University of Chichester music graduate Jennifer Owens releases her debut EP on August 26, available from iTunes, all the usual online outlets and her website jenniferowens.co.uk.
Originally from Basildon, Essex, Jennifer has opted to stay in West Sussex following her studies. She now lives in Trotton: “I moved to Chichester to study at the university, a three-year course which I have just finished. It was the BA hons in music, and I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the first year, and I struggled with the second. I was not sure what was happening, what I wanted. I didn’t see any longevity in the music industry, but I was lucky to come across the right people. But then once that started happening for me, I was able to settle down and enjoy the last year. I got a lot of experience from my degree. I got a lot of social skills, and I grew up a lot. I think it gave me direction. I now know exactly what I want to do.
“I only really got serious about music when I got serious about the solo stuff in the past couple of years. Before that, I was not really sure about what direction would be best. I thought about theatre for a while. But with other things, I just didn’t feel appreciated enough in that sort of environment. It was not enough. And now I have fallen in love with doing my own stuff, and that’s definitely the way I want to go.
“Most of my material is my own. I do a few covers. I cover some of the music of a writer in New York who is quite fond of me and what I do. He popped up last year, Scott Alan. He gave me free rein with his music. I do some of his stuff; the rest is originals. I started writing really recently. I never really had the tools to do it myself. I don’t play an instrument. I didn’t know how I could write songs by myself until my manager set me up with some co-writers, and now I do write by myself.”
As for the music: “Well, I want to say it is old-fashioned, but that sounds out-dated. I have got influenced by Karen Carpenter, Barbra Streisand, people like that. It’s a throw-back, not like the music now. There is a lot of heart-felt meaning to it. For me, it is really important that all music should reach out to people. It should be there for people and it should offer a hand in good times and in bad times. I really want people to relate to the lyrics in the way I relate to the lyrics in songs by Karen Carpenter and Barbra Streisand. I can really see what they are saying and understand that, and I want people to feel the same about my music.My nan passed away before Christmas. I wrote a song about her called Turn To Me. I have also written about my strange relationship with my father. I think we all have a tough ride, don’t we? Not everything is easy. The songs are very personal to me, but also for everyone else. We all go through things. I have also written a song about staying with someone forever.”
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