Interview with Singer-Songwriter Jennifer Harper: Sharing Her Love and Life through Song
It is never too late in life to pursue your passion. Singer-songwriter Jennifer Harper proves how postponing one's music career can be a wise decision. Her music demonstrates how having lived a full life provides a wealth of inspiration for her songwriting.
Her new single, "All the Love (In the World)," appears simple and easy-going on the surface but when you dig deeper, there is a richness and complexity that keeps you listening over and over. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jennifer about her songwriting, her influences and her new album, All the Love, which comes out this fall. Read on to learn more about this inspiring artist!
AL: How would you say your songwriting has evolved over the years?
JH: I'm in a constant state of evolution so naturally my songwriting is as well. As I seek and expand my life, I have different stories to tell. I've become better at finding the essence of what a song means to me and building from there. Taking that deeper experience yet crafting in a more straightforward and simple way. Honestly, I think I've only just begun to find my true voice as an artist. Stevie Wonder said he always writes from a place of gratitude. I'm evolving to owning that ability.
AL: What would you say differentiates you most as a singer songwriter?
JH: It's ingrained in me to work for the greater good, and my intention is to inspire hope and courage in others. Music is a powerful force for change as a universal language, and I'd like to be as fluent as possible. I have my own brand of struggles and joys, triumphs and losses that I've tackled over the years that are uniquely reflected in my music. But ultimately, it's the listeners experience and what it means for them. How it resonates with their lives and awakens something within.
AL: Which artists past and present influence you the most in your music?
JH: I was very influenced by Cat Stevens and Carole King when it comes to songwriting. The Beatles. Fleetwood Mac. I was a huge Rolling Stones and David Bowie fan. The list goes on! As a woman, the bold confidence of Chrissie Hynde and Annie Lennox had a big impact on my courage to let out my strong voice. The bare naked sound of Tracy Chapman influenced me to be an artist true to my own experiences.
My Great Aunt Claire was a huge inspiration. She painted in her studio until the age of 100 and continued to work at home until her death at age 105. I'm influenced by courage, depth, joy, appreciation, a willingness to be vulnerable & honest, and a sense of responsibility in artists. It doesn't matter the medium.
AL: How would you describe your upcoming new album to a potential new fan?
JH: I'm a hopeless romantic, so it definitely reflects that spirit. The songs explore love with underlying compassion for oneself and others.
In terms of production, it is varied. There are some songs with a full band, a piano/vocal, even an instrumental with a very cinematic feel. I was incredibly fortunate to work with producer and renowned drummer, Tal Bergman (Billy Idol, Simple Minds, Rod Stewart), producer and pianist Haim Cotton (Danny Lerman, Ofra Haza, Lipstick Jungle), an 11-piece string ensemble and some of the greatest players of our time.
AL: How have family members reacted to you pursuing your music career at this stage in life?
JH: I have a pretty awesome cheering squad, in spite of all the challenges. I think they are surprised by my spirit and discipline, but it's ultimately a great victory for everyone.
AL: What can music fans expect beyond your new album?
JH: Select gigs. Brief tours. Videos. More recordings. Making the impossible possible! I'd like to travel around the world at some point, I'm very keen on doing a tour of Japan. Making music for film. Continuing to collaborate with brilliant artists, becoming more involved with charities and creating magic. I'm going with the flow so I'm open to all possibilities!
Here's Jennifer Harper's new single, "All the Love (In the World)":
For more info on Jennifer Harper: http://jenniferharpermusic.com/