Pop Warner: Discussions
with standout indie artists.
Jasy Andrews Interview
Hi all! I'm Pop Warner your guide to some
of coolest indie rock and quality pop music out there today. The fine folks
at antiMusic bestowed on me the honor of interviewing artists that I discover
in my travels and for this very first Pop Warner interview I spoke with
the incredibly talented lass by the name of Jasy Andrews about her big
debut Little Girl. If you're like me you like artists that not only
have talent but don't put themselves into a musical box but instead spread
their wings to discover different styles and sounds. Jasy did just that
with this LP and I was excited to discuss the music with her.
Pop: Jasy, welcome to antiMusic.com!
Thought you might be thrown by our name, but don't worry, we love music
and are actually one of the leading sites for cool new and indie music
coverage online. Enough about us, let's talk about you. Right now, you're
promoting your debut LP, Little Girl out nationally through Versailles
Records, how has it been going so far?
Jasy: The critical response has
been really positive so far. I've started playing out live around Nashville
with my band, which has been exciting because the album's songs come to
life in a whole new way. My band includes my fiancé Chris Lambert
on drums, he's got a jazz background, and my brother Jason Andrews on guitar,
and Nathan Woods on bass. It's a very exciting time.
Pop: We understand you are an operatically
trained singer and classically-trained pianist- how did you make the leap
from that to the pop singer/songwriter you are today?
Jasy: I love opera still, and listen
to it a lot. As for piano, all of my training comes to bear because I know
I wouldn't be able to play- or sing- as well as I do without the training.
As far as the leap, the music I make now was always in my heart deeper
than the opera was. I would say its analogous to the sculptor chopping
away at the stone to get to the sculpture he ended up with. I love the
training, but more as a means to the end of writing and arranging my own
music, putting harmony into them, I just love the process. My training
plays heavily into my writing- as far as structure
I don't think there
has to be a fixed structure to a song, I don't believe you have to have
a bridge, and a chorus, two versus in the beginning- which runs opposite
to opera, where they do have the A B A structure. But there's still a free-spirited
beauty to the way the music is performed, it just soars. So as far as arranging,
listening to a lot of classical composers has definitely helped me in striking
a balance between the traditional 'structure', if you will, of opera compositions
and those that exist within pop composition. I try to leave enough room
in my music to soar, so to speak
Pop: Little Girl is a double
LP, which is quite an ambitious amount of material for a debut LP, what
led you to decide on a two-CD album?
Jasy: I think every song tells a
story, and all of these stories are a compilation of the last 10 years
of my life. Every song fits like chapters in the story of my life- to where
you couldn't leave anything out, because the story would then be incomplete.
I think we ended up with a good read, or listen I guess
Pop: One listen through the CD and you
hear a lot of potential hit singles, obvious ones include 'I'll Do That
Much,' 'Slide Show,' and 'Keep It Up,' do you tend to write with commercial
appeal in mind, or is it more subconscious?
Jasy: I guess a little. I don't
write thinking 'This could be on the radio.' I write thinking 'This is
catchy to me, so hopefully its gonna be catchy to someone else.' I think
I have a fairly honed instinct for that, so I hope with every song it translates
into something that sounds as appealing to my fans as it does to me.
Pop: We read a quote somewhere about
the way you see music in colors when you write
Would you elaborate on
Jasy: I see music in colors when
I write, so each song on this album represents a different shade of the
female emotional experience, be it pain or happiness, in love and in life.
This album is in many ways a soundtrack to the world I see around me. Each
of the 18 songs on this record tells a different story that autobiographically
speaks for someone, so I believe there's something for everyone to relate
Pop: You've appeared on several tribute
albums, including tributes to Tina Turner and Bon Jovi. Was that your label's
idea, and do you feel there are fans within the hard rock demographic that
would dig your material? Are you scheduled to appear on any future tribute
Jasy: I am scheduled to appear on
a couple of my label's future tribute albums. I enjoy the tribute records
because it's a chance to do something totally different from my own music,
and also gain exposure to a totally different demographic of listeners.
Its pretty much my choice of which songs I pick to sing, and my real goal
with any cover song I do is to put my own spin on it. Like sprinkling Jasy
fairy dust over a song that's always been one way to give you a different
take on it that is all my own. I think if you read any of the critical
feedback I've gotten so far in response to the cover songs I've done, its
been positive, most notably because my take on the tunes- for instance,
'I'll Be There For You' or 'Private Dancer' maintains the spirit of the
original, but reinvents the song in a truly new musical image. That's the
greatest nod I could pay to any of the artists whose songs I cover.
