Wednesday Q&A: Mary Jennings
Written by The Dutch Guy on September 24, 2014
Think it must been late 2010, I was still doing radio on Cool FM when I discovered this sister. I remember spinning her single ‘Doorway‘ on a regular basis and getting awesome feedback on it!
The station closed down on me and so did a lot contacts. I’ve always been keeping an eyeball on her, but think we didn’t spoke for close to 3 years, until I got an email a couple of weeks ago: ‘not sure if you remember me’…
The thing with me is, I hardly forget an artist, especially when I’ve had or played them on a radio show one time or another. So, I was more surprised she remembered lil’ ol’ me!
With giving me a sneaky-peek of her awesome soon to drop single ‘Home‘, she explained to me she’s gonna release a single every two months, until she’s gonna put out a brand spanking new album.
For me the perfect time to (re-) introduce you in this weeks Wednesday Q&A to, Mary Jennings:
The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?
Mary Jennings (MJ): Sure! Will you use it to buy my new music?
TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?
MJ: Whoa! My bangs make me look like Kelly Kapowski! (Saved By The Bell)
TDG: What was the last furry thing you touched?
MJ: My doggie, Dexter. He’s a wheaten terrier.
TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
MJ: I’m a story collector – in my friends, in my songs, in the jewellery I make, and in the things I choose for my home.
TDG: What are your (musical) roots?
MJ: Well I have tons of musicians in my family. My dad plays bass, my granddad sings, my grand-mom could play amazing piano, and it goes on and on through the generations past. Every family member I visited with regularity had a piano in their home.
TDG: How would you describe your sound?
MJ: I would say that my music is a combination of pop, rock, and electronica influences with lots story-telling, piano-playing, looping, and big voice singing. From song to song there is a roller coaster ride of emotions and subjects within the music.
TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?
MJ: My songwriting process changes day to day. Sometimes it starts with a melody that sparks a mood and then lyrics follow. Sometimes it is a one liner that I have either said or heard that ignites a story. Often I write along but I also have done many cowrites with other artists. The one thing that does stay the same is that each song starts with an inspiration.
TDG: Which aspect do you enjoy the most while working on new music?
MJ: All of it has elements that I enjoy. I would have to say that playing live is my favorite. Even if I am working on new material, it is helpful to get an audience’s reaction. It helps me find what needs to be tweaked along the way.
TDG: And you are working on something new, aren’t you?
MJ: I sure am! I am in the process of releasing a single every two months until I release my next full album. The first of these songs is called, ‘Home‘, which will be released on October 1st! (TDG: I’ll be tweeting the link as soon as it drops!)
TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?
MJ: To this day my mom inspires me the most. I lost her when I was 18 and we were incredibly close. Even now I think, “what would mom think of this?” and it helps to inspire me.
TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?
MJ: It is one of the MOST important things to me. I want my fans to feel that they have a friend in me. I want them to feel like maybe I can put words to the feelings that they have had but can’t express. I always love to connect with my fans, both in person or via social media. I see it as we are in this together. I am wouldn’t go very far without them!
TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?
MJ: I do think social media is a big help. When I am unable to constantly tour everywhere, it helps me stay connected with fans from all over. It is just another way to connect with supportive people and create a more personal relationship with them.
TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?
MJ: Well, I try to keep my posts interesting and relatable. I try to steer away from “Hey check out my music” or “Hey come to my show”.
I don’t think fans react well to demands like that. I know, as a fan, I don’t.
My social media presence, although promoting my music and shows some, is also about letting people more into my personal life. You will see posts about my house, my friends, my pets, my family, and my MANY other hobbies. Again, I want to be relatable.
TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
MJ: If someone just listens to my music alone, I often get pegged as kind of a “dark” or “moody” person. Now I LOVE dark! But my personality is very light. I use my music to get all of my dark out so I can be a functioning adult.
TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify playlist?
MJ: SO MANY! Let’s see.., a lot of my indie musician friends make regular appearances on my IPod such as Rachel Pearl, Rachel Epp, Aubryn Stevens, Audrey Rose, and tons more. I also have been enjoying Imogen Heap, Susanne Sundfor, and Coldplay. OH! And I just got a Bangles record so I have loved that on the record player.
TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?
MJ: Don’t chase after trends. Do what you do and eventually the trend will find you.
TDG: Summer is almost over, but what do you have in store for us this year?
MJ: I am planning mostly for the release of new music! As I mentioned earlier, ‘Home‘ will be out on October 1st. After that you can expect a new single every two months until the full album comes out. I also have my bolo tie business, nosasscreations.com,
so I will be making a lot of those as well!
TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?
MJ: Hmmm…it seems like all of the words of wisdom I want to say come off cliched and over used. I guess I would just say don’t be afraid to be yourself. As long as you are comfortable with yourself, others will be too.