COURTNEY JENAE: Fun, upbeat, edgy

We talk with Courtney Jenae at the DPS, Inc. Backstage Concert Event. The powerful singer started out by posting videos on Youtube in 2008. Due to her strong vocals and perfect pitch, she quickly became an internet sensation. Courtney tells us how it all started, and gives insider info on her soon-to-be-released EP.

[By Monica Harris, May 10, 2012, Photos by Brittany Woolsey]

Q.        How old were you when you started singing?

Courtney:        I started singing when I was 15 years old. I was in high school. It was something where I started playing guitar with a good friend of mine and we would sing together after school, play guitar, and then I just realized I have a voice on me, so I got into vocal lessons and I started singing more and more. So I’ve been singing for 7 or 8 years now. 

Q.                    Do you write your own songs?
Courtney:        Yeah, me and my producer [Stephen Stahl], we’ve been writing together for the past year now. He and I are a great writing team. 

Q.        Do you play any instruments?

Courtney:        Yeah I play a little bit of piano and guitar. It’s nothing that I play onstage. I don’t feel like I’m good enough quite yet to play onstage, but I do play a little bit. I took 2 years of piano in college just to be a more well-rounded musician. 

Q.        What’s your favorite instrument to play?

Courtney:        I really enjoy playing piano. I wish I was better at it, because I love that instrument. There’s so much to it. But I’m more comfortable playing guitar, I’d say. 

Q.        When do you find that you are most creative?

Courtney:        I am most creative, honestly, past 1:00 in the morning, when I’m delirious and I can’t even think. Because that’s when I don’t have the distractions of daylight and my phone ringing and this and that. And that’s just kind of when all the creative energy comes to me and I write a lot better when I’m not thinking too hard, you know. I’m just relaxing and coming off my day. Around the wee hours of the morning is when I have the most creative energy. 

Q.        Do you have an album coming out?

Courtney:        I actually have 2 singles out on iTunes right now. Both of them I’ll be singing tonight. But I will be coming out with an EP in late June. There’s not a date on it yet. But it will be coming out within the next month or two. 

Q.        What song do you listen to when you’re having a bad day?

Courtney:        There’s this one song that I’ve been in love with forever. It’s a song by Christina Aguilera called “Keep on Singing My Song.” I can be crying or mad because of people in traffic, and I just listen to the song, and I swear, it makes me feel better. I don’t know why. There’s something about it. But that’s definitely the song that I go to when I’m feeling down. 

Q.        I’ll have to look it up. I haven’t heard it.

Courtney:        Yeah, it’s a great song. I think the lyrics are so powerful, and the way she sings it. It’s just brilliant. It does something for me. 

Q.        What are 3 words that would describe your music?

Courtney:        I would say definitely fun, upbeat and edgy.

Q.        Do you feel artists have to have a bit of edginess in the music industry to get noticed?

Courtney:        You definitely have to stand out in one way or another because there’s so much talent out there. And if you don’t have something special about you that kind of sticks out above the rest, it’s harder to get noticed, if you don’t have a story or something that you’re trying to say. It helps if you have a little something about you that makes you stand out. 

Q.        Are you from Orange County?

Courtney:        Yeah I grew up in Fountain Valley actually, and I just moved out to Studio City six months ago. That was a big move for me but I’m really happy I did it. I do miss Orange County a lot, I really do, the beach and the energy over here is so cool, but I’m really glad that I made the move because it was definitely a good career choice.

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