I have been finding out more…
about Jeen and her new track, Any Moment. The Canadian artist talks to me about her upcoming album, Gift Shop, and whether particular themes have inspired the songs; whether she feels there has been a change and evolution in her work since the early days – Jeen chooses a few albums that are special to her.
I ask if there are any tour dates coming up and what advice she’d give to artists coming through; if she gets time to relax away from music; which artists have inspired her; whether she has any goals to accomplish before the end of the year – she ends the interview by selecting a classic cut.
Hi, Jeen. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m good (smiles). Busy!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Jeen. Been putting out records on my own for a while now. I haven’t had to get a real job yet (smile).
Any Moment is your latest track. Can you talk about its origins and backstory?
It almost didn’t get on the record. I had written it for my publisher just to have and they had a big reaction to it; they asked if I could re-record it for the album. So, I played it for Ian Blurton (who was mixing the rest of album at the time) and he had the same reaction to the track. We decided to do it at Ian’s studio (he played some guitars and co-produced it with me) so it had a bigger sound than I can get in my attic.
Gift Shop is your upcoming album. Are there particular themes and personal stories that inspired the music?
For sure. I’m a bit of an anti-social introvert so that’s an ongoing theme. Haha. Trump had been recently elected at the time of demoing stuff so the state of the world was also on my mind. The general vibe is getting through life without losing it.
Do you think you have grown in confidence since your earliest work? Have you learnt anything about yourself whilst making Gift Shop?
Tons. I was never a producer but here I am making/producing my own records. This has been a huge learning curve and I feel I finally hit a bit of a stride with this album. It took a couple records but I think I know what I like now and, more importantly, how to achieve it. Keeping it simple so I don’t get in over my head. The addition of Ian Blurton mixing has also been a godsend. I can’t say enough about him and I hope to use him for everything moving forward.
Are there particular musicians who struck your ear when you were growing up? Who do you count as idols?
Ah, geeze. The Who, Pink Floyd; The Beatles, Beastie Boys; Janes Addiction, Nirvana…I was a '90s kid, so pretty good time for music. I also worshipped Cindy Lauder as a little kid.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
I hope I’m writing songs for my next record by the end of this year.
Will there be any tour dates? Where can we see you play?
Will have fall dates to announce soon but I only have one show booked July 24 in Toronto at the Monarch Tavern (9 P.M.).
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I’ve been in bands since I was fifteen, so there are lots of memories. Last year, I did a writing camp in London (England). It was the first time I had been there, so that was cool.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Hard question. There are so many more than three, but here a few that really hit me:
Nevermind by Nirvana
I remember it coming on the radio and we were like ‘W.T.F. is this!’.
DFA - You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine
Such a great, heavy album. I’ve listened to it, like, a thousand times.
Radiohead - The Bends
It’s a pretty epic album.
Rubber Soul by The Beatles
That’s four. Ha.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Opening for Radiohead would be pretty dreamy.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Don’t follow trends. Don’t undervalue yourself; music shouldn’t be free.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
I don’t really listen to music anymore, to be honest. Sounds weird, but true. Hopefully, I’ll get out of this shi**y habit and then I’ll let you know (smiles).
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I have three dogs so they’re good for that - and CBD. Haha.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Hmmm. Let’s say Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd