mouness would always be there with his snare, so we would jam on my songs, he picked them up right away, I loved his style. Andy and David, I had played with before, so we all just started hanging out, driving up to David’s house and we started working on my songs. We had great opportunities from the start to perform at the Date Shed and The Hood. We’ve performed at many community events, like Synergy Fest and things like that. Our sound as The Night Owls is a little more electrifying. I’ve had the pleasure of performing with different musicians when one of the guys couldn’t be present, Brandon Ray Henderson has rocked out with us sitting in on Bass, Gene Evaro Jr. has played both Bass and Guitar, Mitchell Arganda has sat in on drums and percussion, Bryanna Evaro has played Bass guitar with me. Giselle Woo & The Night Owls original line up is, David Macias on lead guitar, Andy Gorrill on Bass and Erik Mouness on Drums. The band is something special to me, out of it has blossomed a garden of opportunities, and I’m fortunate enough to say that with every new season, we are presented with more and more opportunities.
MM: You guys are currently taking some time to hibernate, why, and when do you think you will continue as a band?
GW: Well, life happened, I’m sure we all can relate to that. We are still very much in each other’s lives. I hold them close to my heart. They helped me become what I am today by believing in my music since day one. I’m not sure what the future holds for the band, but I would be thrilled to record a Giselle Woo & The Night Owls album with the guys. I really hope I can make that happen someday.
MM: Even through the small break you have been all over town performing solo. You were just on the radio a couple of weeks ago with Mix 100.5 Mozingo in the Morning. How was that experience for you, to be on the radio?
GW: Well 100.5 is a station I listened to a lot in middle school and high school, I never dreamed I’d ever be singing a song I wrote live on air. It was awesome! I had great response from the audience.
MM: What do you feel is your biggest struggle as a musician?
GW: Self-doubt, lack of motivation… It’s deeper than not having funds to go all out on an album, the struggle is within. I have the most incredible support system, but if I can’t handle my thoughts and fears, I will never accomplish anything. That’s the real struggle. I’m working on overcoming the struggle within, high five!
MM: What do you think of the music scene in the Coachella Valley?
GW: The music scene, in my eyes, is great! I have the pleasure of knowing a lot of wonderful musicians and DJs. I’m a huge fan of our local talent. I feel extremely proud when I see friends go on tours or when they DJ huge events, locally and around the world. I like to think that we all respect each other and feed off of each other to challenge ourselves and become better at what we do. I’ve seen many musicians work together on different projects, vocalists lay down hooks for DJs, or simply everyone work as a team to make fundraisers a success. We’re from the desert, the Coachella Valley and the High Desert, whether you were born here or not, we share the same positive and powerful energy that our lovely desert has to offer, it isn’t too hard to find when you search deep within.
MM: What are you goals for the rest of the year?
GW: Machin’ has invited me to join them on tour this summer. I graciously accepted! We leave July 9th and make our way back home by August 4th. This is one of those things that I’ve always dreamed of doing and its finally happening. David Macias has always been like a brother to me, we gave each other wings, little songbird wings back in 2009. We called ourselves SolDelta, haha we have been close friends and musically involved since. It is going to be rad! I’ll be singing backup vocals and we’re playing with the idea of me jumping in on the accordion, so far rhythm guitar is what I’ve been doing with them. MM: What is the root of your inspiration?
GW: The way music makes me feel. The way my body reacts to sound, how it lifts me up and sometimes, when I let it, makes me dance and move like a wild woman. I love how music Forces us to embrace it, it’s the only time we can let go and be crazy! More often than not, we need that. We need a way to let go of stress and worry, to feel silly and fun. It keeps the inner child alive. Music heals, and it inspires me to keep it alive. Thank you God for using me as an instrument of your love.