ARTIST NAME: Jenny Kern
SONG TITLE: Slow Burn
ALBUM TITLE: Slow Burn – EP
RELEASE DATE: Jan 25, 2019 – (Full EP April 5, 2019)
GENRE: Indie Folk-Pop / Singer-songwriter
Jenny Kern is a Canadian-born indie singer-songwriter based in New York.
She performed in Montreal during college before moving to Manhattan in 2013.
Drawing on her own experiences, her songs unfold through a confessional-style delivery revealing the strength that can only come through vulnerability.
All the while, Jenny creates space for the audience to bring their own stories to the emotive tenor of her music.
Jenny Kern’s debut EP is an intimate collection of songs from years of self-reflection on her personal experience with self-doubt, regret, and the search for comfort in painful seasons.
Her mesmerizing vocals and evocative lyrics sit at the forefront of beautifully contemplative melodies.
The EP showcases soft yet alluring confidence from the first track to the last.
Jenny’s single “Slow Burn” is available across all stream platforms and her debut EP will be released April 5, 2019.
Discuss your recording experience with your producer.
The EP was produced by Katie Buchanan, an incredibly talented Brooklyn-based producer.
We recorded the entire album in her home studio, which left a lot of flexibility to explore sounds and arrangements.
Katie is an incredible singer-songwriter and musician as well, so between the two of us, we played all the instruments.
Katie also has a vast understanding of the music industry and songwriting.
With her guidance, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and be vulnerable while making this record.
Had I worked with anyone else I don’t think I would have grown the way I did in such a short period of time.
This recording experience helped me find my individuality as an artist and feel more confident in my capabilities.
She changed my life in many ways. More importantly, as a producer, she gives me hope that women can continue to make big strides in this industry and put out incredible music.
Discuss what comes first and last while creating a song.
My songwriting process is constantly changing. Sometimes I’ll come up with a guitar riff or a chord progression and then move to the lyrics or I’ll write down a story and come up with some meaningful words.
Ultimately, I aim to write music to understand the world around me or things I’m going through, not to make myself feel better.
Tell us the piece of advice you will give to a new artist.
I’ve received a lot of great advice but it’s hard to give it to new artists when you’re so new yourself.
But, if I had to say anything, I’d say take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way and don’t wait for them.
If you want to play shows, reach out to venues. If you want to record, connect with producers.
Have no fear when it comes to putting yourself out there. Just be true to your identity, take care of yourself first and foremost and stay grounded.
Discuss your worse experience in the music business.
I can’t say I’ve racked up years of bad experiences, but I think the hard part is that the music industry is not where it needs to be when it comes to gender equality.
As young women, we are conditioned to shy away from asking questions and standing up for ourselves. For example, going to shows and having the sound person ignore you or having men tell you “you’re surprisingly good at guitar!” These are things that we shouldn’t have to hear but it’s the reality right now.
I was fortunate to work with a woman who’s heard the brunt of these comments. Everything you can imagine. So, when I would get down on myself or say “you’ll never guess what this guy told me”, she was able to help me readjust my thinking and not personalize it.
I don’t think I would be where I am without that guidance. It’s a learning curve but each time I show up to a new show or reach out for new opportunities I remember these experiences and try to take it on in full confidence knowing I am just as qualified to stand where I’m standing.
Tell us how you deal with rejection.
I don’t think anyone really takes rejection well but I try my best to learn from it. If it’s constructive, great, but if it’s negative, I try not to personalize it and move on.
At the end of the day, artists seek validation but the truth is not everyone is going to like your music. That’s subjectively what happens with art so I am always working on focusing as much of my energy on the supportive feedback and filtering out the negative.
Tell us what you are doing to impact the people around you.
This is the most important thing for me when it comes to making and performing music. My number one goal as an artist is to impact those around me. Whether it means writing a song that brings comfort to someone struggling or writing a song that makes someone feel happy.
I write for myself and the intention of bringing meaning to someone’s life. When people listen to my music, I want them to know they are not alone in whatever they are going through.
Tell us the music that makes you happy.
There’s so much music that makes me happy. Ironically, sometimes it’s the sad or melancholy music that brings me the most joy. There’s something cathartic about sharing sadness.
Being open is not an easy feat for anyone. I love it when music becomes an honest and safe space to feel. So, whether you want to dance, laugh, or cry, music can create that space.
If I had to share the music that makes my heart dance, I’d probably say anything with a good groove.
