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Jenna Andrews

has worn every hat in the music industry

INTERVIEW BY CARIANN BRADLEY • PHOTOS BY SHERVIN LAINEZ • FEBRUARY 2020

JENNA ANDREWS IS AN ACCLAIMED SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER.

INTERVIEW BY CARIANN BRADLEY • PHOTOS BY SHERVIN LAINEZ • FEBRUARY 2020

JENNA ANDREWS IS AN ACCLAIMED SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER.

CARIANN: Where are you right now? Where are you located?

JENNA ANDREWS: I’m in New York.

C: Perfect. Is that your home base usually?

J: Yeah, so I'm actually between New York and LA.

C: I thought about moving to LA in 2018. I didn't end up doing it. I am really attached to Nashville right now so I don't know when—

J: Oh, you love it?

C: Oh, Nashville is so great.

J: Oh, my god, what a good city that is.

C: It really is. I didn't think I would like it. I went to school two hours south of here, and came here after school and I just fell in love with it, so I'm glad that I stayed.

J: I'm in Nashville a lot; I love how small it feels sometimes. There's such a great sense of community, which is amazing.

C: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to pick your brain a bit — I mean I live in a music city, but I'm not in the music industry so I don't know too much about it. And I talk to some musicians for l'Odet. I'm not sure how much Nadia told you about our publication, but—

J: She told me a lot. She filled me in. I think it's great where you guys are doing. It's amazing.

C: Oh, thank you so much! And I'm so interested in talking to you about being a woman in music and what your journey has been, because I feel like you are a songwriter and everything, yes, but even a mentor to a lot of younger women in the industry. So I want to know your thoughts.

J: I appreciate that. From my side, I started as an artist, right? Which is so different than being behind the scenes because, as far as the young artists coming into it, there's this sense of objectification. 

It feels like part of what it is to be a young female, you know what I mean? Then you feel it's almost your responsibility to play that part. It was ingrained in my head, especially since I'd been doing this since I was so young. So my outlook was, okay, this is what it is. It's a part of the show-biz aspect of it. But then you climb higher, especially more executive — because I'm doing A&R consultancy and I have my own publishing company now. So it's a whole other thing because it almost works against you. And that's just one topic in terms of being a female in the industry, but I definitely feel it. If you dress a certain way or present yourself a certain way, you feel like you don't get the same treatment as a man. I mean, I hate to say it but it really is true.

And it just sucks. It sucks it has to be that way because it feels like you have to fight a hundred times harder to have your voice be heard and not just because of that — but just in general from being a female. You know what I mean? So it's interesting because it feels like, as an artist, it almost gives you a strong voice because that's expected of you. But as an executive or behind the scenes person or songwriter, I feel like it tends to work against you, like I said.

It's definitely challenging. Coming back to what you said about being a mentor to young women — that's why I like it so much. Honestly, being signed for six years, all these experiences of being a songwriter, consulting for labels, and having a publishing company — I've seen so much to the point where there's nothing that I haven't seen. [Laughs]

I feel like I can advise them in a way that I wish that I had as a young person in this industry. I really do. And it actually makes me feel so good. It makes it feel like it was worth it, because I have the ability to really help others navigate through their careers and make the decisions that I wish I did, you know?

There's a joy to that; I think it's so necessary. I was actually just talking to somebody about this, saying how important it is to have female presence in the creative world, especially with artists. You can't be a male dominated business when you're a creative business.

 

"If you feel good, confident, and supported, you make better music, you know? It's just something you don't even realize."

"If you feel good, confident, and supported, you make better music, you know? It's just something you don't even realize."

C: 100%. Like you said, you've been in so many facets of the industry — I feel like you've worn every single hat.

J: [Laughs] Yeah I feel like I have.

C: And also, I just feel like I need to gush over your work. I love your songs that you've worked on.

J: Oh, thank you!

C: Specifically a song that me and my friends have been so into lately is "Kissing Other People."

J: Oh my god, really? That's so cool, I love that you love that.

C: Yeah, it's been on repeat for sure. What's a project that you've worked on lately that has been fun or eye-opening or something that's just been super great for you?

