British recording artist Jeannine Barry's blend of country and pop has been winning over fans in her native country and beyond. Her passion for music has taken her all over, including Berlin, where she met vocal coach David Lee Brewer, who has worked with numerous artists, including Beyonce. Jeannine has been performing regularly, including singing "Amazing Grace" with the Berlin Philharmonic. She graciously agreed to chat with us via email about her EP, songwriting and more.
When did you start singing and realize that music was something you wanted to do professionally?
I have always been singing and used to treat my bathroom as my stage until I had the confidence to give it a go in 2007 and auditioned for David Lee Brewer (former vocal coach of Beyonce & Desitiny's Child). When David said I was a country singer after my audition I didn't see why, but looking back now I have always loved all of the country songs that did make it across the pond and singing country just comes naturally.
I have always had the vision of making singing/writing/performing my professional career. My career is constantly evolving and heading in the direction that I want it to so I'm happy and excited to see what comes next.
You have been compared to Martina, Carrie and Emmylou. That must be extremely flattering. Do those women influence your sound?
Yes, extremely flattering!
I'd say there is quite a funny mix that influences my sound. Since I didn't grow up listening to country music a lot of my influences actually aren't country artists. What I find inspiring in other artists is usually the personality and what they stand for/what message they are trying to bring across and how real they are. Therefore, P!nk is one of my biggest influences. The way she always stays true to herself and her strength and amazing songwriting skills have inspired me very much to keep doing what I do. Other artists I like and listened to in the past are LeAnne Rimes, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson, Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Hayden Panettiere, Dixie Chicks, Ryan Adams, amongst many others.
This past October, Jeannine released her debut EP, Give Me Something, which is available at digital retailers as well as at her live shows.
How do you approach songwriting and is it something you enjoy?
Songwriting is a huge passion of mine and something I work on all the time. I really love to write and express myself that way. I often just sit down and write on my own and come up with a melody and then get together with a musician or I sit down with my guitarist and we start with some chords. It feels like writing has become equally as important to me as singing over the last two years and whichever way I get to say what I want to say in a satisfying way I'm happy with it.
I usually write alone but am going to start writing with my guitarist, Alan. I am generally open to co-writing as I would like to see where that would take things.
A quote on your website says you put the “live” in live entertainment. What sets your live shows apart?
I wouldn't say anything puts it apart as I think it's just different with every artist, but I always do my best to be as real as I can be, to entertain and to tell a story with the songs I perform.
Country music seems to have a growing presence in England.
Country music in England is extremely exciting, especially right now! You can see with the success of the c2c event how much interest and demand for country music there is here and it is becoming more and more popular with so many events and artists popping up everywhere. I'm really glad to be part of it.
Do you have any plans to come to the states?
Oh yes! I have always wanted to go to the US. I would LOVE to go over and tour and see Nashville and of course perform there! When the time is right I will make my way over.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
To be honest, it would be right now. I've just recently had the pleasure to headline my own show at a venue called The Garage in London. I've worked so hard for so long and that was a truly amazing experience. Shortly after that, I supported Jill and Kate at the Borderline in London which is another fantastic venue. I had so much fun! It was so amazing to see and feel the support from my fans. In July I am playing 5 shows on the O2 Pop up stages in London which I'm super excited about and there is so much more coming up.
What do you want to accomplish in the remainder of 2014?
I want to finish recording my first album! I have been writing a lot this year and will continue to do so. Of course I also want to continue building my fan base and play shows. I am making plans but I am also leaving space for things to naturally develop and unfold so who knows what else is waiting for me in 2014!
Finally, is there one recent record that you cannot stop listening to?
I love that Nashville track sung by Hayden Panettiere, "Don't Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet." I'm in love with all the Nashville tracks though!
Purchase Give Me Something here
For more information visit Jeannine's official website
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