Today we’re joined by Jenna Epkey! Jenna’s no stranger to HorizonVU Music. Her cross-genre, emotion driven pop and country first caught our ears a couple of years ago. Jenna’s a singer/songwriter from Indiana, and when it comes to talking about the heartland – we look to the Midwest and think Jenna. What sets Jenna apart is the passion and emotion that goes into her music – emotions that we all know from our daily lives – the ups and the downs.

Jenna Epkey

Jenna Epkey

Hi Jenna! It’s a real pleasure to have this opportunity to get together. I think you’ve been pretty busy lately. Our followers might remember that we first got to know you when you were working out of Nashville. You’ve relocated to Indiana. Tell us a little bit about where you’ve been and where you are now.

JE: Thanks so much Phil for taking time to interview me! I’m excited to share what’s been going on in my little world since I moved back to Indiana in 2010.

Since then, I released an unplugged acoustic record (Change) and my single “Steel Heart” with friend and producer, Billy Smiley (from the band Whiteheart).

We don’t know much about your musical background. How did you find the path to a music career and do you have any teachers or mentors that really motivated you from the beginning?

JE: I started to sing around eight years old. It was around that time when my family, friends, and people at church started to notice I could sing as well. Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something in the entertainment world. This may sound funny, but from the moment I was introduced to Michael Jackson and his music I knew I wanted to be a performer/entertainer of some sort.

We want to get the full picture in our minds. You obviously collaborate with Tony Epke on your recordings. We note that while your on vocals, guitar and piano, Tony’s with you on guitar. Tell us about the collaboration and how the two of you work together.

JE: Tony Epkey is my husband and we play out all the time together. This wasn’t always the case, but for the last couple years we’ve found a unique bond and sound all our own. He plays on the “Steel Heart” track too. We play a nice acoustic show!

In March 2011, you released you EP, “A Little at a Time”. First, give us some background behind the release. How did it come to be?

JE: A Little at a Time is where it all began for me. In 2008, I decided I wanted to take my career to the next level, so I recorded a fully produced, top quality country EP that I still sell to this day. Some of the best musicians in Nashville played on it, and it has opened many doors for me in the music industry. I took a big leap of faith recording that record, and I am still trying to figure out how to market it…and how to get more people to hear it.

Second, reading the titles to the tracks (there are six of them) and having a listen, it’s had not to feel something’s going on with Jenna….”Miserable Girl”, “A Little At A Time”, “The Verge”…What’s going on there…what’s the storyline?

JE: Well…some of the tracks on the record aren’t my originals. I chose them because they are good songs and I could sing them well. But I can assure you as an artist there is always something going on with me internally, 🙂 I’m terribly deep and sensitive… One thing is for certain: when you get a Jenna Epkey record you’re going to get a smorgasbord of emotion! haha

On a light note, you put together a really great jingle for Folger’s. Tell us about that.

JE: My good friend (Vance Lambert) and I did the jingle in 2011. Vance wrote the tune, and we recorded it in Indianapolis where I’m from. It was a lot of fun! I think we should have won:)

Yeah, we think you should have won! Today’s a very special day. You’re releasing your video, “Steel Heart”. It’s an original single and Winner of the 2012 Blooming-Tunes Songwriter Competition. Pretty catchy song with a heavy title, tell us about the song and the video. What went into writing the song and how has it translated to video?

We’re going to take a look and listen to the video in just a second, but first, can you give us an introduction to the how it came about – production, direction and storyline?

JE: Yes. I wrote “Steel Heart” early -mid 2012. I knew it needed to be recorded right away. I believe the song really captures my voice, influences, and everything I’ve learned up to this point about writing.

The song itself is about being vulnerable with your needs and desires as a human being. We all want to be seen, heard, and loved for who we “really” are. “Steel Heart” is about realizing what you want, and the video helps reveal your role in discovering it.

In the music video I’m on a quest in the woods with a key literally around my neck searching for a treasure. The whole concept is based around finding this treasure and knowing I have the key (within) to find it.

The video was directed by Tyler Holbein. He is a young photographer from New York and this was our first project together. Tyler and a few students from Huntington University helped make this video come alive. We had great fun filming in the woods that day.

Alright, let’s have a look and listen!

Wow! That’s really fantastic! You deserve to be very happy and congrats to Tyler. So, what’s next for Jenna? Do you have some projets underway? Where are you heading in the months ahead?

JE: I’m currently writing my new record. I have a new song I’ll hopefully be releasing early 2013. It should be a very eventful and fun year ahead!

I Have to ask you my favorite question…no one gets away…Do you have a particular superhero that keeps you going or gives you inspiration?

JE: Oh jeez- favorite superhero? I don’t really have one. I do think Spiderman is really inspiring and cool though. I like the quote: “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Thanks so much, Jenna. We’ve really enjoyed talking with you and we know you’re on a roll. We’re looking forward to hearing a lot more from you in 2013, so we hope you’ll stay in touch. Let us know how the new record is comining along! That’s the latest from our friend Jenna Epskey.

You can visit Jenna at http://www.jennaepkey.com. Download the mp3 version of “Steel Heart” at http://www.jennaepkey.com/fr_home.cfm or click on the Amazon.com link on this HorizonVU Music page!