Exclusive interview with Jennifer Rene for TranceSound.net
1. How long have you been singing ?
Jennifer Rene: Since the doctor said to my parents “Congratulations, it’s a girl.”
2. Have you ever taken vocal lessons ?
Jennifer Rene: No. But all throughout my schooling I was always involved with show choirs, musicals, and dance.
3. Do you write all of your own lyrics ?
Jennifer Rene: Yes.
4. How were you introduced to Jose Amnesia and what were the circumstances ?
Jennifer Rene: Arturo Bonetti. He and I were good friends and he knew my dreams of wanting to become a vocalist and how much I loved this music. He mentioned he was friends with Jose Amnesia whom I was a big fan of for his track “Second Day.” When I first got my equipment I sent a vocal sample to Arturo to be able to say “see I can sing!” The next day I found out he had sent that sample to Jose. I nearly died since it wasn’t what I had wanted to send as a real “demo”. All it had was me saying “Can you feel it? It is calling in the air…Can you turn it up?…Louder…” I guess Jose liked it though. Well I assume he did ?
5. Were you simply the vocalist on the track “Louder” or did you get involved in the production as well ?
Jennifer Rene: No, music production for Louder was all Jose.
6. We love your song “Louder” with Jose Amnesia. What was going through your mind while you were working on this track ?
Jennifer Rene: THANK YOU! To be honest, the way Louder came together was magic, I mean, I got my equipment, I sat down that night, and I just sang into the mic the first words that came to mind. Low and behold, Jose loved it and asked me to write some more lyrics to it. Insert “I need to speak upppp” here. While Jose was working on the music production of it, I kept getting emails from Arturo saying “OMGGGG” of how great it was turning out. When I got the first rough demo of Louder, I played it in my car on repeat for at least an hour doing nothing but driving back and forth on the highway in tears.
7. It seems that you are on the right path in regards to dance music right now. Where do you see yourself headed in this industry ?
Jennifer Rene: After many years of indecision and an attempt at college, I was still stuck wandering what it was I was meant to do with my life. A year ago, it literally slapped me in the face. Music. The dream of it all suddenly started to seem not so far fetched the more I practiced the reality of itself. I want to do it all. I want to continue singing my heart out. I’m almost ready to start the DJ part of it, and I want to be able to travel the world playing and singing music for people to give them the rush on the dancefloor we all so deeply reach for. I want to see my name in the top 20 on the DJMag 100 someday. Yes, I have my faith I will get there! One day I will turn to producing and remixing as well. It’s crazy all the ideas I have even now of songs I want to do a bootleg for or tracks to mashup or melodies and beats I get in my head and think “Man I wish I could throw this down in Logic now!” I really want to be a stand out female in this music genre as its so dominated by men. I want to get recognition for being a female artist. Where they say “Who’s the guy that’s spinning now? HOLY S*** its a female!” I also want to be able to take some of the dance music I do and push it towards a more commercial dance crowd. It’s just a matter of getting that right sound to the right hands for the right widespreading to the masses, and then their ears will open and they will follow. Dance music is on the rise and will prevail! Most importantly, I want all of this as my career and have dedicated my entire life to my love for it. I will be playing music into the night up until the point they scream “Get that grandma off the decks!”
8. How many times do you usually have to re-edit or change a track until you are completely satisfied and prepared to release it ?
Jennifer Rene: I am a complete perfectionist when it comes to music material I’m working on. So much sometimes it’s enough to drive me up the wall. But I also have this thing about wanting to get a song done in the shortest amount of time possible because I get so excited! I’m learning its ok to take your time to write something. To leave it and come back to it. Especially when you’ve been singing it for hours and it’s at the point of “Is this even any good anymore?” I can’t count the number of times I’ve been somewhere, had an idea pop in my head, and ran to a quiet place to record the idea into my voice memo feature of my cell phone! Then get home and realize my opinion of the idea has turned from “YES!!!” to “What was I thinking?” But there are times when I get an idea, sit down and write it and record it in a matter of an hour. I think I’m pretty good about having a sense of “I’m really feeling this” or “Hmm I don’t know…” I can only imagine the level of perfectionism I will have once I start to produce… The answer to the above question is unidentifiable. It just depends on the amount of time and effort it takes to turn each work in progress into a hit.
9. Do you usually record in a professional studio or do you have your own home studio ?
Jennifer Rene: I have never been in a real recording studio. I’m dying to get there though! I record at home into my pc with a mic, usually with my dog watching me. (Which sometimes can cause me to laugh mid-recording or insert random barking while doing voiceovers. Ask Blake Jarrell!) I’m in the progress of upgrading the equipment I use now though for better sound quality. But I would really love to get to a real studio. I’m dying to hear what my voice sounds like behind a real recording mic.
