Behind the voice: Jennifer ReneMarch 10th, 2009
It’s been only two years ago that this multi-talented vocalist was introduced to the trance scene. Jennifer Rene, ranging from Midwest USA, has started her career with a loud bang. ‘Louder’ was the suitable name for her first vocal release, with producer Jose Amnesia. The trance community was deeply intrigued by Jennifer’s profound, intense voice and kept longing for more. And more they got. ‘Wouldn’t Change A Thing’, another collab with Jose, was the official follow-up. Another soothing, sweet trance jewel, with even more of Jen’s talent showing. And what to think of ‘Invincible’, ‘Fall to Pieces’ or ‘Fine Without You’, her team up with Armin van Buuren? But there’s more. This girl is taking a hold on the DJ Decks, and tours around the globe as both a singer and a superstar DJ. As her bio tells us, Jennifer was born with music in her soul. We’re very glad this multi-talented lady speaks her mind. More than proud to have her with us, it’s time for a check-up on Jennifer Rene.
Armada: When did you first started singing?
Jennifer: ‘I was singing since a very early age. My father was very musical and had me involved in music a lot with him either through church or a band he used to be a part of when I was growing up.’
Armada: Did you actually have singing lessons?
Jennifer: ‘I never really had a private tutor for singing. I was in choir so of course we learned ways to warm up and to sing from the diaphragm. But as for private lessons: no. I think it’s something I will look into in the future. It’s just like any special skill someone has. The more you work at it and train properly for it or in this case ‘with’ it, the better and stronger you become.’
Armada: When and how did you notice there was more than just a good ring to it?
Jennifer: ‘Well, when I was young I would enter singing contests and was a part of a musical production that put on plays for the community. I would win in those contests and be given the leading roles in the musical productions, so I assumed I was doing something right. I think we’re all given a gift in this life. And when you find it you just know.’
Armada: It all started with a sample of ‘Louder’ which got send to Jose Amnesia. How do you look back to that time now? You probably feel extremely lucky?
Jennifer: ‘I still remember sitting on my balcony listening to the ASOT when Louder debuted thinking ‘Wow I’ve achieved something really special here’. I think instead of calling it ‘luck’ I’d call it ‘blessed’. I’m very blessed and thankful that Armin took a liking to my voice from the beginning and that so many listeners responded in such a positive way. I’m so blessed that I’ve been given the opportunities I’ve been given so far in this musical adventure and that people seem to like my voice and want to hear more of it. You could say I believe in ‘luck’ to some extent, but more importantly I believe in destiny and fate even more. We all have a path we’re destined to walk on. As I’ve always said, music, I believe is mine.’
Armada: What makes a vocal a good vocal in your eyes?
Jennifer: ‘When you listen to the song and the words and you’re feeling the singers emotions. When it’s like you can visualize what he or she was seeing and feeling while they were writing and singing it. There are singers and then there are singers that sing with emotions. It’s the vocals that bring tears or chills or make me think ‘why didn’t I write that!’ that I love.’
Armada: Got any vocal heroes yourself?
Jennifer: ‘Rachel Yamagata, Imogen Heap, Bob Marley, U2, The Police/Sting, Celine Dion, Morcheeba and yes, Britney Spears to name a few. And as far as lyrics go: Robert Smith of The Cure is just a lyrical genius.’
Armada: What about singing live? Was it a big step to do so? Or were you confident enough to do it?
Jennifer: ‘I’ve been singing live since I was little so that was never a problem. Granted the amount of people I’m singing for has changed quite a lot so there are always butterflies, but they’re the good kind. ‘
Armada: You’re also working as a DJ, combining spinning with live vocals. How is it all going so far? Is it easy to combine these two, or is it a lot of hard work?
Jennifer: ‘It’s so great combining the two! Building up your set to your song and the crowd knows it’s your song but they are surprised when they see you grab the mic and drop live vocals over the instrumental! And then to have to throw the mic down and mix in the next track when it’s over’_it’s all a giant rush and I absolutely love it!’
Armada: You’ve been working with Jose, Armin, Jonas and several more. Any more exciting collabs coming up?
Jennifer: ‘Time will reveal..!’
Armada: There’s also this project you worked on with Dino Lenny, ‘U.N.A.’, taken from Olive’s ‘You’re not Alone’. Whatever happened with it?
Jennifer: ‘Jose Amnesia is good friends with Dino Lenny and Jose knew he was looking for a vocalist to do a different style of UNA. I believe I recorded those vocals around the same time as ‘Louder’ so it’s been a while. It was a different take on the track and I got some nice feedback for it.’
Armada: You’re currently working on an album. How is it going so far and what can we expect of it?
Jennifer: ‘I’m really hoping for a lot of diversity. Diversity in vocals, music, and overall song meanings. I have experienced a lot in my life and have a lot to say. I’m kind of a private person so I’m learning to break open the shell and realize it’s ok to write about stuff you normally wouldn’t want people to know. And I’m such a perfectionist, ask poor Jose! Everything has to be perfect. I’ll record vocal takes again and again and again until I’m hoarse! I’d like to have all different styles of music on this album too. I’ve always been a fan of trip hop so I’d love to try some of that as well as some chill out stuff. You can never go wrong with a nice acoustic either. When it’s finished I hope listeners will realize there’s a lot more to me than the little piece of the ‘Jennifer Rene’ that they know now.’
Jose Amnesia feat. Jennifer Rene – Louder
Jose Amnesia feat. Jennifer Rene – Invincible
Jose Amnesia feat. Jennifer Rene – Wouldn’t Change A Thing
Armin van Buuren feat. Jennifer Rene – Fine Without You