Mary Jennings,
The TVD First Date

“I don’t know what it is about music, but it has always been there for me. It is my best friend that seems to get me better than anyone else. As hokey as it sounds, it has elevated every emotional peak and valley in my life.”

“I have always felt music in my bones. My mom used to tell stories that, even when I was hardly 2 years old, I would put my hands on the dishwasher and groove with the rhythmic swishing sounds it provided. As much as I really appreciate all music, even screamo death metal, there are a few moments in my music history that really stand out as being an integral part in the shaping of my own music.

The Teddy Bear’s Picnic is my first memory of music and it was magical to me. This was a book that came with a record in a sleeve in the back. My dad and I would sit in his office, read the story, and sing the song along with the record player. The song is actually kind of spooky now that I think about it, but that probably helped guide me into the minor chords that I regularly use in my own music.

As I grew up, I fell into the pattern of just listening to whatever my parents had on in the house. When I was probably 7 or 8, I fell in love with The Pointer Sisters, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Huey Lewis and the News. If any of those artists were on, I was rocking out!

By the time I hit middle school, CDs were all the rage. I got my first portable CD player and spent every allowance dollar on new CDs. I hadn’t heard of many of artists, but I wanted to experience everything I could. In fact, I really loved going into the Nature Store and trying out their ethereal albums from bands like Deep Forest and Enigma.

One day, in 8th grade Latin, my friend Amy played me some Tori Amos. She also gave me my first Pearl Jam record in 7th grade for my birthday, so it’s obvious that she was super cool. I think the Tori album was Boys for Pele. My life completely changed. I then became completely wrapped up in female powerhouses like Fiona Apple, Sarah McLachlan, Kate Bush, and Beth Orton.

It was those emotive female artists who showed me what I wanted to do with my own music. I wanted to put every bit of myself and my emotions into song with the hope of helping someone get through the rocky parts of life as all of those songwriters had done for me. Even though I love so many types of music, it is still the strong women who affect me the most. As I went through college and young adulthood, I became attached to Zero 7 with Sia as the singer, Imogen Heap/Frou Frou, and Florence and the Machine. I think all of these artists have helped me shape my sound in some way, but the biggest effect they had was showing me I could do things my own way.

With every album I have put out over the 15 years I have been recording, I evolve and, even if only slightly, reinvent myself. As my tastes shift, so does my writing. My new album, Metamorphosis, is no exception. Although it is still my voice and stories, the melodies and production change. It’s interesting to reflect upon this musical history because I can more clearly see why I write the music I do. I am influenced still by all of these melodic moments of my past. I guess you could say they parented me through my musical adolescence.”
Mary Jennings

Mary Jennings’ full-length release, Metamorphosis is in stores now.

Mary Jennings Official | Facebook | Twitter
PHOTO: NASHVILLE PHOTO GAL

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