Tell us about yourself.

My name is Jake Rosenberg; I’m a 21 year old pianist and folk singer-songwriter from Boston MA, who’s studying to become a certified music therapist.  I love the outdoors and competitive sports, but I also love meeting new people and getting into conversations about passion and realism, as well as identity.  I love exploring differences and learning, personal growth is very important to me.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.

I started Washburn and the River because of the importance nature has served in my identity and spirituality.  More specifically, the land that I spent many summers on the cape holds deep importance in my identity as an artist and personhood.  I find a strong connection with myself through being in nature, and all the years of experience in that space has influenced a lot of my personal growth.  Washburn’s Island and the Moonakis River are important landmarks that define the space my art came out of.  It’s more abstract than a tangible relationship, but also deeply personal.

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Tell us about the genre of your music. 

The project began as a strictly acoustic indie folk-duo with pop undertones, but with new influences and highly collaborative works, has diversified to include many different strands of folk in the writing.  Most recently with the newest record to include folk-jazz, experimental-folk, rootsy-folk, and other singer-songwriter veins that blend across genres.  Washburn and the River does not restrict itself in between genres and instrumentation, striving to incorporate a range of pallets around similar foundations.

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Tell us about the story behind your song.

This song is about wanting to express feelings of a toxic relationship.  The voice speaks of feeling worn down emotionally through abuse.  Much of the song is a conversation through consciousness, from the voice giving themselves affirmations to get over insecurities, and speaking towards the abuser for much of the track.  From the bridge onward, the claims direct towards the partner in the relationship, with a plea for honesty and realism about the situation and an asking for understanding.

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Tell us about the challenges you are facing as a musician.

I face many challenges as a musician, but the biggest one currently, is the struggle I have with wanting to create unique sounding art that is special for the boundaries it pushes but also resonates among a wide audience.  I want to create art that challenges current ways of thinking and pushes people’s perception of music, but also be accessible or people that don’t consume music on a super regular basis.  I think promoting is a lot harder nowadays because of how multidimensional it’s become on social media.  In learning to promote myself as an artist, I’ve been learning the most from my mistakes.  There’s a learning curve, and how to promote a self-image is not something that I’ve grown up with, so that is its own learning process.

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Tell us about the recording and production of the song.

This song was recorded and produced at a beautiful home studio an hour north of Boston on the Merrimac River in Amesbury, MA.  My producer is an incredibly talented musician, who’s really brought my music to the next level and expanded upon my ideas in a profound way.

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Tell us the names of blogs, radio or TV stations that have supported you so far.

The song was premiered on the indie-blog Obscure Sound, which was the first of my music to have something cool like that.  Besides that my music hasn’t received much exposure besides on a couple Spotify playlists and Soundcloud playlists, but I’m hoping that will trend positively with upcoming releases.  I’ll be on WBCA doing a performance and short interview later in the week, which I’m looking forward to.

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Tell us more about your music career, experience and future goals.

So far I’ve mostly been cultivating musical skills and writing songs in an incubator and playing on local projects.  I’m hoping that I can grab some attention for my music and some sort of fan base.  I want to build a following to be able to have a larger influence and bring positive impact from a musical platform.  If things don’t catch, then I plan on continuing to write songs and pursue music therapy as a means of making the world a better place.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

I love to write because it helps me to be in-touch with myself and define my being.  I’ve used self-expression to let myself be heard when in other times, my voice was stifled.  I love to be creative and musical skills are a tool that is constantly getting better with time, so it’s something you can always come back to and work on.  Being able to share what you create with the world in such an accessible way while making meaning for yourself and others makes all the practicing worthwhile.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

I think that making hits comes down to studying what is popular, and getting lucky.  Songwriting is a skill that grows with practice, but I think part of making a hit is tapping into a vein in society that needs to come out, something that deeply resonates with feelings of the time.  It needs to be fresh enough to catch people’s attention but also relevant enough to what they already know.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

I would tell an upcoming artist to understand that the journey is long and to continue to strive for personal growth, never growing comfortable with the status quo.  As we grow ourselves, our music will grow in reflection to that. There’s no shortage of inspiration in the world, we just have to be open to drawing from its energy.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