Motown is probably up there for me. The rhythm that came from this era is a sure way to start my day right.
Tell us how you make instrumentation to your song.
In general, I tend to write by ear. So whatever shapes and sounds come when I play around that’s usually what manifests into my progressions.
Recently I’ve been using a loop pedal to write a lot and it’s been really interesting layering different sounds and hearing the potential.
Once I have the basics down, I’ll mess around with synths and percussion.
I received some really great advice about experimenting with instrumentation when writing and creating demos.
I would’ve never thought to use overdrive or distortion on a snare drum or adding an organ instead of keys or synth. It’s all about exploration.
Tell us how you feel when you sing and your fans sing along to your song.
I haven’t had too many of these moments yet but when I see someone mouthing the words or humming along to my song, it’s an incredible feeling.
Tell us the goals you aim to achieve when creating a song.
There are two things I try to achieve when creating a song. First, does this song connect in the way I want it to connect, and in return, will that bring meaning to someone?
Lyrics are more important to me now more than ever. Since becoming a songwriter I’ve realized how much words can impact others. Someone told me the magic is finding the intersection between descriptive and statement. This is something I’m constantly exploring.
The second is; do I see growth in this writing, instrumentation, or arrangement?
I’m always looking to develop something new in my writing arsenal even if it’s in my own style. That could mean creating a punchier chorus or creating a stronger arrangement by inserting a bridge. It’s been a really exciting journey.
Tell us your approach to writing.
When writing I don’t really have one single approach. Sometimes I’ll start with a story or a word and go from there.
I have a journal with ideas, anecdotes, and topics that I want to engage in. Whether these are my own life experiences, things I’ve encountered from meeting people, or just themes that I want to touch on.
At the end of the day, I’ll always write what I feel rather than trying to manufacture something that is not genuine.
I try to think about the emotion I’m leaning on and how I can convey it without considering other people’s personal opinions.
Ultimately you want to stay true to your own emotions but make them relatable.
Tell us how you plan to develop a unique music style.
My goal is to never be pigeonholed in one style or one specific genre.
I think artists today are constantly reinventing themselves, and as long as they stay true to their individuality, there’s so much music to create.
My goal is for people to always go “that’s Jenny Kern” when they hear my voice. But they may be pleasantly surprised by the styles that inform my writing as I continue to develop.
Tell us how to record a song.
I usually start with a simple beat, lay the guitar down and scratch the vocal, then develop the instrumentation.
Once the track feels complete, I’ll lay vocals and then harmonize myself. It was pretty much the same process for recording this EP.
Once in a while, you really rethink the approach to the sounds or instrumentation especially when I get sage advice to try something drastically different.
Tell us if you are collaborating with other songwriters or you write alone.
For the most part, everything I’ve written has been a solo endeavor but I’m starting to collaborate with some really talented individuals in the music space – People that I admire as artists in the local NY scene.
It’s been incredible just talking through ideas and running songs by each other. I have a feeling there will be some exciting collaborations coming in the next year.
Discuss your experience with fans.
Fans are everything to me. I’ve received some really amazing messages online about how my song(s) have made people feel. Whether it helped them get through a hard time or they just enjoyed listening; I appreciate all those notes more than anything.
As an artist, I aim to connect with people so I hope that I can continue to impact their lives as much as they impact mine.
Tell us your experience of booking gigs and shows.
Booking gigs can get really tough especially being in such a dense market here in New York.
But there are some really great venues that are constantly looking to feature new talent and help artists showcase their work.
Tell us if you consider a song placement in TV or Film.
My background is actually in TV and film so I would love to see my music placed.
It’s something that I aim to achieve as an artist and something that influences my writing.
I’m always wondering; could this song fit with a scene of a movie or a show?
Can it replicate and compliment that emotional impact?
Elaborate on the song.
Writing Slow Burn was definitely a cathartic experience. It opened my eyes to life in a way I hadn’t really seen before.
At the time, I was going through a difficult period. I felt lost, broken, and uncertain.
It was the first song I ever wrote about my vulnerability of self-doubt.
There’s something particularly terrifying about feeling alone in your own head. That said, while this song is heavily rooted in a painful experience, it’s not supposed to be sad.
It’s about recognizing the struggles and finding comfort in yourself while being open to the unexpected.
Life isn’t perfect, it never will be. But the most important thing is to be present in the journey.
A very important person to me once said it’s not about burning the candle at both ends, it’s about a slow burn in life.