A creative powerhouse – In conversation with Jennifer K. Austin

Hailing from New Zealand, Jennifer K. Austin is a multi-talented creative powerhouse. A singer, actress and coach, she debuted her musical project last year, with a 10-track album called ‘Journey’ containing the lead single ‘Old Gin’. A country-infused gem, the track fully showcases Austin’s powerful and precise vocal skills, highlighted even further in the rest of the album, moving to pop and indie territories. The cornerstone for a brilliant career. Intrigued by her personal history and her music, we asked her a few questions to find out more about Jennifer’s creative universe. Here’s what we found out.

YMX: Hey Jennifer, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you? 

J: Wow. Has 2020 been a wild year. Well, to be honest, I am in New Zealand at the moment and life has gone back to the way it was (for the most part) so right now life is pretty good!

YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so? 

J: It’s funny because when I was a little girl I always knew I wanted to be a performer and have held on to that dream ever since. The road to that dream is a different story but the past two years or so have really shaped this album going from the ups and downs of being an artist to giving birth to my beautiful son. “Journey” has been such a healing album for me and I feel like each song is a snapshot of each chapter in my life…good and bad.

YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why: 

J: Whitney. She is the best vocalist/performer/storyteller. period. Elvis…a legend and such a performer. Britney… I grew up listening to her on repeat and still love her albums. Whether or not these artists inspired my work is a tricky question as this album was definitely inspired by my story.

YMX: You recently released a country-pop infused album, ‘Journey’, including the single ‘Old Gin’. Can you tell us how that project came about? 

J: Old Gin is the latest single off of my album “Journey.” To be honest I was writing an incredibly sad song and wanted to switch gears and Old Gin just flew out of my mouth and guitar. As I was singing it I thought ‘Woah this is a bit country’, which is unusual considering the previous music has been way more poppy. It’s just a feel-good fun kind of song…nothing more nothing less.

YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely? 

J: I started this album in January 2020 at the studio and it was not finished till late October. With New Zealand going on strict lockdown twice this year it has been a challenge but in a strange way it probably made my album more complete. Having the album delayed tested my patience but I definitely appreciate the fact I was able to record in the studio, work with my producer in person, and perform all my songs live this year as I know many places had a tougher story.

YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing? 

J: I love performing to a live audience but I am not going to say no to any opportunities that come my way!

YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers? 

J: I love the fact that I can share my music to all my friends, family and fans across the globe. I’m not the best with strategies but I would say believe in your music and don’t be afraid to sell your art whether it’s reaching out to those who can help push it for you or researching how to plug your songs yourself. Get your music reviewed, bloggers to blog, people to add your music to their playlists…any promo helps.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?

J: I have a few gigs coming up in the new year and pretty excited to keep performing the new album. More song ideas have been brewing and very keen to start writing another body of work (ep/album).