In Session: Jennie Angel

POUGHKEEPSIE – Rising local country music artist, Jennie Angel, encapsulates a drive and passion for her career that is refreshing in a time where COVID still threatens to crush and smother much of the arts world.

It was a pleasure to get a chance to discuss music with Jennie, as well as delve deeper into her plans to promote her recent release of the single, “Leaving,” which can be heard on any major online streaming service. Continue reading to catch our interview.

Lucas Garrett: Hello, Jennie. Thank you for sitting down and taking the time to talk with us.

Jennie Angel: No problem!

LG: Tell us a bit about yourself.

JA: I am a singer-songwriter from Hudson Valley, New York and I started writing songs about three years ago and releasing them on platforms and radio. We started putting a band together in the spring and now we’re traveling around playing as many shows as we can.

LG: Nice. You have some new music out, right?

JA: Yeah, I do! My latest single, “Leaving,” was just released in May. We started pitching it in September and we did a music video for that. You can check that out on YouTube and all that fun stuff.

LG: Let’s talk about the creative process; what are some of your influences?

JA: Sure. When I write a song, I usually like to do lyrics first; I think of a melody – any kind of melody in my mind. I start to play some chords on the guitar to see where the melody falls and what chords to use. I’ll put it all together in that way. It’s a lot of fun, haha.

LG: What are some of your upcoming plans?

JA: We are going to be recording more, hopefully before March. We have some big shows. This past Sunday I was at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. We’re going to the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas in March.

LG: Congratulations!

JA: Thank you so much! It’ll be on Amazon Prime. That show is on March 7th. Then, on April 9th, I have another show. I’ll be at Karl Hall in Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania). The summer is going to be very, very busy. All over the place.

LG: What’s going on in the summer?

JA: We’ll be going on tour. We’re going to be up in New Hampshire. We’re starting in that area, then we’ll be in Maine; New Jersey; South Carolina. We’re going to be playing festivals and fairs and music halls up and around there. We’re waiting to hear final plans for Nebraska and Wisconsin.

LG: That’s been a long time since that happened…

JA: Yes. When COVID happened, all of our summer shows were canceled; a lot of musicians lost out. So, hopefully, we’ll be able to make some back, you know? Make some new fans and have some fun. I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.

LG: I think we’re still a way out, but I feel we’re getting there. As musicians – you know, and I know – that the entire name of the game is different now, you know?

JA: Mhm. It sure is.

LG: You’d have a record and you’d be able to promote it; plan all these shows around it. Now, the whole process of pitching it is way different now. The climate is way different. It could all be gone tomorrow, you know? I think there’s still vulnerability there. When the pandemic hit, how did you pivot and manage life as an artist?

JA: It was frustrating. I definitely did not feed into the frustration; I did more live shows. I would Facebook Live; Instagram Live. I’d promote myself virtually as much as I could. That’s just what I did. Right before it happened, though, I had this weird feeling. I reached out to a couple of places and I’ll just play for tips. I did that a couple of times; two different places. Then, when it all shut down it was just virtual. I wrote a lot, too, and I recorded a lot. I just tried to keep busy. I recorded “Girl Next Door,” “Too Good for It,” and “No One to Blame,” all in 2020, ‘cause there was nothing to do.

LG: Going forward with music in a post-COVID world – even though we’re still in it –  how do you feel things will be different? Whenever I play out now, let me know if you’ve experienced this. Usually, you’d have a good idea of how many people will be there. Now, I have no idea – it’ll go from three to a full-house for no reason.

JA: I’ve noticed exactly the same thing. A lot of people will be home quarantining. Some of them are still getting sick and taking care of their family members. I’ve played where I expected there to be a lot more people and there weren’t so many. Then, I’ve played other places where I thought it would be something with not a lot of people and it’d be packed. It depends on what’s going on in people’s lives and if they’re vaccinated or not; if COVID hit them hard or not. It’s weird. I think COVID is still really taking a toll in that sense.

LG: It seems in many awful ways that COVID has equalized the playing field; everyone’s getting the same turnout. I feel in the music industry that one hand has to wash the other. The venue has to take care of the artist – no doubt about that – but there should be a degree of responsibility on the artist – if the venue is reputable – to have less of a “Where’s my money?” mindset. When you go out and ask for what you’re worth – many don’t realize what they’re worth – and there’s no one there. I don’t know how I feel about that, either.

JA: Yeah, I know…

LG: The whole thing has just gotten really weird.

JA: I agree. It definitely has. A lot of venues weren’t expecting that hit either, you know?

LG: Right.

JA: They lost out and we lost out, and then trying to recoup. A lot of venues are still lowering their door prices. I am hopeful for the summer; let’s put it that way.

LG: Me too, with all the outdoor stuff.

JA: Yep.

LG: You have a lot of stuff going on: new music; going to Las Vegas… what else do you have going on?

JA: We’re recording new songs hopefully by the end of this month and then the summer tour.

LG: Where are you recording?

JA: Up in Albany. I’m going to record some things and then I have my producer in Hudson Valley in Wappingers Falls whom I might be doing one. Then there’s another studio in Gardiner by my house in Ulster County. I have a couple of different projects I want to complete.

LG: You certainly have your hands full. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about before we wrap this up?

JA: You can download the music anywhere you stream, and if you enjoy it, please be sure to request us at your local radio station!

LG: Thanks for your time!

JA: Thank you!


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