Monday, August 10, 2015

Jean Kelley Deserves your Bucks (And is Here to Offer Tips for Independent Artists)

Reality competition shows are a dime a dozen these days, and have become a viable way to become a household name. [Tangent: Let's be me, everyone on a reality show is a name known and freely spoken in my homestead.  I am the girl that jumped aboard the My Giant Life TLC marathon this weekend for hours at a time.] However, it takes a lot of hard work and hustle to expand upon your 15 minutes of fame, and become a Kelly Clarkson and not a Honey Boo Boo. The aftermath of that surreal experience is one that I’ve always been curious about.

Enter Jean Kelley [Tangent: not to be confused with Gene Kelly…although they both have crazy amounts of charisma and flawless hair], the big-voiced sassafrass who bounced between Team Gwen and Team Pharrell in season 7 of The Voice. I took a vested interested in Jean, because although she now resides in the ATL, she went to my high school and I grew up and attended college with her big sis, Anne. [Tangent: Random memory that proves the family knows their shit regarding music….Jean’s sister Anne sang Shadowboxer by Fiona Apple in the Middle School talent show, which probably took some kind of award for the most un-lame song choice by a 7th grader.] She's also a blog reader, and I show so much love to those that take two minutes occasionally to check out my blathering.

She may not have made it to the finals, but her chart-toppingversion of Sia’s Chandelier stuck with a lot of viewers, and after wrapping production Miss Jean is taking all that priceless knowledge gleaned from a virtual boot camp with music legends and making an album. [Tangent: I mean who do you know that has gotten music words of wisdom from T. Swift and Gwen Stefani in the span of a month.] She's actually in the final stretch of Kickstarting it into existance, so you can help make her dream come true by dropping some change in her proverbial busking bucket.

After you watch her cover Amy Winehouse, you will pretty much at be musically bewitched into donation. Her voice is soulful and rich like hot fudge cake!

She also has a little advice from other independent artists trying to get their hustle on. [Tangent: I have zero musical talent, but like to think with Miss Jean’s tenants that I could be Janet Jackson…although we all know I am but a jazzy top away from being William Hung (but with less breath control). I mean, I know that I could just use these tips to reach my blog's fullest potential, but I like to have faith in their transformative mystical powers.]
  1.  Get out there and work- build an audience and a brand ..."I started as an independent artist after college, when I moved to Atlanta to pursue R&B. That first year was by all accounts pretty unpleasant, but the second year, I met some talented new friends, wrote angsty Pop/Rock songs, formed a band and played at venues around the city (to the same 30 people haha!). I knew I hadn't quite settled into my sound, so I took some time to write and do a couple solo recording projects. I also started taking improv classes, hosting local shows and writing comedy sketches 'cause, why not?. I guess you could say I was unintentionally building my brand, but I was really just doing stuff I loved."
  2. Don’t worry about fitting into a box ..."I think to stand apart in this business you just have to be honest and not worry about what box you fit into. It's unnatural to force it and it rarely works because fans know when you're faking. I mean, sure, it's harder to promote positivity and empowerment in an industry that earns money selling sex, but I was lucky enough to grow up on the "girl power" music of the 90's, so singing about my milkshake is not really an option. Haha! But seriously, my hope is that by writing my songs with intention and creating music that I love, fans will be able to really connect to it and find something for themselves. And if not, the songs will also be catchy as hell. ;)"
  3. Social Media is your friend..."It is pretty much a necessity for Independent Artists to build their fan base and stay connected to their fans. Each platform has its own way of communicating and some, like Facebook, have made it possible for me to have really meaningful interactions with my supporters. Youtube is more of a one-way conversation, but it allows me to share different aspects of myself as both an artist and as a truly ridiculous human being."
Seriously, keep your eye on this girl! Right now Brentwood High's biggest pop star alumnus is Ke$ha, but that could all change. :)

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