Jenna Andrews Talks "Kiss and Run"
Mon, 22 Oct 2012 07:30:00
"I wanted to put it all out there," Jenna Andrews says of her debut EP, Kiss and Run [iTunes link].
Andrews certainly doesn't hold back in these seven songs. Eclipsing pop, blues, alternative, and a little trip hop, the singer rises into her own over the course of the EP. With a smoky delivery a la Billie Holiday and a seductive je ne sais quoi reminiscent of Portishead, she opens up the gateway into her world, and oh what a wonderful place it is. She's one of the most intriguing and infectious artists to emerge this decade, and you'll fall under her spell on Kiss and Run.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Jenna Andrews talks Kiss and Run, her influences, movies, and more.
Did you approach Kiss and Run with one vision in mind?
I did. I really love the whole idea of a cinematic soundscape, and I wanted to go for something along those lines musically. As far as the music I'm influenced by goes, it's artists like Portishead, Massive Attack, Erykah Badu, and Billie Holiday. It seeps through my music. I take all of the things I love and put them into what I do. I absolutely had a vision.
Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
Totally! While writing the lyrics for every song, it was just as important to think of what the video would be like. I'd imagine the moment and that scene when I'm working on the lyrics. It's like a picture.
What fosters that for you?
I love movies. I'm a big movie fan. For me, I just wanted to tell a story with this EP. I wanted to say what I feel all girls want to say but don't say all the time. There's a double standard in this society. The message was important to me. From "Drunk Love" to "Kiss and Run", it's like you make drunk love and then you want to kiss and run. As a girl, it's so hard to say, "I want to get drunk, have sex with somebody, and have them leave". It's not a big deal though. Everyone does it, so why not say it?
What artists shaped you?
When I was a kid, it was Donny Hathaway and Billie Holiday. There were probably my top two favorite artists. I love Aaliyah. I'm a diehard Brandy fan. I like everything, but I am a big soul music fan. My mom had it playing in our house all the time. Those were the songs I heard before regular pop. R&B and jazz influenced me. I still love James Taylor, Carole King, and Carly Simon.
What's the story behind "Mourning Sickness"?
Well, in the sequence I put it after "Kiss and Run". You have all the power as a girl. You're like, "I'm cool just being me". Then, all of a sudden, he doesn't call you back and you feel really fucked up. That's the point where you're thinking, "Maybe I do like this guy!" You get "Mourning Sickness". You start regretful asking him to "Kiss and Run" [Laughs].
There's also a dark side to the music.
Oh yeah, everything's super dark. I love dark shit. I'm all about it.
Do you have a personal favorite from the EP?
They're all favorites for different reasons. They're all my babies. I loved "Kiss and Run" when I did it. If I had to pick one, it would be that song. Everything tells a story together though.
Did you always know "Weapon" would end the album?
Yeah! The process of being in love or lust is a tumultuous thing. You go back and forth. You're like, "I have one percent of myself left. If you ruin this for me, I'm basically dead". In this story I tried to paint every single emotion you can feel whether it's a passionate, lustful relationship or something steady, it grows into being a weapon. You basically say, "I give up. I surrender". I'm telling you this is my last shot. If I'm going to give you a piece of me, this is the last one I have to offer. I thought it was a great conclusion to the story.
If you were to compare Kiss and Run to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Good question! I haven't even thought of that! This is super random. It wouldn't be this musically. However, it's kind of like Sex and the City. They're confident girls who go through a lot of the things I talk about. It's a bit of a girl power record. Hopefully, it can be the dictionary for guys and they'll understand why girls do what they do. I think I explain women [Laughs].
Maybe Sex and the City meets Paranormal Activity?
Exactly! It has the darkness of Paranormal Activity and the relationship drama of Sex and the City. I like it! Go with it.
Have you heard Jenna Andrews?