Jenna Marotta Gypsy Interview
Equally inspired by jazz, 70s rock, and classical, the new sound Jenna Marotta is releasing emulates the qualities of all the greats. She is soulful, unique, and passionate. Her new album, Gypsy, is a must have!
It seems that Jenna's vocal chops are rivalled only by her wicked sense of humour. One minute, her audience is bearing witness to the next great soul singer then she changes up her style or cracks a joke, and bewilders them with delight. When Jenna is asked about her passions and her ambitions moving forward, she says, "There is nothing better than bringing people joy through my music. I can't wait to share my new record with the world."
Jenna's been singing and playing instruments since she was a wee young thing. Born in Philadelphia, and raised in NJ, she spent her childhood honing her skills on the piano, flute, and trumpet. In 2000, Jenna moved to Chicago, joined the Motown Blues Expressions, and began writing music a capella.
In 2006 Jenna completed her B.A. in Performing Arts at the University of Tampa. She was then invited to perform at Amateur Night on Showtime at the Apollo. Upon opening her mouth to sing a rendition of Gladys Knight's "Neither One of Us", Jenna received a crowd-wide standing ovation.
Soon after, Jenna was awarded the Backstage Pass Magazine's title of "Daytona Discovered". She sang at the halftime show for Daytona's arena football team, the Daytona Thunder, and used the prize money to buy a guitar. No instrument ever came so naturally to Jenna and it was enough inspiration for her to make the move to New York City.
Since her first Greenwich Village open mic in the fall of 2008, Jenna has written and copyrighted over twenty songs. She holds court at the Bitter End, Cafe Vivaldi, and venues all over NYC. Her album, Gypsy was released digitally in 2013 and on CD in 2014 with an additional song entitled "Never Forget". Be sure to sign up for e-mail updates on shows, new releases, and more!
Interview with Jenna Marotta
Question: How would you describe your music?
Jenna Marotta: My music is fun and relative to people of all ages, but mainly geared toward adult appeal. It has a bit of the old sounds of the 60's and 70's integrated with a bit of the new fresh sound. It is heartfelt and deeply influenced by my relationships with people.
Question: What was the main motivation behind Gypsy?
Jenna Marotta: I have been wanting to do an LP for 15 years. I hit a point in my life where it was time that I put everything on the line to make an album of my best songs. I knew I wanted a career in music, and needed a product first, but previous to this, I wasn't ready. Finally, I decided it was time that my songs be heard. My goal was to make the best possible product I could using all of my resources.
Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?
Jenna Marotta: I write all of my own songs. I am inspired by my personal experiences, and from others around me. Truly, songwriting is a gift that I am so thankful to have. I feel like, when the moment is there…so is the song. I just open my mouth and sing, and the words and the music come out.
Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?
Jenna Marotta: I listen to a variety of different artists. I am a big Billy Joel fan. I also love Madonna, Led Zeppelin, the Doors, and Billie Holiday. I can be found listening to hip-hop and rap, then changing the channel to jazz or classical. I love music. All music!
Question: What's next? Tour/Album/Single?
Jenna Marotta: My next step will more than likely be writing and prepping to do a video. Plans are in the works. In the meantime, I am doing my best to get my music out there through the internet to blogs, and radio, and through a few live local shows….maybe some touring in the Fall.
Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Jenna Marotta: I think all artists have that moment. For me, it wasn't as much giving up, it was a decision to do something else. At one point, I decided I wanted to try law school. I had spent a few months studying for the LSATs and got busy. One day, I woke up thinking about how I hadn't studied the LSAT book in quite a while…and went to look for it. I found it a few minutes later, covered in sheet music. I saw that as a sign that law school wasn't my calling…music was.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Jenna Marotta: Hmm hard question because I love both, but I am going to lean toward recording. The process is so absolutely spiritual. I have been performing live since birth, but this is my first full album…and I can't wait to do more!
Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Jenna Marotta: It's just my calling. I have been performing since I was just a very little girl, and it always felt right to me. I studied Broadway and opera music growing up and through college. When I grew out of my teenage years, I really yearned for something else. Writing my own music was the only natural next step.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?
Jenna Marotta: I would have to say developing a following locally. In NYC, having to pull draw at clubs is absolutely nerve racking! Haha that, and coming up with the funds to make it happen!
Question: What's a typical day like?
Jenna Marotta: Oh gosh, I get up at about 6am. I take my dog out, make some coffee, see my boyfriend off to work, and get on the computer. Between my job (Realtor in NJ) and keeping up with the social media aspect of my music career, I probably spend about 100 hours a week on my computer or iPhone…. at least. I usually will get up in between e-mails to stretch, maybe pick up my guitar, write a little, and then go back for more computer time. I work Real Estate by day, and seriously work my butt off. I am a worker bee. I never stop. I sleep, but not that much. Too much to do, and too little time to do it! LIFE IS SHORT!!!
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Jenna Marotta: I would have to say it's the recording process. Since many of my songs were originally written a capella, it really took me to a special place in my mind and heart. I love to hear my musicians take those simple melodies and turn them into music. This album has been the most remarkable thing that has ever happened to me.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Jenna Marotta: I would love to collaborate with Madonna. I love to make people dance, and she is the master.
Question: What message would you like your music to say to your fans?
Jenna Marotta: There is hope. No matter how dark or how ugly life can be, there is always a way out. Through music, friends, family, or even just a random stranger you meet and converse with, we all can find solace somehow. Just don't give up.
60 Second Quiz
Full Name: Jenna Michelle Adelaide Marotta
Nickname(s): jeanapple (pronounced the French way), jeanae, Slick, Beanhead haha I have a few…
Star Sign: Leo
Favourite Food: Italian
Favourite Film: Forrest Gump
Favourite Actor: Mel Gibson
Pet: I have 10 month old Boxer named Sabaka and a 10 month old Snow Bengal Kitten named Princess Orion
Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Madonna
Hobbies/Interests: Art, photography, cooking, sports, running, acting, wine
First Job: Camp counsellor at Great Times Day Camp
Are you a Pub, Bar or Club kind: All three, what's the occasion!? Lol
What Can You Never Leave Home Without: My iPhone of course
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning: Take my puppy outside!
Interview by Brooke Hunter