Jennie Laws Interview and Music Video @Jennielaws
Tell us about yourself and your music? My name is Jennie Laws & I'm a singer/songwriter from Toronto, Canada. I play guitar & keys & I compose for every instrument - I love different textures & colors, mixing live instruments with programming, & blending vintage sounds with new melodies & beats.
How would you describe your sound? I guess you could call my music "soul" music since it has so much of that in it. I'm definitely strongly influenced by RnB, "pop" if that's even a genre, hip hop, jazz, folk, reggae & a bit of rock n roll since guitar is my secondary instrument after my voice.
Talk about the experience making your single? There's a great music magazine out here in Canada called "Canadian Musician" & when I was invited to one of their parties a couple years ago, I met a young man there through some people I work with who said he managed a local up-and-coming producer who was looking for singer/songwriters to record with. I'm always open to hearing what someone's sound is even if I don't know them, so I told him to definitely get in touch about that & he did. Some time passed but eventually he reached out & sent me a track & I was immediately like; "this is dope!" & wrote a whole song over it. I told his manager to please ask him to give me a couple weeks to lay the demo down but that I already had some ideas. When I sent them my initial demo they said they liked it & the producer, who I now know as S.L.M.N., even suggested that I could use it for my album. I wasn't sure if it would fit but after some brainstorming I could see the vision & we decided to go ahead with it. I earned a small grant from the Canadian government to record the vocals professionally at the main studio where I record vocals here - B Town Sound in Burlington (ironically where S.L.M.N. had his production studio at the time - no relation! Small world...) I wanted Bob Horn's sound so I asked him to mix it, & a rapper I know from Compton - Scipio formerly known as X.O. from The Game's Black Wallstreet label - had emailed me saying he wanted me to "save 12 bars" for him on my album & I thought this song might be a good fit so we got him to hop on a verse for one of the versions. My musical director & mentor in Los Angeles, Morris Hayes, recorded Scipio's vocal for me in his studio since I wasn't there in person. Then Bob got inspired when he was mixing the song & came up with a whole other version; the "radio edit" which we ended up dropping first. The original version of the single "Sabotage" came out in January along with the official video which was directed by Mark Valino & featuring some of the best dancers in Canada.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects? Shows? I'm currently working on my next single "All About You" featuring J-Doe & co-produced by Ron Feemster aka "Neffu" & S.L.M.N.. Bob wants to feature it on a mixing show he appears on every year, like he did last year when he was mixing "Sabotage," so I'm working towards that. That means that audio heads can watch & learn as he mixes my song before their very eyes! It's supposed to happen in February sometime so stay tuned to my social media or website & you'll be the first to know. I'm also working on my songwriting portfolio, the rest of the songs for my album which is 90 percent finished & I've been doing string arrangements, playing guitar, songwriting & singing for some of the most talented artists & producers in North America.
I usually play often around the city to keep my chops up & my presence felt, plus to try out new songs etc, but I've taken a hiatus from performing for a couple months so I can focus on the mountain of studio work that needs to be done first! I look forward to hitting the stage in the spring once the new content is done.
What has been your biggest highlight in your music career this far? Hmmmm I'd say the best is yet to come for me, but opening for Bruno Mars several times in LA was definitely an exciting honor, & singing background vocals for Michael Buble was huge at the time because it was the biggest audience I've ever performed in front of. I think it was like about 30,000 people or so each show. They're both consummate pros & massively talented & inspiring.
Name your ideal collaboration: mainstream or independent artist(s)? Oh wow that's a tough one! I'll have to think about that...
There are so many amazing artists out there that I would be so grateful to collaborate with, both old & new...& I look forward to exploring all those possibilities as more & more doors open up for me...
But I have to say that the people I've been working with on my album & other projects in the past few years have been ideal collaborators in that the producers, writers, artists & even the audio engineers in my life have pushed me to become a better writer, vocalist, musician, artist & producer with their honesty, constructive criticism & creative example.
Namely, S.L.M.N. who I know as Mohamed Sulaiman, Emerson Brooks, Kickraux, THX, Jahi Sundance, Mike Sal, Don Di Napoli, DG Mayne, Ron Feemster, Jacob Luttrell, Dayyon Alexander, Dylan Lloyd, Leon Ware, Dwele, JL Brown, Scipio, Bob Horn, Joe Wolfe, Morris Hayes, Ari Raskin, Justin Koop, Frank Correa, Sebastian Rogers, Graph Gonzales, SATE, Miles Jones, Mateo Laboriel, Pascal Guyon, Juvon Taylor, Mark Pellizzer, Civil Wray, Taya Marquis, Yuri Koller, DVS, Alyssa Gill & Nicky Lawrence.
Name something random that people do not know about you? Random unknown fact about me; I broke my elbow pretty bad when I was fourteen years old, when my ripped vintage jean shorts got caught as I was jumping off a swing. I've only had 60 percent movement in that arm ever since. It still gives me discomfort almost daily, but I don't let it stop me from living an active life, playing instruments & dancing.
What’s one thing you have learned or discovered while being in the indie music scene/industry? The main thing that I've learned in this biz is that it really is true what they say; that you need to focus on your craft first & foremost, be true to yourself no matter what & never give up. It is truly a game of last man standing & if you express yourself freely & honestly while striving for mastery, anything is possible. I've also learned that everyone is on their own journey & has their own timing so you can't compare yourself to other people. You just gotta do you & keep going, stay inspired & creative at all times & always push to become a better person & artist.
Another thing to remember is that relationships are currency. It's very important to show appreciation to the people who help you out along the way, whether it be financially or with your words & actions or both, & stay professional, accountable & fair at all times. Delivering on your promises & keeping it classy will go a long way towards having a long, successful, sustainable career.
And finally, another cliche but so true - there really is no substitute for good old fashioned hard work!
What can we expect from you in the future? You can expect a full album from me very soon, with a few singles & videos sprinkled here & there, & I've been thinking about releasing an acoustic EP soon afterwards since I have the material almost ready. You can expect me to pop up here & there on some big artists' recordings as a featured vocalist, songwriter, guitar player, & string arranger. (Stay tuned to my website jennielaws.com or my social media pages for updates - they're all under "jennielaws" except my YouTube page which is "jennielawsvideos".) I'd also love to start doing more YouTube videos of whatever - me talking about life, behind the scenes footage, cover songs, live shows etc. As far as the distant future goes, I'd be interested in doing more film scoring when the time comes.
February 9, 2017 2:57pm ET by One Percent PR