Thus far I’ve been studying music at university in Boston, and so I’ve been in the education incubator.  I released my first album when I was 16, in the spring of my junior year and alongside that the first release of Washburn and the River, the “Plenty Years” EP.  These initial projects laid the foundation for me as a songwriter that I could progress from.  Over the next 2 and a half years, I would write and record “Along the Blue”, a much more expansive twelve-track indie-folk album that recruited the likes of twenty-five musicians, spread out among the tracks.  This album released December 11th 2015, felt like a step forward from previous works and demonstrated my ability to work with many different people to create an organic product that was something to be proud of.  Since then, my music and songwriting has continued to evolve in terms of production and focus while I define myself as an artist.  I’ve been preparing to greet the professional world head on as I finish college, releasing an 18 track double album, while writing new music along the way for a more commercially focused EP that breaks away from the folk music of the past.  As I await further opportunities on my musical journey, I look forward to continuing to evolve my sound and write music that fulfills my soul and can reach a wider audience.

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

I write my lyrics from a stream of consciousness style, that involves me sitting with my emotions, and then writing straight from an idea or feeling that inspires me.  I’ve been doing this ever since I started writing songs, and it’s become my favorite and most fluid style of writing lyrics.  I’ve recorded with a number of different engineers and producers in various settings in the Boston area.  I usually don’t have an idea for how the song will sound in completion until after I’ve spent considerable time on it in the recording process.

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Name the artists you are willing to collaborate with.

I love collaborating with other artists; it’s one of my favorite things.  I will work with any artist that inspires me or who I can learn from.  I love trying to stretch my skills to fit molds in new styles, because it helps me grow as an artist.

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State the links to your social networks and stores for purchase of your songs.

https://soundcloud.com/washburn-and-the-river

https://washburnandtheriver.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/washburnandtheriver/

https://open.spotify.com/artist/2qoqzghLcJr8cfZyUfJquI

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

Every day can bring happiness and every day can bring sadness, both are extremely important.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

I will spend a million dollars in ways that benefit my career and help out friends and family.

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Tell us about your song.

This is my favorite song that I’ve released thus far, and I love the message that it sends across.  I really enjoyed seeing this song come to life and I’m very excited for more people to listen to it!

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Tell us how you manage other activities with your music career.

It’s definitely a constant challenge to balance commitments while in school, so it’s something I continue to work on everyday in leading a healthy lifestyle. I understand that sacrifice is necessary and compromise is hard, so I continue to work everyday to try and make my life more balanced and manageable.

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Tell us five artists you can regard as legends.

Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder.

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Tell us your future plans pertaining music.

I plan on pursuing a career as a songwriter in Los Angeles, in the form of exploring opportunities.  I’ll also be seeing where my music takes me, if I can really get things going with a promising Dream-pop band I help lead called Eva & the Oak.  I’ll also be receiving a certification in Music Therapy in 2019, which I plan on including that within my work.

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Tell us what you think about creativity and originality in music.

I think the music industry has not done a good job in making creativity an important part of the music that is produced.  They are much more concerned with following a rubric to elicit a product than to stretch the expectations of the listener or carry a voice for the people.

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Tell us the reason you are into music.

I am into music because I believe it is one of the most powerful forces in the universe, and for the power it has to create impact and lasting impressions on myself and others.

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Tell us your view on old school music and new school music in terms of preference.

Old School music is less predictable and more novel because of its foreign nature; new school music is more exciting and relatable, more daring, and more exploitative and multi-cultural.

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Tell us your most memorable day as an artist.

My most memorable day as an artist of recent was performing my music for a famous choir in Cienfuegos Cuba, and receiving a wonderfully thunderous applause.  It blew me away how moved they were by my music and I was completely overwhelmed and flooded with emotion. It was an amazing moment.

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Tell us what you would do for the people if you found yourself in a position of power.

I want to help people, help to eradicate greed and foster community, create more education and destroy all the evil agendas that plague our society.  Help people realize that we need each other in this world and isolation breeds hatred.


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