“There are winds of change blowing in the music industry and this is one artist that signifies that movement.”
Versatile, emotive and with an unfaltering dedication to underground music spanning 10 years, Jenna G has often been referred to as the Queen of Drum ‘n’ Bass. Names like Chase n Status, D-Bridge, DJ Zinc, Goldie, A-Sides, Marcus Intallex and DJ Die dot the path of her career by way of collaborations, whom she joins with her powerful vocals, infectious energy and explosive live performances. Her tracks are rooted in an amalgamation of imagination and emotions, backed by some unrelenting drum’n’bass. Having performed on every continent and having collected more than a few top forty hits under her belt, Jenna is still releasing and performing all over the globe with veteran producers like Zed Bias, Dj Die & Blame. Not to mention collaborating with hot new talents like Engine-Earz, Netsky, Krystal Klear, Mutated Forms, D1, Doctor P, Camo & Krooked and Atomique.
With the single largest bass line-up India’s ever seen all set to go down at the end of this month at Arms House’s stage at Vh1 Supersonic, Homegrown had the privilege of speaking with him ahead of the three-day rave with a motley of questions in the spirit of a countdown till the massive gig. Here’s our very own Sandunes’ shout out to her:
At Arms House, she joins the ranks of Goldie, Alix Perez, Calyx & Teebee, Icicle, Bobby Tank, DJ Die, Benny Page, Skitz, Stanton Warriors, Jus’ Now, The Upbeats, Trolley Snatcha, Chimpo, SGT Pokes, Nerm & D-Code, Orifice Vulgatron and Engine-Earz to bring us the freshest sounds to Goan shores at the end of the month. We caught up with her with a few quick questions and picked out some of her top tunes for your year-end playlist. Check out what she had to say:
A. Is there a huge difference between your onstage and offstage persona?
No, not really, as much of a drama queen as I can be - I keep the dramatics to my private life. On stage I would say I’m a bigger version of myself, more exaggerated depending on the size of the venue (laughs)
B. 4 of your all-time favourite performances.
1 - Prince with Michael Jackson & James Brown - It’s a video on YouTube I think it’s from an awards show of some sort. That’s the first place I would go back to when they figured out time travel. I mean come on, 3 of the most talented performers all on the same stage at once!
2- Prince at the Apollo 2001 One Night Alone Tour, I went alone (laughs) and was 10 rows from the front - he had Maceo Parker and Candy Duffler in a band line up of the most amazing musicians I’ve seen and heard. The bass player was this lil woman no more than 5 ft tall with this huge bass guitar that had to be at least a foot longer than her, she effortlessly commanded the massive instrument solidly for the whole show! At the beginning of the evening he mentioned that he would not be playing any of his back catalogue, he performed music from the Rainbow Children for two hours before leaving the stage only to return on his own and sing for another hour and a half all the songs he said he wouldn’t.
3 - Prince at any other of the 21 nights at London’s 02 arena - if you haven’t guessed it yet I’m a big fan and was living in London at the time of the events. I begged, borrowed and stole my way into as many of the 21 performances as I could, every one was just amazing with a different set list and vibe but always flawless showmanship and a dazzling display of songs.
4 - Prince somewhere in Belgium outside in a field - A friend mentioned he was seeing him and I immediately invited myself along…the day of the concert there was an awful storm which hit the crowd like a full bath. Drenched, we all waited for him to come onstage and when he did, it felt like being in a church congregation. Everyone in there was connected by presence, his words, those sweet guitar licks. When he played Purple Rain the stage lights took on the obvious hue and heavens opened, it was perfect, it was PURPLE RAIN! Strangers were holding hands, hugging, dancing with one another - it seriously was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before…or will again. I can’t recommend going to see this man live enough, if you get the chance…even on an off day, he would kill it!
C. 3 artists you feel like you do (or could) have the most in common with.
I never thought about this before, but it’s fun to ponder on the traits or attributes I might share with other artists I admire. How about Bette Midler, we share a diversity in musical genres and performing skills. She started out on the stage and then went into nightclubs, which I also did, with the addition of a stint on pirate radio in between. Maybe Erykah Badu as my writing skills and song structures were developed over sampled loops, taking inspiration from Jazz, Soul, Funk and hip-hop. It feels weird saying this but John Lennon…recently someone asked me to write a song. Their request was ‘do not write about love’ (laughs) I mean, how can I not write about love? It’s impossible and it’s what everyone needs to hear, feel and express daily to make the wrongs in this world right. For me, it’s essential, it resonates on every single level regardless of the topic, colour, gender or form. All we need is love, love is all we need.
D. 2 of your strangest experiences with fans.
I suppose it depends on what you call strange.. I guess I’m lucky as nothing’s really happened that I would class as strange. Disappointing - yes, unexpected - maybe, but strange - no, thankfully.
E. Your favourite after party plan.
Go to the beach and watch the sun come up if it hasn’t already! The number one favourite after-party choice of all Sun and Bass (DNB festival in Sardinia) ravers…friends, bottles, music, laughter, the waves welcoming the day waking on the horizon.
Here’s some tunes by Jenna G you should check out:
I. Uncut - Midnight (Marcus Intalex and S.T.Files Remix)
II. Netsky ft. Jenna G - Moving With You
III. DJ Die ft. Jenna G - 1000 Soul songs
IV. Sigma - Baltimore ft. Jenna G
V. D-Bridge feat. Jenna G- Silent Wonder