Monday, September 28, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Jaren by Kostas W.Voulgaris (DJ DragoN)

Exclusive Interview with Jaren by Kostas W.Voulgaris                                           (DJ DragoN)

Jaren. A name that has become synonymous with vocal dance music and whose voice is instantly recognized from the first verses sung in a track.

It wasn’t always like this for her as Jaren’s musical roots started elsewhere in a place quite unlikely to find such a diverse dance music singer/songwriter.

She grew up in a small town in Wyoming U.S.A. A place of indefinite beauty and breathtaking landscapes which could inspire and stir anyone who happens to have a  musical soul within them.

In Jaren’s case her passion and interest for country and folk music guided her down the musical road as she started her career at only 18 years of age. She even went off to Europe a few years later and on her tour through Sweden she was fortunate to write and work with the producers of artists such as Ace Of Base, Roxette and Jill Johnson. This was a great way of widening her musical horizons and picking out her distinct sound of a singer/songwriter.

In 2005 there was a meeting that was certain to shift her musical career down a different path. This is when she met Matt Cerf and alongside him discovered the wondrous world and diverse sounds of electronic dance music.

A short time after she two of them joined also by Shawn Mitiska formed the artist trio of Cerf,Mitiska & Jaren and created the well known emotive track “Light The Skies” in which Jaren’s distinct emotive voice shined through making thus a landmark for them in dance music and hurled them down a road of success and more productions and releases. It was so well received that the Retrobyte remix of the track gained a position on Armin Van Buuren’s A State Of Trance 2007 mix album as well as being named one of his top 10 favorite tracks of 2007.

A string of mass releases followed like You Never Said in 2008 by the mentioned trio and gained a lot of attention.
2008 also saw her teaming up with Armin himself and creating the magical haunting tune Unforgivable for his artist album Imagine. As one can indeed imagine Jaren was in such high demand she worked with numerous well known artists in the scene and the proposals kept on coming.

Some great tracks followed like Beggin You (with Shawn Mitiska and Matt Cerf), Surreal (with John O’Callaghan) Man On The Run (with Dash Berlin),
Carry On (with Markus Schulz), 7even (with Andy Duguid), End Of The Road (with Aly and Fila), Try (with Cosmic Gate) and For All Time (with Aly and Fila once more).

Having made her own landmark in dance music she never forgot her roots and sat down determined on creating her pop/folk solo artist album 7 Year Itch which won’t take long to be released.

An artist of this magnitude could not limit herself to just one style and till current day she indulges herself in writing and singing in country, folk and dance music with the same passion and fire, creating heartfelt tracks that move the mind, soul and feet.


Was music a divine force driving you towards it from an early age?

Yes indeed. Wanna see? I'm fairly sure I came out of the womb singing. My daughter was exactly the same way. Still is.


You happen to be a songwriter as well as a singer.What would you say do you most enjoy doing? Telling a story as you mark down lyrics to paper or voicing it out in song for the whole world to hear at an astounding performance?

This is a good question. I like both for very different reasons. There's a certain sense of freedom I get from being able to sing. I'm not sure I can explain it. It somehow makes me feel like I'm not trapped in my body. I think it must be similar to what dancers feel when they fly through the air and nail their choreography.

I love storytelling, also. It's in my bones. I'm an emotional being, not in the melodramatic sense so much, but I like to FEEL. Storytelling is how I get deep and
work out subconscious desires.


Were you drawn into dance music from an early stage or was that something that unfolded during your career?  

I had ZERO idea what dance music was until I met Matt Cerf when I was 21. He was hot and showed interest in me and so I took an interest in what he was doing. It wasn't another three months after I first hear a dance track that it 'clicked' for me. Now I appreciate it. Some styles more than others, of course, but it wasn't such a natural
process for me.


You have blessed us by writing many amazing and heartfelt tracks.
Which do you hold most dear to you and for what reason?

This changes for me depending on the day. But I could give you a top 4, I suppose:
1) You Never Said - This song means something different to me now than it did 8 years ago when I wrote it.


