Mindy Watkins (BM ’95) released her first album—“Tuesday’s Child”—in February.
“Tuesday’s Child” was years in the making, with songs written over the last two decades inspired by everything from a cross-country move to losing a family member. Watkins wrote the songs herself on acoustic guitar, then recorded them with the help of producer John Keane who also added supplementary instrumental tracks, like mandolin or drums.
“It was really fun to experience the recording process and hear my songs literally change into almost a completely different format just by adding instrumentation,” shares Watkins.
The album also pulls inspiration from artists Watkins loved growing up, like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.
“All in all, I like to consider the album singer-songer rock ‘n’ roll. And there’s a little taste of country in there,” Watkins says. “My influences are blues and rock ‘n’ roll and jazz and broadway and opera—I credit being a classically trained singer and having been involved in so much musically throughout college to being really versatile now.”
She adds, “CU changed my life. It was one of the greatest decisions that I ever made for myself. And I’m still friends with so many people that I went to college with.”
Since graduating, Watkins has worked in all aspects of the performing arts including costumes, lighting, sound, stage management and performing herself. She now teaches voice, guitar, piano and ukelele in her private studio in Illinois. Recording and releasing an album has always been a dream of hers and getting her songs out in the world has been a “mind-blowing” experience.
“My thing, as a kid, was sitting in front of my record player pulling out liner notes, listening to the whole album front to back, A to B, and reading the lyrics along with it,” Watkins recalls. “Luckily, vinyl has made a resurgence. It’s really fun just knowing that other people who might share that passion can pull out the vinyl, listen to the songs and read the lyrics.”
Watkins’ advice for current students echoes the College of Music’s vision to develop universal musicians—don’t limit yourself, try everything. “It’s so easy for people to quit or get frustrated because it’s not happening now,” she reflects. “So yeah, never give up. Try everything. Stick your feet in all the puddles. Get in there!”
“Tuesday’s Child” is available on all streaming platforms.