Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?
My new single releasing this Friday is “The Girl’s in Love” which I wrote about how gals go through when they’ve fallin’ in love. Doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 60years old. We all have our own way of spiffing up for that new man in your life!
How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music?
I firmly believe that songwriters are constant observers, absorbing inspiration from people, TV, movies, live concerts and, of course, the melodies on playlists and on the airwaves. Sometimes, a single sentence can kindle the flame of a new song idea. The more time invested in crafting a song, the more its arrangement often unfolds naturally in the studio, and then the Magic begins!
As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal?
It is a fine line between the two, but I wrote these last two singles organically not thinking of either!
What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry?
MONEY! You many have support from your team but you have to pay them for promotion, distribution, etc. I used to be with a big record company when I was in my 20’s and I didn’t know how good I had it! I didn’t have to do anything except sing, do television or radio interviews to promote the album. The downside was they took big percentages or owned your work. But you worked more because your name was known.
Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?
Each writer and artist have its own vibe of writing. Working with David Morgan, who is the lead singer with 3 Dog Night, was amazing. When we met, we were both singing & playing our songs at a songwriter’s night. I fell in love with his voice first and hoped I might be able to use his voice for one of my demo’s. This was before the 3 Dog Night job. He asked if I would bring some of my songs when we got together. We chatted and he finally said, “hey, you got any ideas we could start on?” Writing with David it just flowed like we had been writing for years together. We wrote songs faster than I’d ever done before because we were such a great match. The lyrics just rolled off his togue and it inspired my melodies
What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience?
In the technology portion, it’s wonderful to be able to send a bare track and have your best musicians lay a track down and be able to send it back to me if they are not able to come into the studio. However, I love the energy when we are all together better.
In social Media portion. It has everything to do with promoting anything now a days!
Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style? Etta James (“At Last.”) and Bonnie Raite singing (“I Can’t Make You Love Me”). Loved their earthy tones, Julie London singing “Cry Me A River,” and her breathy delivery. Joni Mitchell and that high falsetto gliding thru out her songs. Actually, you will find hints of these three singers in many of my vocals now, depending on the songs I sing.
Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?
I usually send them notes before and after a performance to keep up the relationships. There is always a sign-up list at the venue.
Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music?
I was lucky enough to go on tour around the world with Bob Hope, entertaining our US Troops! We brought a little of “Home” to G.I.’s in the middle of the Vietnam war. I was the singing Star and got to bring up a solder up on stage and sang to him. It was fun and the audience got a big kick out of it and it took them away from thewar for a while. The hardest thing I had to do was close each show singing “Silent Night.” The first time I sang it, I looked into the audience and many of the guys and gals had tears rolling down their faces and pretty soon so did I. Bob took me aside after the show and told me, “Jan, on this particular song you cannot look into the audience, look over their heads into the camera. That really helped, keep my teas from flowing but the experience stayed with me, knowing we got on our helicopters but these G.I.’s went back to fighting in the War.
In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?
To be honest, I made more money before them.