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Jes - The interview


by Tavi Meran 

Jes, how did you start working in the music industry?

As far as I can remember back I have always been drawn to music. I started singing and writing songs very early on and also attended art school, auditioned for bands, TV commercials and plays... anything that involved singing. I even worked in music studios and on video sets just to be around the music. Eventually I ended up answering an ad in the village voice that got me in the studio recording my first songs and after hearing my song professionally recorded I never thought about doing anything else.

As The Rush Comes was a song you released as part of Motorcycle, what was that process like?

That was a great process, inspiring and a lot of fun. I was performing in LA when I met Dave(Dresden) and we struck up a instant connection. Dave was working with Josh(Gabriel) in San Franciso and literally the next weekend I ended in their studio and we worked on a bunch on songs. We were very excited, it was something new for all of us, and we got along great and all had a wonderful time. That weekend came out in the song for sure. We were just having fun and experimenting with many different tracks and ideas and that is how As The Rush Comes was born.


In 2006 you met Tiësto, how was working with the #1 DJ in the world? Do you have any future collaborations coming up?

Meeting Tiesto was a very exciting moment as it would be for many. He is a lovely and positive person who works very hard and is one of the special people out there who really gave me a chance and said "do your own thing Jes". I met him while we were performing in the UK and we talked then about collaborating. It took a few years and after he signed Like A Waterfall. I began doing shows with him. It was a natural progression to finally get into the studio together and we recorded Everything. We then did a beautiful chill track I love so much on ISOS_7 called Blossom. We've been talking ideas so maybe for his next record we will write another song together.


One of my favorite songs is Ghost, what is the story behind that?

Ghost was one of the first songs I wrote after moving to Los Angeles. That move was a very big change in my life and I still try to get back to NYC whenever I can. I would say that it was very reflective of my feelings during that period. I left everything sort of behind including my boyfriend at that time, not out of choice but out of needing a new place to be inspired and just force a change. Ghost is about all those emotions, about being alone but feeling the person far away, changing but still having hope and strength to see clearly through it and feel the connections to life.


In January 2009 you released an album called Into the Dawn: The Hits Disconnected which includes remixes of your hits, can you speak a little bit about the material on that album?

I wanted to make a chill out album. I had worked on a lot of songs for Disconnect and had too many songs so I decided to do an album where we included some downtempo versions of some of the songs on Disconnect and some new ones. We stripped it down a bit and I even cover a song of Pink Floyd 's Wish You Were Here. I've always loved that song and I play guitar and wanted to showcase that a bit on that record as well.


You have a new album coming out called High Glow. Can you give us a little update on what fans will get ?

It's been in the making a while and it's just come out. You can be sure there is a lot of diversity and a true Jes sound! I always push myself to be experimental with my ideas and still try to be fresh. I felt a lot of pressure making this album and most importantly I wanted to hit a chord in people and I want it to have great songs. I like so many different types of music so I continued to explore all the styles that inspire me on this new album. I have crossed genres with Rock and Dance as well as dipped into some urban influence yet, still included what I feel my fans might enjoy about my writing and singing. I focused a lot on the songs. I recorded alot of it first with my band and then we produced it with a more electronic feel.

A recent collaboration with BT Every Other Way, has shown up in the scene with support by Armin Van Burren, Tiësto, Ferry Corsten, and a few other DJ/Producers. What are we to expect with this great collaboration between two of Edam’s gifted talents?

Well that is a really special song for sure! I have been waiting for this song to hit the airwaves for a while so I'm beyond excited that it has finally gotten out and has such great support. It is such a pretty song and working with BT was one of the best times I've had collaborating. He is really a genius and we had so much fun when we wrote these two songs actually... for his album. Every Other Way and The Light In Things. We also shot a video to EOW so I am excited for fans to see that too. I have been singing it out and the response is massive, Armin did an awesome remix too for it and people already know the words. It definitely has that epic feeling!