Pop: If you had one ideally perfect
fan base or listening demographic you are trying to reach with this album,
who would it be?
Jasy: It would be people who will
listen to my words, and take in the arrangements and harmonies, and the
beauty of my style. This record is about the cumulative experience of growing
up from 16- which is a hard age- to 26, and all the changes a female goes
through growing into a woman- this album is a mirror for all the things
you see and places you go along the way. Its about how much I've grown
from then to now, and I think really shows in this album. It's a record
woman can relate to.
Pop: There's quite a bit of stylistic
variety on this album. When you write a song, do you have any kind of routine
or approach that is signature to all of your music, or is each different?
Jasy: Each song is different. One
norm when I write is that I'm definitely a person who writes at night,
so there's a bit of reflection in the way I compose. I don't necessarily
have to be happy or sad, but I have so many different melodies running
through my head all the time that at night, when I wind down, if I have
one I really like, I'll sleep on it, and if I wake up and its still in
my head, then I know it was meant to be, and I can finish the song. That's
my test for any song, if it lasts the night, then I know it will stand
any longer test of time with my fans.
Pop: What are your favorite songs from
Jasy: I really like 'Slideshow,'
I love the way it turned out, there's a lot of momentum in that song. I
also like 'I Already Knew', I think the melody's great and it does have
a commercial feel to it, accidentally almost. I also love 'I'll Do That
Much,' its got a lot of head voice, its just a beautiful song.
Pop: Tell us a little bit about your
live show? Do you have a specific vibe you like to go for with fans, and
what do you find the greatest challenges to playing live in a city as musically
competitive as Nashville is?
Jasy: It is competitive in Nashville-
but Nashville's not as country oriented as people seem to think. They seem
to think all that's here is hats and boots, but there's really a lot of
different styles here. I think that people are open to every one of them
as an audience. So its not that much of a challenge. On stage, I can't
not be myself as an artist when I perform, and I think that comes across
to my fans.
Pop: Do you have any plans to release
a live album at some point?
Jasy: I would love to release a
live album. When I play the songs from Little Girl live, they come
to life in an entirely different way- I really feel it takes an audience
to make any music work. So, I'd love to capture the energy of my life show
Pop: There is a pronounced Jazz influence
in your music, specifically on songs like 'Who Was Wrong' and 'His Song',
do you have a hidden jazz influence in your musical pallet? Will your future
music have a more pronounced jazz presence?
Jasy: I think so. I studied Jazz
in college, and I do have some Jazz influence in my background, but it
doesn't drive my musical style of writing or playing. I have an immense
amount of respect for players of Jazz- the drummer in my band is a Jazz
drummer- so I think it adds something wonderfully organic to my band's
live sound, and therein my overall sound.
Pop: Speaking of the future, what direction
will you be taking your music on a sophomore Jasy Andrews album? Will there
by more instrumentation on the next album?
Jasy: There definitely will be more
instrumentation on my next record. I was in a band two years back called
Inner Jonez, and I was the principal songwriter for that project. I worked
the songs out with the band, but wrote them alone, and did our entire set
in about 2 weeks. So obviously this time around- with my solo material-
I'll take more time. But its honestly easier for me to write for a band-
its actually harder when its just me and a piano. So I definitely hear
more instruments- strings, saxophone, more guitars- on my next album. I
definitely have to have the ballads- those are signature for me- but the
record will have more of a band feel overall.
Pop: Finally, if you could be anywhere
commercially in 10 years- meaning Shania Twain or Dar Williams- where would
you ideally like to be in your career?
Jasy: As long as a have an underground
fan base that is loyal, and as long as I have people who admire me for
what I do- know the words to my songs by heart at the shows
I would just
love to be playing by then to a huge audience, all of whom were singing
the words to my songs along with me, that's where I want to be. I don't
necessarily need to be on Billboards, I'd rather have an underground, loyal
fan base- but I'd take arenas, don't get me wrong. (Laughs) Realistically
though, I hope to keep my audience and live show more intimate in the same
time, so theatres would be fine too
I just hope to still be doing what
I'm doing now, just at a more established level as far as my long-term
career is concerned. I think the key to that is staying in touch with my
audience- both through the music I release, but also in the way I perform
it for my fans.
That's it for now folks! To check out Jasy's
goings-on, visit her online at the links below.
CD Info and Links
Pop Warner: Jasy Andrews Interview
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