Interview: Soulful Singer/Songwriter Jen Miller

This month, brilliant indie vocalist, ukulele master and all-around musical badass Jen Miller – representing Columbus, Ohio – tolerates my line of questioning for the second time around.

She covers the recording process, Kickstarter, her favorite bands, The Red Wedding, her quirky but beloved fans, how she’s grown as an artist and more. Read on, dinosaurs…

It’s been two years since you released your first EP on iTunes, what do you think the major difference between your new album, Overgrown, and Forget the Dirty Hearts is?

I think the major difference between the EP and the album is that I really got my hands dirty here. For the first EP, it was my first time in the studio. We did it all in one weekend and the songs didn’t really have a chance to ripen in the studio…we just recorded them as quickly and as well as we could in one 48 hour weekend.

This time around, I worked with a producer, Derek Snowden, who really helped me push my sound. Some days I would come in the studio and be like “Derek, I wrote a song last night! Let’s see what we can make of it!”, and that’s what we would do for the night. It would come in as vocals and a ukulele and get transposed to electric and banjo by the end of the night. That’s just how it goes. So the sound is definitely more developed and the songwriting more solid.

Kickstarter and YouTube seem to have been your friends over the years… What projects have you backed on Kickstarter? 

Kickstarter burnt an imaginary hole in my pocket for a second there. I actually found it thanks to Julia Nunes…I am a massive fan of hers and she and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole are the combined reason I started teaching myself uke. She crowdfunded her first 2 albums which I (of course) backed obsessively.

Who are you into of these days musically? Anyone you fangirl over who readers might not have heard of?

I AM FANGIRL CENTRAL. A little less crazy than the One Direction fans though. I riot less.

Huge fan of Ohio natives Twenty One Pilots…Allen Stone, Kate Nash (swoon), Ed Sheeran’s new album, Nina Nesbitt, Passenger and Stu Larsen.  Continue reading “Interview: Soulful Singer/Songwriter Jen Miller”

Video: Jen Miller – “Stay” (Rihanna Cover)

Lately, Ohio indie artist Jen Miller has been busy promoting her EP, Forget The Dirty Hearts, but she’s back on YouTube with new music. A cover of Rihanna’s latest single “Stay.”

“Not usually a massive fan of Top 40 songs but I really, really love this song,” Miller (Jenerally Speaking, on Facebook) wrote. (I still have NO IDEA why she hasn’t been signed to a major label.)

Video: Nina Nesbitt – “Stay Out”

Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt recently released the video for  the single “Stay Out” from her fourth EP, due April 8, 2013.

Despite not being a household name in America, Nesbitt has established quite a fanbase in the UK and on YouTube (“Boy,” released in December, already has over a million hits) and is signed to a major record label (Universal).  Continue reading “Video: Nina Nesbitt – “Stay Out””

Video: Jen Miller – Doo Da Doo (Live In Columbus)

Here’s Jen Miller (if you still aren’t familiar, read my interview with her already, slowpoke) performing her single “Do Da Doo” in Ohio for Spoonfeed TV‘s weekly Little Box session.

She almost sounds better live than on her EP, Forget The Dirty Hearts, if that’s even possible. Be sure to also check out her performances of “Steal My Heart” and “Forget Your Face.”

Semi-Obscure Pop/Rock Playlist #2

You like music? So do I. Use your savvy non-braindead skills to seek out these tunes…

1. Charli XCX – “Stay Away.” Charlotte Aitchison’s “Stay Away” baffles me for the fact that it isn’t a hit song that started slowly (like “Somebody That I Used To Know” or “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and ended big, with radio success and the artist on SNL. It’s got that 90’s feel, meets The Knife or something Lovefoxxx-approved, from Drive.

2. Santigold – “Go!” Feat. Karen O. Master of My Make-Believe, the latest from Santi White is everything you could want from a sophomore album. It’s different but not so different that you have trouble identifying and all the songs are top-notch experimental frenzies, everything M.I.A. wishes she’d done with MAYA.  Continue reading “Semi-Obscure Pop/Rock Playlist #2”

Interview: Jen Miller, YouTube Virtuoso

I got the opportunity to correspond with a tremendous talent yesterday, someone who deserves to be the next big “voice” in music. The folky individuality that Ohio-born up-and-comer Jen Miller brings to songs by relevant artists like Outkast, Foster The People and Adele is unrivaled.

Her rendition of “I Wanna Go” by Britney Spears earned an honorable mention in Perez Hilton’s “Can You Sing” cover competition last year (if you ask me it should have won).

Miller’s YouTube channel is an easter egg hunt of music, you just won’t find any bland boiled eggs or black licorice. Though I did learn that apples would also apply (explained later).

Continue reading “Interview: Jen Miller, YouTube Virtuoso”

Stars Pay Tribute To Etta James

Etta James touched the lives of many artists, some obvious (Beyonce, Adele) and some not so much (Flo Rida) before and after she lost her battle with Leukemia.

Kelly Clarkson covered “I Go Blind” at Radio City Music Hall four days ago and Adele sang “Fool That I Am” at Somerville Theatre in Massachusetts after learning her idol was ill on January 14, then took to her blog to comment on the loss.

Continue reading “Stars Pay Tribute To Etta James”

Video: Jen Miller – “If I Die Young” (The Band Perry Cover)

 I’m convinced that when the world gives Jen Miller a chance she will be one of the next big things, a more universal version of Regina Spektor. She’s an unsigned artist who has done covers in the past of everything you can imagine from Foster The People, to Nicki Minaj to Radiohead. The chick is versatile.

Continue reading “Video: Jen Miller – “If I Die Young” (The Band Perry Cover)”

If Regina Spektor Did “I Wanna Go”

Perez Hilton recently held a singing competition for unsigned artists singing Britney Spears’ “I Wanna Go.” He’s got kind of a weird ear so he crowned some jazzy guy as the winner…

The winner should have been Jen Miller aka Jenerally Speaking, who also does some amazing covers of Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain” and “Someone Like You…”

Continue reading “If Regina Spektor Did “I Wanna Go””