Another nice tune is Lost in the sound. Does this track have a video? Are you thinking to release this track in Europe too ?

Lost in the Sound is another special song I wrote for the Dance 4 Life project. I was introduced to this charity by Tiësto when we were performing in South Africa. It is a charity for the education about AIDS specifically for young people and many top artists donated songs to create this great album. So… if you haven't heard this album please check it out and purchase it! It supports a very important cause and I think the album itself is a wonderful and colorful album. The video is from the Benefit I did for Dance for Life in Los Angeles and we incorporated the message of the charity and information about it all in to the video. That video really makes me smile. I like it because of all the children are dancing. It has a sweet feeling. The song was primarily released with the album so technically it is out in Europe and we would love everyone to play it. You can get it on iTunes now search Dance4Life.


Jes, can you tell why it is so hard for a European dance artist to get into the American music market? European dance music is considered too childish?

I don't think European dance music is considered childish at all. It may be a number of things but it also can be said about the reverse American dance music in Europe! Dance in America is very popular but not as popular as in Europe. Although now with artists like Lady Gaga and David Guetta on the pop chart, USA is changing too. We have a lot of outlets and internet radio has been really supportive of dance music but there aren't that many terrestrial radio stations playing straight dance format. European dance music is a leader in the Electronic Dance Music scene. We live in a big world though. Its funny because when I am in Europe I feel so far away from US and vice versa.


Jes were you into 90’s Eurodance, did you had a favorite artist or band?

I was into it a bit for sure! I really liked Erasure, Moby, Black Box, Technotronic! and also La Bouche. Melanie will always be missed.


Between all the concerts and live appearance's you have done, which one(s) left a special memory? Any anecdotes?

Oh so many leave amazing impressions on me. I was just looking through photos and I was really amazed at all the memories and places we have gone and fun times we have had and continue to have. I particularly loved Jordan. We did a great concert there in the middle of the desert and we also hiked to the top of the ancient City of Petra. I met a boy there who lived in there and he had some horses. I love horses and he took me on a ride through the town. It was so surreal. But there are so many incredible places we have gone to perform, it's really amazing to be able to do it.


What you love to do in your free time?

Rest :)) lol!, In my free time I try to see my family. I don't get to see them enough, I love to read and just get lost in a good book. Skiing is my favorite winter sport. I try to do that whenever I can and there is snow. I used to ride horses a lot so I love to do that from time to time. I absolutely love the ocean and have sung about it a lot in my songs :). I have to say though I still work on music in my spare time! Its also my hobby. I love taking the time to just sit and make up around. If Im not pressured and I can just make up nonsense all day and I love that!


How do you think will show the music market in 2020?

Music is what makes the world go round. It definitely keeps us all going bringing us joy and fills our hearts. There is an endless need for music and more and more people want to create, because it is part of it. Its just another way to communicate, Its a language on its own. With that said it won't go away and I think with a lot for the turmoil in this world right now there is even a bigger need for music. I think by 2020 to have a career in music it will even more in the hands of the artist. As it is we have to get or hands in to it all anyway even while working along side a label.


Which are the three things that you take on a desert island?

A guitar with extra strings, a survival kit and a blanket :)


What do you hate the most?

I try to take it all in stride. I don't like alot of the politics of the music biz and the fake people it attracts so I always try and not pay too much attention to the bad stuff.


A message for our readers and your fans?

First I have to say I LOVE YOU!! I really really do. My manager always makes fun of me in pictures from shows because I am smiling like a crazy cat. I'm so happy when I am with my fans. I love to be surrounded by them. That is the best feeling to be together. I want to thank them for the beautiful letters of encouragement and for baring their souls back to me. I don't take things lightly and I cherish every letter and note and picture I get. These songs are about you. All of you, all of us together. I hope I can always do this. It took a while to make, I hope you like the new album.




© April 2010 Tavi Meran - All rights reserved
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