Today’s Feature, June 30th & July 1st, 2007: Jennifer Paige

January 18, 2008 at 6:27 pm (Today's Feature)

Talent can come in all kinds of packages. You get the “forced” talent
where an individual tries to be “something” even they know they are
not. Sometimes you get the “kind-a-sorta” talent, where you can kind
of sense where they are going, but you know that person, posed with a
guitar in their hand, probably can’t even tell you what a Fender is.
Then, on the rare occasion you get the kind of talent that makes you
say, “That-is-it!” That’s kind of artist Jennifer Paige is. She has
mastered all the key ingredients for being a successful pop star.
Paige’s voice is cool and sexy, without having to fake it. Her style
is original, often copied by others…and not duplicated. Success? How
about world renowned, with singles like “Crush” (1998) — #1 AUS, NZ;
#2 CAN; #3 U.S.; #4 UK and “Sober” (1999) #50 NZ; #68 UK (To name a
few). Or ask the Vatican, where she sang in 2000 for the Pope and the
mass following across the world. Then of course you can’t forget about
“the look”…please, don’t get me started…I’m already blushing. I can’t
come up with a suitable description, so I’ll go with “speechless”.
This “package” of Paige originated long ago, before the hit albums and
sold out crowds, making her stock that much more valuable. She started
her career the way most “real” artists do, clubs, coffee houses and
any other gig that would let her and her band perform. She crossed
coasts at age 17, leaving laid back Marietta, Georgia for the
entertainment siren that is LA. She toured around with a top 40 covers
group called Joe’s Band, sang in front of 50,000 people at the Olympic
games in her own backyard of Atlanta, signed with a major label and
the rest is history. Now Paige gives us “Best Kept Secret” which she
says has a more European flavor. Which makes sense since Paige ditched
the LA studio scene for the more relaxing, Ibiza, Spain. “Best Kept
Secret” seems suitable since Paige may be the “secret weapon” the pop
world has been waiting for. Read her XXQs to find out more.

XXQs: Jennifer Paige

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did you first get involved in music?

Jennifer Paige (JP): Music was a big part of my family life. We have
many musicians in the family, and my aunt was a professional singer. I
was 5 years old when I saw her sing at the local fair. I thought she
was such a superstar, and I wanted to be just like her. 🙂 I began
singing locally at coffeehouses with my older brother, and at family
reunions.

PEV: Was there a certain time or event that you realized you wanted to
make music a career?

JP: My parents always told me I could do anything I wanted to do. That
was music, so it never crossed my mind to do anything else. When I
graduated, I went on the road with my first band, singing in casinos
and hotels.

PEV: What was it like the first time you stepped into a recording studio?

JP: I was singing a song demo for my uncle, so he made me feel 100% at
ease. It was amazing for me to see it all come together so quickly.

PEV: Your 1998 self title LP contained your hit song “Crush”, which
became an instant favorite on pop radio and even launched a tour
(certified gold for sales of 500,000 units and reached #1 in thirteen
countries). How did it feel to have that song become so popular so
fast?

JP: I had imagined myself singing in front of crowds of people since I
was a little girl. So, to watch my dreams unfold before my eyes was
surreal. I remember driving down the PCH in California, and hearing my
song on the radio. I wanted to scream out loud to the car next to me,
“That’s me on the radio!”.

PEV: How is your third album “Best Kept Secret” different from your
second, critically acclaimed album, “Positively Somewhere”?

JP: Positively Somewhere was recorded mostly in Los Angeles, and Best
Kept Secret was recorded in Ibiza, Spain. Although they are both sunny
atmospheres, the new record has a more European flavor. You cannot be
in Spain for months and not be affected by that musically.

PEV: What was it like writing and recording “Best Kept Secret” on the
island of Ibiza? How was life on the island different from that of
your previous studio settings in New York, LA and Nashville?

JP: I stayed in the guest house of my producer’s ranch. It was
overlooking a mountain and the weather was amazing. Everything was
different about this experience. We’d usually start recording around 8
pm and work until the morning. Get up late the next day, have some
lunch and slowly begin again.

PEV: You have traveled all over performing (including singing for the
Pope at the Vatican). Which city do you think offers the best
environment for music?

JP: For some reason, I have a special attachment for Italy. When I am
there, I feel as though I am in heaven. The food, the people, the
weather…everything about this place makes me happy.

PEV: What is one major difference between performing for crowds in
Europe and Asia versus those of the US?

JP: Every place has it’s own feeling. Even in the States…every crowd
has its own feeling.

PEV: How has life on the road been for you?

JP: I love being on the road. It’s more exhausting than people
realize, and sometimes you miss the comforts of home, even if you are
staying the nicest of hotels. But there is an excitement to rolling
into a new city every day and performing for a new crowd.

PEV: Explain your creative process. Do you come up with a line first
or the music and then match the words? Scribble out notes all day?

JP: I usually hear a melody in my head first. I will decide if the
melody feels happy or sad, and the words come next. I write on piano
and at that point, it just naturally begins to mold itself. Tweaking
the lyric is the last step for me and then off to the studio to
record. Sometimes I rewrite things while I am at the microphone, if
something doesn’t feel right. So until the song is mixed, it’s still
in the writing process.

PEV: What kind of atmosphere do you surround yourself in when you sit
down to write?

JP: It’s usually late at night and I’m usually alone while writing.

PEV: What was it like the first time you played live on stage?

JP: I think I forgot the lyrics and ran off the stage in tears,
leaving my brother standing there looking dumb 🙂

PEV: Also an actress (In August 2002, Jennifer made her feature-film
acting debut in Disney’s “The Country Bears,” starring Christopher
Walken and fellow musicians Elton John, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt
and Don Henley), do you find the same artistic satisfaction from
acting as you do with writing and performing?

JP: I went to a performing arts high school, and had courses in Drama.
I love acting but it is a completely different feeling than singing
for me. I’m definitely out of my comfort zone, but I really enjoy it.

PEV: What do all your friends and family back home think about your success?

JP: They all have their stories about “I know her when…” I think
they are proud that I went for it, and have achieved my dream.

PEV: When you are not writing, performing or traveling, what can we
find you doing?

JP: I have a Bassett Hound. She gets a lot of attention, and we go for
lots of hikes. I also love being by the ocean.

PEV: If Saturday Night Live called and asked you to be their musical
guest, whoulf be your ideal host?

JP: Definitely Christopher Walken.

PEV: What is the best part about playing live?

JP: The instant gratification of seeing your music affect others.

PEV: What’s something we’d be surprised to hear about you?

JP: I’m a man…( 🙂 just kidding!)

PEV: Jennifer PaigeIf we were to walk into your studio right now, what
would we find?

JP: Lots of clothes everywhere, lots of and other normal studio things.

PEV: So, what is next for Jennifer Paige?

JP: The release of “Best Kept Secret”, lots of promo and touring.
Looking forward to getting back out there. Keep in touch by visiting
http://www.JenniferPaige.com or http://www.MySpace.com/JenniferPaigeMusic.

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