Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Paige Unveils ‘The Breakthrough Artist’
We all remember Jennifer Paige from her catchy hit Crush back in 1998 (which, by the way was just released as a remix) -followed by the singles Sober and Always You from her debut album -and the follow up releases; Positively Somewhere, Best Kept Secret and Starflower to name a few. So needless to say, Jennifer’s career has taken her all around the world including performing at the Vatican and The World Music Awards -while sharing the stage with other incredible performers.
Now we have the chance to see Jennifer Paige as much more than just an artist, but as a mentor opening her heart and knowledge to help other artists on their musical journeys. In ‘The Breakthrough Artist’, Jennifer shares her experiences and advice on the music business — combined with a place for other artists to connect and network with one another.
Being that Jennifer also happens to be one of my favorite artists and fellow Virgos (we both happen to share the same September 3rd birthday), it was a pleasure catching up with her recently to hear what she had to say :
Hi Jennifer firstly, I wanted to congratulate you on your new and informative page for artists on Facebook –‘The Breakthrough Artist’. Tell us about how and why you decided it was the right time to introduce this great idea?
Thank you! I see a major need for artists to come together and support one another in a new and important way. Creatives are making the same mistakes generation after generation, and it’s time that artists who’ve ‘been there’ begin speaking up about their experiences and what they’ve learned along the way -in effort to help the next generation of artists. That’s what I am looking to do with The Breakthrough Artist.
It is really impressive that you are using your platform as a successful artist to help others who may feel a little lost or indecisive about how to go about their own careers in the music business. Are you getting positive feedback so far?
I am! I think the need is apparent and I am allowing it to take shape on its own. I’m listening to the common questions and I’m speaking on those ideas first.
What have you learned the most about being an artist and maintaining your drive and creativity for all these years, when often the industry can be very disheartening and disappointing?
We cannot be controlled by our identity as an artist. We must be good humans first -then artists. If we only identify with the artist within us, we will be eaten for lunch. It is natural for artists to be artistic -what is not always natural is to think strategically, like a person in business. It is my goal to help artists step outside of themselves, and to see themselves as a business person, as well as an artist.
We were first introduced to you in the 90's with your hit song ‘Crush’, which was huge. Do you wish that you had the type of help and services that there are now, such as ‘The Breakthrough Artist’ as an artist starting out? Obviously, the internet and having access to a lot more resources has made a huge difference.
Yes, this has taken life ONLY because I see that the same questions I was asking back in 1998 are still being asked. There’s a ton of misinformation out there and it’s time that an artist who’s lived it actually spills the goods. And that’s what I’m gonna do!
These days, there are so many singers who sound the same and don’t have a lot of their own style, as the original singers had that first came out (including yourself). Who were some of your influences growing up and how did you find your own sound and style?
I listened to mostly female artists growing up -Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Madonna, Janet Jackson -I think I took a little bit of each and made my own thing. That’s how it happens. I used to obsess over individual vocal licks, and I’d practice for hours until I could do them with ease. That’s the kind of commitment it takes to create your own sound. At a certain point, you’ll be able to hear a newness and a freshness start to come forth.
What are you currently working on? Any new music?
I’m focusing on The Breakthrough Artist and writing songs for a new EP.
What would you like artists to take away with them from joining your group and what is your most valuable piece of advice for newcomers?
You can be a Smart Artist. You don’t have to be a ‘starving artist’ -it’s a choice, actually. If you have talent, you can build an audience and make money doing what you love. You just need to know what you are trying to accomplish. I’m not down with the ‘fingers-crossed’ approach. I think our art deserves way more attention than that. A lot of artists think they need to be discovered, even when it is possible to connect directly with our fans. We have a lot more power than we are currently utilizing, and when we come together as artists, the force is that much stronger. High tides lift all boats. There is more than enough to go around.
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