This young lady was our third place winner (out of over 1,400 entries!) for the SongBuilder Studios songwriting contest. She‘s an Annapolis favorite and the real deal. A meaningful songwriter and a voice that will have you singing Hallelujah! See what she has to say below about writing songs, opening for Andy Grammer and her thoughts on the music industry.
1- Tell us about your musical background, how you got into songwriting, and any current projects you have now.
Even though I’ve always loved music, I didn’t start until high school when I first signed up for guitar classes. Even though I was seriously awful at it, I made a bet with my dad that I could write a song and perform it at the school talent show that was coming up. It was terrifying, but I loved being on stage so I continued with music after that. For the past few years, I’ve been playing solo throughout Maryland, but I just started my own band which has been a great experience.
2- What influences you as a songwriter?
For me, songwriting is all about telling the story, so a lot of my songs are influenced by my personal experiences or pieces from other people’s lives. Especially while working on my last album, I noticed that it was a lot easier for me to write songs about love or heartbreak. Those are the songs I have always connected best with, so I would say that’s absolutely influenced the type of artist and writer I’ve become.
3- What do you think about the current state of the music industry? Do you think it’s more difficult to build a career in music today than say 10 years ago?
The great part about the music industry, in my opinion, is that it’s never going to die off. There are always going to be new styles and artists because music is an important part of our culture. Having said that, I do think it’s more difficult to build a career in some ways. While we do have a lot more online media resources to get publicity, today’s industry is so saturated with artists that it takes a lot more to get noticed.
4- Who are some of your favorite songwriters right now?
John Mayer, Paolo Nutini, Hozier, Grace Potter
5- If you haven’t already, are you
open to working with another songwriter or a team of songwriters?
I’m definitely open to working with other songwriters and musicians. I think that sometimes we can get stuck in the habit of writing the same types of songs, whether they all sound the same or are written about the same topic. And for some people that works. But when I take the time to sit down with other people it forces me out of my comfort zone and makes me analyze my work.
6- How important is outside opinions of your working songs?
I think that getting outside opinions when I’m starting a new song is really important. I always play new songs for my parents and my roommates at college − they’re basically my test audience. I like hearing the feedback to know if I should continue with an idea or go a new direction before I play it live.
7- Do you think it would be beneficial to have an unbiased team of songwriters in the studio with you while you record music?
For sure. I love playing music for my family and friends because it gives automatic feedback, but it’s not always as critical as I need. With an unbiased team of songwriters someone could assess my songs from a different point of view –lyrics, melodies, etc. If a song sucks, than it sucks. I’d rather someone tell me and help brainstorm before I take the time to record everything.
8- What’s the most unique location you’ve ever written a song?
A lot of my best writing happens in the shower and the car. I think that’s pretty common for most musicians, but I’m sure it seems weird or unique to other people.
9- Congrats on opening for Andy
Grammer, what was that experience like?
It was great! First off, Andy Grammer and his band were really down to earth which made the experience a lot less stressful. Second, it was really incredible to perform on a stage in front of a crowd that had so much energy. One funny part of the night was when I climbed up on a set of closed bleachers in my dress and heels, and ended up getting stuck. I didn’t get to meet Andy when he came around to introduce himself but luckily he stuck around for a while after the show.
10- If you could collaborate with anyone right now, who it would it be?
It would absolutely, without a doubt be John Mayer. He writes the types of songs that I could listen to on repeat and never get sick of. I would love to experience the process he goes through when he’s putting together a new song.
Thanks to Jocelyn for the interview. We’re wishing you much success with
your music and career in this crazy business we all know and love!
Listen To Jocelyn Here: YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/jfarolife FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/jfaromusic Twitter: