Read Below To Find Out What Happened When We Interviewed Mary Jennings
Her Latest Single ‘Home’ Is Out Today
Q. Mary, what have you been up to this year?
Well this year I have been busy working on new music. I moved back from New York to Nashville (Tennessee) about a year and a half ago. Since then I have been doing tons of co-writes, performing a lot of shows and mostly preparing for the release of these new songs.
Q. To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sounds as, well… I am a piano playing, looping, bold, singing female rock pop electronic artist. I often get compared with the storytelling and emotional writing of Joni Mitchell with the the pop influences of an Annie Lennox, the electronic vibe of an Imogen heap and the rock sensibilities of Florence and the Machine. So if you were to fuse all of that together somewhere in there you would find what I do.
Q. You describe music as a source of therapy for yourself. How important has music been in your life?
Music has been incredibly important in my life. From a very young age, my parents were both really into music so I always had music going on in my house. I always found that music got me through the toughest times of my life. It was there for all the wonderful times too but the most important part for me was how music and songs could put worlds and melody to feelings that I had such a hard time describing. Again, from a very young age music helped me get through heartbreaks, through my parents getting divorced, through all kinds of issues it even especially helped during the loss of my mother when I was 18. It really got me through that, so music has always been incredibly important in my life, not just my own but music in general.
Q. What has been your influence/Inspiration for your music?
The main inspiration for my music, pretty much anything that could happen in the daily life of ‘me’ I guess! One of the most powerful influences I have had has been my mom. Being an only child, I primarily grew up with her. She was my best friend and losing her was a really powerful moment in my life… that’s what really inspired me to keep doing music and do it professionally for my whole life. In terms of what I write in a song, it varies, if it’s happened to me I will write about it. It could be something as small as a 30 second exchange between me and a stranger to something as massive as a 20 year long relationship I’ve had with a best-friend. So the emotions vary, the stories vary, but I will just say if its in front of my face I will write about it.
Q. Take it or leave was your last album back in 2012, it had so much power and emotion that made listeners engage in every lyric. What was it like creating ‘Take it or leave’?
‘Take It Or Leave’ was so much fun to create because it was my first ever live album. I had released a full album the previous year with produced songs and things like that and, while that was great and wonderful, to then capture something when its happening right in front of your eyes so you can capture every imperfection and raw moment in a show, tape it and put it out there in the open there is something that’s really vulnerable about that. It’s also really exciting and its kind of like, if you really want to see what I am capable of at the end of the day, ‘Take It Or Leave’ is the album to do it as there are no cheats and no edits. There is just one shot and all of those shows were so much fun in general and the venues were so cool. I have nice memories from playing all those songs.
Q. What song do you have the most fun or like most when performing live, and why?
That is a really hard question because they are all fun for different reasons. They all have a different value in a show. I would say that, if I had to choose one, it would probably be ‘The Darkness’, simply because it is such a lively kind of up-tempo song, when I am performing live the loops are really elaborate so its fun to perform it that way. It’s generally the one that my band mates will really get into because its so, you know, up and all over the place! I tend to get a decent audience response from it as well so its definitely the most fun I would say.
Q. What has been the biggest challenge for yourself as a singer/songwriter?
There are plenty of challenges but one of the biggest is that as a singer/ songwriter you can write songs, anyone can write songs, but when you start getting them out there, out into the world and in front of other people you run the risk of being judged and that’s normal. When your really into your songs and they address your emotions its hard not to take those judgements personally. They are your story and your emotion. Initially my biggest battle was accepting peoples criticisms as, not judgements against me personally, just judgements of the music and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Now I would say that I have gotten past a lot of that and just figure if somebody can feel it, awesome but if they don’t then that’s okay too. But at this point a lot of the difficulty is breaking through the noise. With the power of the internet there are a lot of opportunities for me as a singer/songwriter but that equally means there are a lot of opportunities for everyone. So, to find your niche, your demographic and your fan base can also be one of the biggest challenges.
Q. What is your ultimate goal within your music career. Has it already happened or are you working towards it?
It is currently happening, it can happen better than it’s happening now but my ultimate goal is nothing crazy. I mostly just want to make a decent living writing and playing music for the rest of my life in what ever capacity that may be. If that’s writing songs for other people, awesome. If that’s placing my songs in TV and Film, fine. If its touring then it doesn’t matter, just as long as I can make a stable living doing the one thing I feel like I know I can do.
Q. What hints or tips do you have for other artists about the music industry or creating music?
I get asked this every once in a while and I say the same thing every time. Don’t follow trends. If you follow trends you are always going to be a step behind what someone else has already done. Just do what you do in its entirety and hope that eventually the trends find you.
Q. Your latest single ‘Home’ has just been released. What is the song about?
‘Home’ was inspired by watching the TV show ‘The Walking Dead’. I am sure there are lots of people out there who watch it, but if they haven’t then I believe it is a show secondarily about zombies and the apocalypse and primarily about human instinct and survival. When I watched the show and I realised that people are kind of just wandering around aimlessly because they’re just trying to stay like zombies, it really started getting me thinking- what is ‘Home’? What makes home for someone? I realised that, well at least in my opinion, ‘Home’ is not a place, ‘Home’ isn’t even things, and I would go as far as to say it isn’t even people. ‘Home’ is a state of mind and a sense of self-awareness. As long as you can survive, you can always recreate that and make it home, because home is up here (taps head).
Q. So you’re back in the studio creating new music is there anything else your fans can expect from you?
Just lots of new music, I mean I haven’t released anything since 2012 and obliviously ‘Home’ is out now but I will be releasing a new single every two months for at least the next year and then release an album. My ultimate goal is to put out new music as frequently as possible.
You can find Mary on:
Website – www.maryjennings.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/maryjennings
Twitter – www.twitter.com/jenningsmusic