Meet the Artist - Jared Lee

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The new TuneWiki "Meet The Artist" feature gives music fans a behind the scenes look at writing songs and the inspiration musicians use to create their music. Meet the musical styling of Jared Lee.

You just released your new album Falling Through Holes (iTunes), did you write the music yourself or collaborate with others? What’s your song writing process?

I do a lot of song writing on my own but I co-wrote every song on the EP, so I had the opportunity to collaborate with some other great writers on this project.  For some of the sessions, I would bring my own ideas to start things off because I was so committed to a certain subject matter but I also went into some writing sessions open minded and let the music and ideas guide and inspire the direction.  I don’t think there is any “right” way to write a song but for me I usually like to sit at a keyboard/piano while someone else is on guitar or making beats and then I come up with chord progressions and melodies that I feel are captivating. The last thing I do is the lyrics…sometimes I come up with them subconsciously and they work but other times its kinda like putting a puzzle together…finding what fits with the melody and also gives off the sentiment that I want.

"It's Over (Goodbye)" (iTunes) is your break out single from the album up to now. Tell us about the lyrics and what the songs means to you.

Well its probably pretty easy to figure out that it’s a song about a breakup…ha.  For me the song was very therapeutic to write and was meant to empower people that go through something very difficult in their lives.  It's kind of that moment where you decide to take control again and not let people or situations or your own emotions control you.   Things can start off great and end horribly but you can be happy again and you can actually play a significant role in how fast that can happen.

How did you go about choosing what songs for the album? Was there a theme you tried to stick to?

We recorded 10 songs and I thought about putting out all 10 but decided as a new artist it would be better to start with less songs.  The songs are very honest and an accurate reflection of what was going on in my life during that time.  The last song on the EP, that was the last of the 10 I wrote and recorded highlights my transition into an optimistic state of mind.  The majority of the songs before that (with the exception of Beautiful World) are darker.

Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics you write? Any funny stories you can share?

Inspiration comes from all over for me.  It can be something I am going though (as was the case with most of this EP), it can be my imagination, or things that people close to me experience.  Funny lyric stories….hmmm,  I dunno, but I bet some are right around the corner.  I think its funny when you hear a song and think the singer is saying something…then you find out the real lyrics and you were dead wrong.  No joke. For years I thought Elton John'sTiny Dancer” was “Tony Danza”— maybe it was just a “Who’s the Boss” phase.

You’re active on Twitter (@JaredLeemusic) and Facebook. How do you try to connect with fans and talk with them about songs and the album?

I think in todays music world this is so important.  People like a direct connection with artists and I do everything in my power to make sure I give that and make myself available.  Of course, its sometimes hard to respond to every single question and comment but I think I really try to make sure I am on top of this.  Twitter and Facebook have made this very easy and I encourage anyone out there to reach out to me if they have comments/questions etc.   I also think its important to see/talk to people after shows/live performances.  I think its something that makes both the performer and fan feel good and its nice to do after that live connection happens through the music.

When you’re playing live, how true do you try to stay to the song? Or do you try and mix it up to give the fans something new?

Well in terms of the content and emotion, I always try to stay true to the song.  I do sometimes change up the melody or chord progression a little but that’s just me showcasing some different approaches to the material.  I never deviate too far from the original.  There are times when I may present a song with different instruments or a different arrangement that can really give it a different color but I think people appreciate seeing those subtle changes and approaches…it keeps things fresh.

Tell us about the mash-up of Ne-Yo and Adele. Why’d you decide to push these two songs together?

It was very simple in terms of why I did it. I loved these songs, loved the artists and and was inspired by them to try my own approach to their songs.  I thought they fit really well together and its very fun to perform.

What is coming up for you?

I'm very excited about the year ahead!  The EP “Falling Through Holes” just came out late last year and we released “It’s Over (Goodbye)" as the first single.  The video just recently came out and has been featured on many of the top blogs including MTV.com and is being played throughout the country in stores, malls, supermarkets etc which is very very cool!   They just played another one of my songs on American Idol and I should have some more placements coming up in the TV/film world which is really cool.

I recently have been visiting radio stations across the country and have shared the stage with some of my favorite artists such as Gavin DeGraw, Train, Brian McKnight, Secondhand Serenade, and most recently Hot Chelle Rae.  I'm currently traveling around promoting the video and EP and am setting up shows/tours for the spring and summer.  I love being out there playing live for people so I hope to do that as much as possible.  When Im not playing you can find me in the studio writing and producing new material for myself and other recording artists.  Thanks so much for the questions and your support TuneWiki!!