Q&A: Jess Penner

Jess Penner Q&A! She’s had some really incredible placements as she talks about below. Hope you all enjoy it!

Q: What do you think makes a great song?

“Honestly. I think any time someone shares what’s truly in their heart, it is incredibly endearing. It’s weird, but the songs I’ve written that spill out the most personal or specific details of a situation end up being the very same songs that people tell me they relate to the most… it’s kinda spooky. We’re all far more alike then we realize I think.”


Q: What’s your favorite venue to play at and what makes it stand out?

“Man, this is a hard question. I have had good and bad shows in every kind of venue. I tend to like more intimate venues, I played at Witzend in Venice for the first time a few weeks ago and the vibe there was amazing (and the Caprese salad??? OMG). I like a place that feels relaxed and welcoming to artists and patrons – seems like a simple thing but it can be kind of hard to find especially here in L.A.”


Q: What are some of your favorite tunes to cover and how do you choose them?

“Right now my favorite covers are Cold Desert by Kings of Leon and Video Games by Lana Del Rey. I like them because they are both dark and moody and a little naughty/dangerous which is wildly attractive to me because it’s the opposite of everything I usually am.”


Q: Have any of your songs been placed? (movies, TV shows, etc…)

“Yes ma’am. I have an incredible licensing company (Position Music / Choicetracks) that reps my music and they do a fantastic job. I have had songs in commercials for Edison Electric, T-Mobile, Payless Shoes, Sony Playstation, Ford, Disneyland, Jergens, Days Inn, etc. I also have had a lot of stuff on TV in shows like The hills, Keeping up with the kardashians, royal pains, private practice, America’s next top model. I’m a lucky lady :)”


Q: Who do you admire in the music business?

“The underdog. I can’t get enough when it comes to the guy who makes a record alone in his basement and then goes on to sell a million of those records. That is what it’s about – doing what inspires you, being yourself, and sharing your deepest emotions with whomever is interested in receiving them. Not because you want to be famous, not because you want to be rich – but just because you need to. That is art.”


Q: What’s next?

“Well, there a million things I should be doing and strategizing for, but right now I’m pretty sure my main focus should be making another record. Growing in the cold came out in the fall of 2010 so it’s high time to be working on a new record. Last year I worked on two side projects that will be released sometime this year (my new indie rock band We Cry Diamonds and a pop project with a couple of friends on the East coast called Astoria Kings) so I’ve been very busy, just with other things. Time to focus on how I feel about life at the moment and the message of record #3… or let what needs to come out out and decipher it all after the fact… that is usually how it happens for me anyways.”

Thanks, Jess!

Author: Hailey

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