J: Oh man. I've been working with Lennon for years. I've been working with her for six years and that is just such a fun experience because she's like my family and we're actually working on her album that comes out later in the year. So that's super exciting. You'll love it if you like "Kissing Other People" — there are a lot of good gems in there. And I've been working with Noah Cyrus for five years as well. I put together that song "July." I don't know if you've heard of that. And then I co-wrote the remix with Leon Bridges. That's really exciting.

We're actually working on an EP for Noah right now. Oh my god, it's super exciting. To me, this is my favorite era of Noah by far. I think this is really her time. So that's been great. And then I've been writing with this girl, this young artist from New Zealand named Benee. And I'm really excited about her project. She signed to Republic so I have nothing to do with it, like on that side of things, but as a songwriter, I've been working with her a lot and she's one of my favorite new young artists. It's amazing.

C: It's really inspiring to hear that you're helping lift up these young female artists. I think it's incredible.

J: Oh well thank you — thank you so much. That means a lot to me because honestly, I love it. It helps so much with making good music because if you feel good, confident, and supported, you make better music, you know? It's just something you don't even realize. It's subconscious. If you have somebody that you trust on your team that really, truly has your back, I think it goes a long way. 

C: I guess I ask this to everyone I interviewed for l'Odet. You're a seasoned person in your industry — what kind of advice would you want to give to a young person trying to get to where you are?

J: That's definitely a question I've answered before, too. I always say you just have to keep going, no matter what happens. And I think today, obviously social media is such a massive, massive platform to be heard and be seen. Reach out to people on social media. I always answer Instagram. If people send me songs, there have been times where I've been sent stuff and I don't know the person and I'll meet with them. We're in that era. It's such a great opportunity to have that. But besides that, I would say that if things don't work out, that's part of this job. It's almost good because it gives you a story. If you hit up 10 people on Instagram or by cold-emailing, nine might not get back to you; but one person will.

You just have to keep going. That's what I always tell people. You have to, you can't let anything hurt you and you have to be unique to yourself too. Don't ever try to follow trends because that rarely works. If people don't like what you're doing, it doesn't mean you should change that. Unless you really appreciate their advice and actually believe it and think that it can be different, I think that if you don't agree, stay true to what you're doing. Unless again, you meet somebody that you feel potentially could be on your team and you trust what they have to say. That's the only time I would really, tell somebody that to actually listen to somebody in terms of actually changing your art, because that's where people get lost, is when you have something and you meet with people and they're like, well that sucks.

And you're like, okay, back to the drawing board and then you never get somewhere. At some point you have to really stick to what you believe and that's what makes somebody great.

C: Yeah. I think that's where strong creative people are different — that's their backbone. They don't give up and say 'back to the drawing board,' they're like, okay, well I'll find someone who does believe in this.

J: Exactly. You have to, because otherwise there's always going to be somebody that hates it. That's what music is; even the best fucking artists know they'll have people like that. That's the whole point. If people hate you, you're doing something right, you know?

C: Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. Well, how can my readers and everyone support you? What can we do to support your work?

All the artists that I work with — just stream their music, stream my music. I would say that Instagram is definitely my strongest, most active platform. So I would say just follow me on Instagram.

C: I just appreciate you talking to me and like I said, it's very inspiring. These kind of chats are what keeps me going in what I do. So, yeah. I just really thank you a lot.

J: Aw, thanks girl! I actually totally agree with you. I love this chat. I love this stuff. It's so nice to talk to other females in other facets of this, even if it isn't for music. I appreciate your time, too.

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For advertising opportunities, please write to us at goldie@midnight-woman.com

 

Have you been to Midnight Woman? That's our sister.

Midnight Woman is an online platform that welcomes contributors of all kinds to submit personal experiences anonymously.

We aim to redefine the way we talk about what's happened to us, no matter the subject. l'Odet exists for the named to encourage the nameless.

Midnight Woman is an online platform that welcomes contributors of all kinds to submit personal experiences.

We aim to redefine the way we talk about what's happened to us, no matter the subject. L'Odet exists for the named to encourage the nameless.