10. Do you own any recording, DJ, or production equipment, if so what does your set up consist of ?
Jennifer Rene: I have my two babies. CDJ-1000MK2’s. You have no idea how long I had my heart set on those. A mixer, my computer, a mic, and the program I record my voice into. Also my keyboard that provides me with most of my inspiration when it comes to finding melodies.
11. Currently what are some of your favorite tracks in the EDM Genre ?
Jennifer Rene: Oh man. To name just a few of the more current ones:
Vibrasphere – Floating Free
Mike Koglin – Untitled Audio (Nitrous Oxide Rmx)
Vitalic feat. Linda Lamb – Bells
Richard Durand – Sunhump
Ronski Speed – The Space We Are (John O’Callaghan Rmx)
Gareth Emery – Another You, Another Me
Markus Schulz feat. Carrie Skipper – Never Be The Same Again (Club Rmx)
Alexis Tyrel – Rebecca Loos (Gui Boratto Rmx)
Momu – Mavericks (Jeff Devas Remix)
Creamer and K Feat Nadia Ali – Something To Lose (Cedric Gervais Remix)
Trentemoller feat. Ane – Moan (Trentemoller Rmx)
G&D – TTD (Low-Tech Mix)
Kirsty Hawkshaw meets Tenishia – Outsiders (Jose Amnesia Rmx)
Envotion – Hammer and Tongs (Blake Jarrell Remix)
Niklas Harding and Funabashi – Addictive
Jon O’Callaghan and Kearny – Exactly
Jennifer Rene: The last track mentioned above, I just still can’t get enough of it. And anything by Sander van Doorn… I could keep going but I will stop.
12. What other genre’s of music do you listen to, if any ?
Jennifer Rene: I’m actually into some psy-trance. Artists like Flowjob or Liquid Soul. I also enjoy ambient and some chill out. Actually a friend of mine who goes by the artist name Voyager has a really good album coming out soon that’s this style. I’ll listen to anything by Natasha Bedingfield, Sara MacLachlan, Christina Aguilera, Imogean Heap, and Rachel Yamagata. These women are just amazing to me.
13. Have you ever been at a loss for creativity or faced writers block? How do you handle those types of situations ?
Jennifer Rene: Luckily, I’ve had alot of stuff happen to me in my life. Whether good or bad, I have plenty of inspiration to write about. However, sometimes I freak and worry too much. Or get stuck and can’t come up with a good hook for a chorus. Or realize Im jumping all over the place with lyrics. The best thing to do is STOP. Walk away. And come back later, when you feel inspired again. Music is fun. It’s meant to be fun. When it stops being fun, its time for a break.
14. What types of activities or hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time ?
Jennifer Rene: Browsing Beatport.com (I am addicted and spend more time than I should searching for new tunes.), Dancing, Volunteering with organizations to find owners for homeless animals, Trying different kinds of food, Playing the game “spoons” with my entire family, Having all night scary movie marathons, Baking cupcakes-with sprinkles, Harassing my roommate….tons of stuff.
15. What are your favorite clubs or previous EDM events that you have attended ?
Jennifer Rene: Vision Club in Chicago – http://www.visionnightclub.com – This is where it all began. Chicago – one of my favorite cities.. My first clubbing experience was here and I was addicted from the first night. I found myself traveling there on weekends just to go to the club. We don’t have anything like that in the city where I’m from. I remember asking “Is it weird that I feel bursts of inspiration and write lyrics in my head on the dancefloor or weird that I feel depressed on the drive home and days to follow because such a great night of music is over?” They always responded with “Yes.” I have yet to go to the Winter Music Conference (WMC). The money I would spend there would be better invested towards new equipment I need. I’m making a vow to not go to WMC until I’m actually a part of performance there. I’ve been told Sensation White is one of the best parties in the world.
16. Where do you see Electronic Dance Music going in the next five years ?
Jennifer Rene: Dance music is on the rise. I’m warning you! There are so many artists today where you can find dance elements within their music. Madonna is a perfect example. This makes it so easy to turn their songs into club remixes. I mean first time I heard Gnarles Barkley – Crazy, I remember thinking “Someone is going to remix this.” Even my cousin who is in a rock band and listens to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin turned on “Crazy” at a party of his recently! I think dance music is going to be getting some serious exposure, airplay, and a rising popularity within the next few years.
17. Can you please explain the feeling of hearing your own song in a club on a large sound system or another related event ?
Jennifer Rene: I can only describe it as “The Best Feeling In The World.” The first time Louder was played was on A State of Trance Episode 250. When I heard it kick in I bawled. Like a baby. I even took a picture of myself so that I would never forget it. First time I was there to experience it live was with Armin in Chicago. There’s no words to describe the feeling of looking down and seeing a crowd sing along with you with hands in the air to your song. Hearing it at the Armin Only this year was an experience as well. I mean 12,000 people! One of my favorite moments is the video I have of Armin playing it in L.A. When he puts his hands in the air and sings along “I need to speak upppp”….. My heart still skips a beat every time I hear something of mine played. It really gives a sense of accomplishment and feeling of “I DID IT!” I think this Saturday (Dec. 9th) weekend is going to be really special. It’s my birthday and I’m headed to the club Vision in Chicago to see Blake Jarrell play who was the remixer for Louder. So not only will I get to hear “Louder” and my new song “Wouldn’t Change A Thing” in my favorite club in one of my favorite cities by one of my favorite artists (Blake), I’ll also be dancing to it with my closest friends who haven’t gotten to experience hearing my song in a club yet. I think it will be the best birthday present I’ve ever received.
18. Often in the music industry females are taken advantage of, tell us whats your take is on the way women are treated in this industry ?
Jennifer Rene: Every woman is a person. And every person makes choices. You can either make the choice to let people walk all over you and be taken advantage of or you can stand up for yourself and do something about it. You can make the choice to wear/behave/and perform in a way that will make people look at you as an artist or look at you as a joke. I think sometimes females are not taken seriously because they are seen as sex symbols and nothing else. You gotta prove you stand for something and back up the talent you claim to have before you can truly be considered sexy.
19. You’re part of a really great group with the Armada Music label along so many big name DJ’s and producers. What were the circumstances that made you affiliated with the Armada Music Label ?
Jennifer Rene: Mainly because Louder was signed with Armind through Armada. We’ve had such great support from Armin and Armada with the Louder track. I can’t thank them enough. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Armada office while I was in Europe. Everyone there is so friendly and warm and really loves what they do. It’s another dream come true to be a featured artist on the Armada site along with so many great names. Sometimes I still don’t believe it.
20. What other artists are you looking forward to working with the most or are currently in the process of working with ?
Jennifer Rene: Still working with Jose of course. We have a lot of ideas and I think create a really unique sound together. There will definitely be more of the Amnesia sound from us. Also did a cover of a dance classic with producer Dino Lenny that should be up soon. Dino and Jose (whom also goes by Rob Aker) are both the producers behind the “Loving Arms” track. I’m a big fan of Blake Jarrell and his sound and I think we could really do something together. Of course, I would love to have an Armin van Buuren feat. Jennifer Rene track someday! There are artists I have spoken with about possible collabs and projects in the works, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises just yet. There are just so many great producers these days. I would love to go even deeper and do a darker, haunting track with Trentemoller. Oh, and I’d give just about anything to work with Sander van Doorn !!!
21. What inspires you the most, and who are your musical influences ?
Jennifer Rene: My life inspires me the most. And everything I’ve gone through and the people I’ve met along the way. Hearing a great track or watching a killer DJ or dissecting lyrics are all really inspiring to me too. It provides a great burst of energy to get working on more music. I love lyrics and figuring out the inspiration behind them. As for influences, Gabriel & Dresden will always have one of the best sounds to me. Listening to their work always inspires me. A lot of their previous work remains my favorite to this day. Their Motorcycle project with Jes is still one of the best collaborations ever made available to the listening ear. Armin van Buuren is one of my favorites. His love for the music and his love for his fans. He’s one of the most genuine artists I’ve ever met and I think anyone else who’s met him will say the same. Armin’s the DJ that the promoter has to pull off stage as the club lights come on and the dance floor clears because Armin’s still screaming “Please no just one more song!!!” Being at the Armin Only event and seeing the way he and his fans interact… Armin is a perfect example of an artist who’s truly in this for the music. As for vocalists, I melt when I hear anything by Jes or Tiff Lacey. I also envy those people that know everything about music. Any genre, any artist. I hope to become full of this knowledge someday.
22. Are you able to release any information regarding any upcoming projects ?
Jennifer Rene: Yes… I hope you enjoy the ride.
23. What would you like to say to all your fans and fellow trance music lovers out there ?
Jennifer Rene: Never, ever, ever, EVER, give up your dreams. It sounds cliché and I know your kindergarten teacher said it to you, but she was right when she said it. Anything is possible. Anything can happen. Nothing is unreachable. If you want it bad enough, and work for it hard and long enough, you’ll get there. Just follow your heart. This past half year has been phenomenal and I am truly blessed and so thankful that you’ve given me the opportunity to express myself in the way I know best… through my music. And to anyone who has left me a comment, sent me a message, posted on a forum, played it in his car, sang along to the words, danced to it in a club, played it in a set, done his own edit/remix, even shed a tear or two when it comes to music and my voice… I love you. You’ve truly changed my life.
Interview made by Zaneta M. Soroko-Ortiz aka Euphoria (TranceSound.net Co-admin)
Jose Amnesia & Jennifer Rene