3) Let 'Em Talk sung by Andee on Universal (I can't find a link!) - This song is one of the dearest to me - I don't know why

4) Blame You – off my second fold album because it's sad and emotional and I love a good ballad


You have written and sung a vast amount of tracks over the years.
Are any of them based on personal experiences or do they happen to be
mere figments of a lively imagination?

Most of them are figments of my lively imagination. Only recently have I started writing about personal experience - as part of my second folk album called 7 Year Itch.  


You have had the pleasure of sharing the studio with esteemed artists from the scene
such as Armin Van Buuren and the power duo of Aly and Fila.
What happens to be your favorite collaboration and who have you enjoyed working with the most?

That's a tough one. Everyone comes to the table with something different. I have shared a long career with Matt Cerf, of course. Had it not been for him this wouldn't have happened. He also understands what I like and need in order to get into writing mode.  Another producer who I've connected with on that level in the dance industry is Andy Duguid. When you click creatively, you click.  Also Pulser. It's been years, but I don't think I ever turned away an instrumental from either of those guys.


Who would you list as your biggest influence as a musician and who would your dream
collaboration be with, if you could choose anyone?

Biggest influence - there are a few.  Tori Amos, Patsy Cline, and an Israeli band called Haye Hudim. Three profoundly different voices and styles, and all of them feel like home to me.


What has been your favorite performance or defining experience since you embarked
on your journey as a musician?

Hands down a show in LA with Dash Berlin that never happened. There was a problem with the promoters not paying their security, or something, so the minute I stepped onto the stage to sing 'Man On The Run' they turned off the lights and sound and told everyone the show was over until they got paid. So I sat at the edge of the stage and sang an acapella version of 'You Never Said' and we had a small choir going by the end of it. So special!!


Within the years you certainly have become a force to be reckoned with and gained
tons of loyal fans and enthusiasts alike within the scene of dance music. How does that make you feel to have come so far and what lies ahead for the songstress within?

I don't let myself think about it, really. I take each day as it comes and my motto is 'I wonder what will happen today.' I used to have big plans, and now the older I get the more content I am with just opening my arms to the universe and saying 'Here - I'll practice, I’ll work hard – you guide me.’


What were the past year's highlights for you and what happen to be your plans or
surprises in your agenda for the current year?  

Last year I had something like five releases in four weeks or something crazy like that.  I also had a song chart on the Billboard Club charts - that was amazing. I got to write with a few outstanding artists and life was pretty pleasant that way.  

The surprise this year is that I've undergone a life change. I've gone through a separation and discovered that while music has been a driving factor in my life for many years, I also enjoy other fields, like design and branding. I don't know what will happen for me in terms of music. I'm living day to day at the moment.


What do you do to unwind from the always hectic life of a musician and attain a bit of tranquility?

I watch netflix.  I lose myself in a good series like Orange Is The New Black, or Homeland, or House Of Cards, or Downton Abbey.  I don't have so much drama in my life and so I need to get lost in other's sometimes to get my inspiration back. ;)


What other interests or activities do you enjoy doing when not engaging in your passion for music?

Film and writing and design.


Do you happen to enjoy traveling and exploring new lands and if so which has been
your most special travel destination?

I certainly do when I have the change to get over jet lag! Vietnam changed me. Egypt changed me - on pretty deep levels. I think if more people traveled and saw the world there would be a greater amount of peace.


Have you ever considered putting together a solo artist album and if so what direction
would you take it in music-wise?  

I have done it twice now - both folk albums because folk is my first love and I feel it most accurately conveys my messages as a songwriter.
The first is called Fixin' It Upright and the second will be called 7 Year Itch.


Could you please share with us,if you so wish,a funny or far out experience you have witnessed over your career?

You know what? When people send me pictures of my lyrics tattood on them that freaks me out. I get really excited and I feel really honoured, but part of me wonders if one day they will regret it. That said, I have a tattoo and I love it and have never regretted getting it. As long as they don't tattoo my lyrics somewhere on their face I'm okay with that. ;)

It was indeed my pleasure and distinct honor to take this written interview with her!
Thanks so much for everything and for giving me the privilege to tell your tale Jaren!

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