Jessica Clemmons is set to release her second album Loving This Day later this summer and it is a record that sees her take her sound down a different path.
I caught up with to talk about the album, the change in sound and whether we will be seeing her perform live again in the UK this year.
- Loving This Day is set for release here in the UK later this summer so what can we expect from the album this time around?
I think this time around it’s a bit of a different sound from the first album; the first album had more of a pop/soul feel to it, this one I have taken and really tried to move it in a slightly different direction.
My heart really lies in the guitar pop sort of music, of course I am very soulful with my voice; everything I tend to do has a pop/soul feel, but we have more of a rocky sort of feel to it this time around.
I have written the majority of the album and it’s definitely I’d say a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions when it comes to the songs- I would say that the majority of it is really empowering to those beautiful ballad love songs.
I have got a couple of songs with the Chicago Philharmonic, they were on the last album, and that really does add a gorgeous sound to the record.
I am so exciting to have this album come out as it has so much of me, when you first start out in the industry you don’t really know what you are doing and you are depending on other people to guide but over the last couple of years I have really come into my own and I think this record show a lot more of who I am.
- This is your second album release so how have you seen yourself develop as an artist since the release of Permanent?
I think it knows more about what I want and what I want my sound to be. Like I said I love the guitar pop and I love the nice guitar driven music with a lots of power behind it.
I have been able to write a lot more for this album so I think this album has been me coming into my own as an artist and really been able to say a lot of what I wanted to and trying to speak a message in a lot of the songs.
This has been a huge learning experience of me but it has been so amazing to finally feel at home in an album.
- So how have you found the response to the new tracks from the fans?
Really well. We posted just a few snippets of some of the songs and the reaction had been great because with it going in a slightly different direction that the first album I was a little nervous to see how some of the fans would take the new music.
But the fans really seem to love it and the comments that they are giving me on Facebook are great, I have to say I have some of the best fans and they are honest with me and they tell me what they think and I appreciate that they would take the time to come and write to me on Facebook and Twitter.
So they seem to love it and that makes me more excited to get this album out because I know a lot of the fans are saying ’when is it coming out? I can’t wait to hear it’ and I can’t wait for them to get it in their hands.
- As you say you have had the chance to write most of the album so how exciting is it for you to be able to have more creative control and really get your teeth into a sound that you want to make?
Oh it’s so exciting. I was able to come to London back in March and finish writing the album and I have a couple of songs from other writers and as soon as I heard them it was as if they were my songs anyway as they just spoke to me.
I was able to finish writing the songs back in March and it was such a fun experience. When you are writing what you want to say and what you want people to hear it takes the experience from being a difficult experience where you are like ‘ok I have got to write songs and I have got to hurry up and finish this album’ to this amazing and creative experience.
Like you said I was able to get my teeth in there and come up with ideas and melodies - I worked with some other song-writers as well and we worked really well together and I think we have made some amazing songs.
- So what are your major influences when it comes to song-writing and how have you seen yourself progress in this area in the last couple of years?
I think life experience really tends to help a lot (laughs). When I wrote the first album not only was I very green in the industry but it was difficult to know what to talk about and what to say.
But now I have taken my experiences over the last couple of years from heartbreaks and people who have hurt me and have really tried to put them into a song that people can relate to.
I have a song called Free that is very personal to me but somebody could listen to it and see it as being free from a difficult relationship or a difficult time in their life and it’s been really great to be able to take my experiences and mould them in a way that so many people can relate to them in different ways.
- Loving This Day was produced by Larry Sturm so how did that collaboration come about?
Larry Sturm he mixed the album in Chicago and I worked with him on the first album as well. He is just amazing and he has worked with the likes of Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, he has had some amazing people in his studio, and to be able to have him on this album as well as several other people on this record has been a great experience for me.
The first time around we had set people working on the album but this time around I was able to work with different producers and different song-writers as well and that ties the album together really nicely but it also gives it you that feel that you have something new when you are flicking through to the next song; you have got a different sound and a different feel.
- I talk to a lot of musicians and for some of them find the album recording and creating process a difficult one so how much do you enjoy getting into the studio?
This time around I loved it because I had so much fun. I think it has a lot to do with the people that they are working with and the experience that they help make and fortunately for the people that I have worked with this time around made it such an enjoyable experience.
I love performing live so for me being in the little box as I call it singing the same song over and over again it can get a bit old.
But when you can see it coming together at the end of the day - before you started there were no lyrics or melody there was nothing then four to five hours later you have this incredible song - I think that makes it such a great experience when you can take something from nothing to being something beautiful.
- We first saw you auditioning on American Idol so how did your experience on the show prepare you or encourage you to move forward with a music career?
I always knew that this is what I wanted to do but it was that moment in my life when I wasn’t certain if I really had what it took even though I felt like I did, your friends can tell you all day long that you are great but Simon Cowell on the other hand that is someone that you listen to.
I went in and auditioned and I got a great response but I was nervous. I took away from that not only could I do this but I could do it well but there were things that I needed to fix such as getting my nerves under control.
I took that as an amazing learning experience, I don’t think that I would ever do it again (laughs), but it was a really good experience but at the time not a lot of people could say that they made it that far. - You have toured with the likes of The Soldiers and The Stylistics so how did you find your time on the road with them?
It was so much fun. The Soldiers are wonderful guys and we are still keep in contact and talk quite often. It was nice to go on tour and be introduced to their fans who have now become wonderful fans of mine.
The Stylistics of course these guys… two of the originals are living legends and that was an incredible experience all on it’s own as I was able to ask them questions and learn from their experiences as well.
- And have you any more plans to tour the UK any time soon?
Yeah absolutely we have lots of things in the pipeline that I can’t really tell you about at the moment. But I should be coming over in the next couple of months as we have some gigs set up to introduce the new album and the new single and then hopefully we will have some things planned for the fall.
Jessica Clemmons - Loving This Day is released 11th June
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw
Tagged in Jessica Clemmons