Jillian Valentine is a singer-songwriter from New York. Jillian is our first SonicBids competition winner, being chosen from just under 400 hopefuls that applied to be featured on the Song Revelation site. Obviously, we’re really excited to share her music with you! Read the full interview below to discover her creative process for writing songs, what she’s currently working on and what she’s hoping to achieve throughout the rest of 2011.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or a number of genres what would it be?
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Soulful, sultry singer-songwriter, crafting pop songs laced with rock & roll, new soul, and a bit of the blues.
Q: What is your musical background?
I’ve been singing all of my life, and once I started playing guitar at 14, all I wanted to do was write songs. I attended Berklee College of Music (to study songwriting) and the rest is history.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was spent marketing my first album and writing songs for the next one!
Q: Who inspires you musically?
The soulful, the honest, the vulnerable and the fearless.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Grace Potter, Maroon 5, Ryan Adams, Tristan Prettyman… it’s a pretty diverse list. There are things about each of them I really admire. For instance, I love Grace’s stage presence – she is an unbelievable performer. I’ve always loved Maroon 5’s balance of edgy and pop, sexy and sweet… they just nail every song, every time. Ryan Adams writes the most beautiful lyrics, and has such an incredibly diverse range of songs. They range from rock to pop to country to punk…. yet you always know it’s him when you hear them. And Tristan Prettyman was the most humble artist I’ve met to date and I’ve always admired her for that.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Any of the above artists, for sure. I’d also love to play with Crash Kings, Civil Twilight, Butch Walker, Band of Skulls…. and so many more.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
The past week’s most played songs are “Careless” (Amos Lee), “My Kinda Party” (Jason Aldean), “Medicine” (Grace Potter), “I Should Have Known” (Foo Fighters) and “Jolene” (Ray LaMontagne).
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Everything I write is inspired by things that go on in my own life or the lives around me. I usually sit down with either a guitar or piano and an idea on what I’d like to write about, and with that in mind I just start playing until what I hear compliments what I want to say. I always record my writing sessions so that if there’s a moment of brilliance, I have it. Often my mind is so deep into the song that I have no idea what I’m saying or playing until I hear it back. Unless the song writes itself, the next stage of the writing process is crafting the lyrics… which is often my favorite part. Then it’s fine-tuning the song until it’s as close to perfect as possible. I’m just in love with the entire writing process.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Though they’re both equally important, I’ve always been more concerned with lyrics, in both listening to and writing music…. I just love words and they way they work together. I’m such a sucker for rhetorical devices.
Q: Where are you based?
New York City…. for now. 😉
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
NYC is an incredible mecca for musicians. There are endless opportunities to collaborate, perform, and get inspiration. I consider myself very blessed to have grown up here.
Q: What are you currently working on?
I’m working on an acoustic EP and writing songs to pitch to other artists, as well as some rad surprises coming up in the near future!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
The goal is to release an EP, write some new tunes with some great new musicians, and set up some shows/tours for 2012. The next year will be the start of the next chapter of my career…. I can’t wait for what’s next!
Q: What do you do to relax?
Depends. If I’m stressed about music, I’ll take a break from it and spend some time out in the city. If it’s something personal I need a break from, I’ll spend the night in to play or write.
Editor’s Note: Jillian Valentine has an edgy yet soulful voice that helps to create an intimate and uplifting experience in each of her songs. We’re sure that Jillian will continue to enjoy musical success in 2011 and beyond as more people throughout the world discover her unique yet commercial style of songwriting.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Jillian Valentine just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/JilliValentine
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/JillianValentineMusic
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/JillianValentine
website link: http://www.jillianvalentine.com/
soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/JillianValentine
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/jillianvalentine
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/missjillianvalentine