Song writer and musician, Jen Black of Kremmling, officially released her singles, Angels Arrive and News of Fools on April 8.
Black is well-known to Kremmling audiences. Her talent was show-cased at the Grand County Has Talent show for the past three years. Black and her daughters delighted the crowd with their renditions of Mean by Taylor Swift and Just like Heaven by the Cure, and in 2014, Black and her daughter gave audiences the sneak preview of the newly released single, Angels Arrive.
For Black, her music is about storytelling and transcending boundaries to help others.
“I am driven by my song writing. It has the influences of country, rock and folk. I don’t worry about genre,” explains Black of her music and finding her niche. “Songs are the stories of our lives.”
Growing up in a musical family and living in England in the 80s, made its mark on Black and her definitive sound. “Music has always been a part of my life. I was born doing it. My dad was a DJ when vinyl was popular.” Black would listen to records and was introduced to the likes of Paul Simon and Billy Joel during her teenage years. “Living in England during the punk rock scene was a total change in music.”
Later her family was relocated to Idaho. Her father was mechanic in the Air Force. In addition to sharing his records with Black, he was also a drummer and her mother was a pianist. These family traits continue to this day with Black’s teenage daughters, Josephine and Robin. Josephine is a vocalist and taught herself to play the piano and Robin plays the electrical guitar. Black also has a son, Gavin who is geared more toward athletics.
Black hopes that someday her daughters will perform the songs she writes.
“Songwriting is my passion and I want to write for people with talent.” Black confesses that she has song lyrics written on napkins and has learned to record herself whenever she is just messing around with her music so she doesn’t lose lyrics that come to her.
Like many artists, Black’s original songs were born from a period of pain. “I went through a devastating issue, and I hope my songs translate to others going through difficult times,” Black says, “I was dealing with a lot of stupid emotion and anger at everything that hurt me. The world was small and was squeezing me, but good things come out of pain. I was able to channel the pain.”
Then in a “vortex of weirdness,” as Black describes the process of meeting and recording her songs with Bryan Rotella, “I was able to able to record my songs in New York.”
Rotella is an independent producer for Unearthed Studios and was on the drumset while Black sang vocals and played the guitar. “I was sleeping on the couch, living and eating it,” Black says of the three month process of creating 1600 vocal tracks, mixing and mastering it. “I ate a lot of lemons to preserve my voice for the six to eight hour days of singing.”
Social media is a gift to artists like Black who are releasing quality works on a small budget (the whole process for Black was approximately $5000). Tunecore based in Brooklynn, New York is an independent music group for digital musical distribution that helps artists sell their music online. Tunecore has released Black’s single. It is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon under Jen Black.
“Doing what you want to do is never easy. I am just trying to set an example and be a role model for my children. I have talented kids. I hope to make enough to continue to pursue my dreams and have a car with less than 100,000 miles on it.”
“I have all this passion. And this is the right place and the right time.” Black says optimistically.