Interview: Singer-Songwriter Drea Jeann Discusses Her Latest Singles and The Power of Music
Vulnerable, honest and transparent are three of the adjectives that best describe newcomer artist, Drea Jeann. The beautiful songstress, who writes through the lens of personal experience, has an emotionally deep level of maturity and etherealness in her sound that’s well beyond her years. It’s a sound defined from her years of musical theater as well as a hybrid cross between the styles of jazz, pop and r&b.
Whether it’s the haunting groove in the track, “Come Back To Me,” or the somberness of long-dinstance relationships in the song, “Faithfully,” Jeann not only gives listeners a glimpse into her life but empahtically shares her passion the best way that she can — through her music.
I recently spoke with Jeann about her music and more in this exclusive new interview.
To someone who might not be familiar, how would you describe your sound?
Drea Jeann: It’s a little hard to define. I started seriously writing last year with a producer and am still exploring the avenues that define my sound. I only like to write about things that I’ve experienced, so my songs are very authentic and personal. Vocally, I’ve had a lot of jazz training as well as r&b and pop.
What inspires you when you write and create?
DJ: The way that it usually works is that my producer will send me instrumental tracks. After I listen to them, I’ll figure out what I’m feeling and thinking about and willl come up with a melody or hook. Then I’ll start building lyrics around it and how it relates to my feelings or the experiences I’ve gone through. Other times I’ll already know what I want to write about. The it’s just a matter finding the right instrumental to portray it.
Let’s discuss a few of your songs, beginning with “Come Back To Me.”
DJ: It’s a song based off toxic relationships. I’ve had a few of those experiences. Whether it was with an ex-friend or ex-boyfriend, it’s a song about the back and forth of a relationship and the consequences of being emotionally dependent on someone. You don’t want to be in that situation anymore but you’re not sure what you would do without them.
What can you tell me about the video for the song?
DJ: Ben Griffin was the director and he was the one who came up with the idea of water. It was a great experience and everyone on set was so nice. At one point, they weighed me down on a ladder and I had to give a signal for them to come and give me oxygen from a scuba tank. That was how I was how I was able stay under water. It was pretty wild.
How about the track, “Faithfully?”
DJ: That’s a song about long distance relationships. I’ve been in a few of them myself. It’s about waiting for that person and feeling sad about the distance but not wanting to be with anyone else. For the video we decided to make it more military and about going away to war. When you meet someone and fall in love but then have to go back to your own country. Sometimes it’s a series of unfortunate circumstances that keep you apart.
Are the new tracks part of a larger project you’re working on right now?
DJ: I have another new single releasing on Feb 28th called “No Sympathy.” It’s very personal and one of the best songs I’ve ever written.
Did you always know you wanted to have a career in music?
DJ: I’ve wanted to do music for as long as I can remember. I did a lot of musical theater in high school, so it all felt very natural. It’s a part of who I am.
What are you most looking forward to about this next phase of your career?
DJ: I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes. The more songs I release the more people will get a chance to see who I am. The more you hear someone’s songs the closer you feel to them and the more you learn about who they are and what they’ve been through. It can be scary letting everyone into my life but it’s also exciting. My main intention as an artist is to always be vulnerable and authentic and to never hold back on what I want to say. We’ve all gone through tough times and hardships. I want to be the one to speak about those things and let others know that they’re not alone.