INTERVIEW: Queens Powerhouse Singer JENNAH VOX Returns With Emotional Single, “Tacoma (See You Around). Talks New Music, Geode Hunting & More
Originally from Queens, Jennah Vox released her debut EP, In Effigy late last year. Produced in a Venice Beach garage, In Effigy highlighted the singer and songwriter’s soulful and emotional sound while showcasing her “complicated relationship with God and men.” Now she returns with the first look at her upcoming EP Recover with the release of her new single, “Tacoma (See You Around).” Described as a break-up anthem for the post-pandemic world, Vox‘s powerhouse vocals shine in the new single that shows growth and maturity in sound from 2020’s debut. Get to know Jennah Vox in an All Access exclusive interview that is sure to have you falling in love with this talented artist.
Let’s start from the beginning, what is it about music that made you want to pursue a career in it?
JENNAH VOX: I was born hearing music so it was music from day 1. My family was very musical and my mother was a huge inspiration for me and my sister expressing ourselves through singing. We moved through our days as kids making up silly songs about what we were doing. A lot of our songs featured the dog. My mother’s #1 hit was “Shower Time”.
When I graduated college, having mostly studied poetry and with no job prospects, I moved to Los Angeles to sing. Turns out, so did everyone else – so I started marketing myself in the local scene as a cellist. That’s how, I met Taylor Morrow, producer of In Effigy and my upcoming EP Recovery. I was in their band for a few years playing everything from The Viper Room to a pinata factory. I was in other people’s bands, playing other people’s music for the better half of 10 years. It wasn’t until I suffered a major loss that I started writing for myself. In Effigy is my first solo release and it is written about a major love that I lost and rebuilding my life in the aftermath.
After putting out In Effigy and playing live shows, many people tell me that my voice gives them chills or makes them emotional or connects them to the present moment. I believe important to honor the feedback coming from my fans and I’ve decided that I will share my gift with the world for the rest of my life.
That’s incredibleCongrats on the release of your latest single, “Tacoma (See You Around).” What’s the story behind this one?
JV: Thank you! “Tacoma (See You Around)” is my most redemptive song to date. It’s written about a few different relationships I’ve had over time and unrequited love, a heavy theme in my music. “Tacoma (See You Around)” is different from my other records because it takes back power and moves through the heartbreak, allowing things to be as they are and saying goodbye to things that are not meant for me. “No more condemned men between my sheets/entangled feet/don’t need another one” is a promise to myself that I intend to keep.
“Tacoma (See You Around)” is the latest single appears on the upcoming EP Recovery that is due this fall. What can fans expect from this EP that might differ from your last EP? Are there any songs that are you’re nervous about releasing due to how personal they are?
JV: All of my songs are highly personal – I’m serious about using my authentic voice. Recovery is a different than In Effigy in that each song is experimental and genre-bending. “Tacoma” is my first indie pop tune, “Atlas” is a ballad with high energy drums and “Gretel” is my darkest song to date. It’s the one I’m most nervous/excited about my fans hearing. I wrote it from the perspective of Gretel, the fictional character who is abandoned by those meant to love and protect her. She has a lot to say about her predicament and I’ll leave it to the listeners to decide if they like hearing my darker thoughts about society and the world we find ourselves in today.
You released your debut EP, In Effigy late last year which was produced in a garage during quarantine. What was the biggest learning from your first EP roll out? As artist, how do you feel you’ve grown since that first EP?
JV: Time and space is important to create great art. The studio that we built to create In Effigy was gorgeous and had a powerful energy. A woman named Lulu gifted us her garage in Venice Beach, my favorite place on earth, through a series of random coincidences. We set up speakers, the instruments, a laptop and chairs. The garage looked out onto palm trees and hot pink flowers. You could hear the ocean. I sat behind Taylor as they worked, for hours on end, listening intently to ever single detail of the record. We laughed, we debated, we cried. We ate a lot of tacos. We had nothing but time since we were stuck in quarantine and no one was asking for In Effigy. It allowed Taylor and I the freedom we needed to make it what it was.
I had no expectations that anyone other than my friends and family would listen to the record – it was just something I felt called to make. I was shocked when In Effigy was spun 20,000 times. It forced me to deeply consider why I was doing this. Why am I putting out music, why am I trying to be an artist, what am I saying and why should people care? I sat with this thought a long time while In Effigy was finding its audience. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am on Earth to help people remember who it is we really are. Without ego, without pretense. That we are walking expressions of an infinite number of tiny miracles. That the steps we take to the left or the right always bring us to the present moment. Enumerated through the steps of our parents and their parents and theirs and dinosaurs and the stars and planets, all the way back to the creation of space and time. And I try to honor that truth in all of my live shows. I think this keeps everyone coming back.
You’ll be performing live in New York City at Rockwood Music Hall on Thursday, September 30th @ 8pm. What’s your favorite moment when performing live (pre-performance, certain song, encore, etc.)? What is a Jennah Vox live show like?
JV: The Jennah Vox live show is unique every time. I spend a ton of time designing the shows to fit the stage and the audience. Our first Rockwood show was intimate and leaned in, our Bowery Electric show was a high-octane rock show.
My favorite moments performing are improvisational. At the Rockwood show on Sept 30th, we will have my best friend and extremely talented fine artist Trisha Zuvich on stage, live drawing the set. We will be writing improvisationally from the audience suggestions and performing brand new songs live on stage that will only exist for that night, with the people present and never again. Like a mandala. My shows are like mandalas.
FOR TICKET INFORMATION CLICK HERE.
If you weren’t an artist/musician – what career path could you see yourself doing?
JV: I would be a geode hunter and travel the world looking for crystals in the dirt.
If you could headline a music festival/musical event, which would it be?
JV: Lilith Fair
If you could only listen to (5) artists for the rest of your life, who would they be?
JV: Mac Miller, Dessa, Dermot Kennedy, Brittany Howard, Amy Winehouse. Their genius is highly influential to me as an artist. Every time I am about to perform or something major is in the works, I serendipitously hear one of these singers and I remember that the universe has my back.
Besides the New York show and EP release, is there anything else fans can expect from Jennah Vox in 2021 and early 2022?
JV: I plan to re-record both EPs and release them as a full-length album. We will also be working on two new music videos – my favorite art form to produce and traveling around the US to play shows where my ground-floor fans live. I don’t care if I’m playing in front of 5 people in Chicago or 10 in Boston. I am ready to connect with fans live. Hope our paths cross one day soon.
Congrats to you, Jennah on the release of the new single, “Tacoma (See You Around)” and thanks for hanging with All Access! To stay updated with upcoming shows and when the upcoming EP Recovery will be released be sure to follow along with Vox on her journey by checking out her social media below: