Jana Mashonee, The Interview
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to talk to one of your favorite celebrities? What if you could sit and chat with Stephen King over a cup of coffee or spend a little time with Clint Eastwood? If you could shoot the breeze with Sandra Bullock or Cher, what kind of things would you ask?
A while back, Jana Mashonee agreed to be interviewed by me for this hub. The subject of my interview is a new single that was just released by her record label, Miss Molly Records. Please bear in mind that when I submitted the questions I didn't even know what song she was releasing.
I don't claim to know very much about music and I know nothing about music as a business. I tried to think of reasonable questions that any of Jana's fans might ask if one of us struck up a conversation with her at Starbucks .......... or Chick-fil-A.
Here we go:
Your fans know you as an excellent singer/songwriter, so what was it about this song that made you want to cover it as your next single? Was it the music, the lyrics or something else?
Jana: Terry Reid's version of "Stay With Me Baby" initially caught my ear when my manager and writing partner, Stephan Galfas played it for me a few years ago. I loved the soulful sound and heartfelt lyrics. I did not think I could create the same intensity and grittiness that he did, so I shy'd away from the song until last year I decided to give the song another chance but do it my way - with my own emotional intensity.
I’m sure you have the final say in the choice of songs, but was anyone else involved in picking this one? How did they contribute?
Jana: Stephan Galfas felt that I could cover this song, so he played if for me and I loved it.
When you first considered this song, did you immediately know how you wanted to record it? Did you imagine the arrangements, the instruments you wanted on the record? (Does anyone under the age of thirty still say "record"?)
Jana: I felt initially that I could not give the song the justice it deserved, but I loved it so much, I decided to give it a try, but in a modern, R&B flavor. Stephan made the magic with the track, and I felt inspired after that.
Does this song lend itself to being performed live at your concerts?
Jana: I performed this song live the first time last month and the crowd loved it. I believe a lot of people had no idea that I was singing a cover song from the 60s!
As one of the 14,000+ fans who follow you on Facebook, I know you have been working on this single for a while. How long did it take from stepping into the studio to the completion of the single? Can you walk us through the process of recording this song?
Jana: This song was definitely a work in progress, caused by a lot of unexpected delays with available studio time, to conflicts with scheduling with show dates, being sick (unable to sing at 100% for almost 6 months, and so on. There was a point where I was close to just giving up on the song because I thought that it maybe was never meant to be. A song should not take over a year to complete! It shouldn't be this difficult! Some artists can write, produce and record a song in a couple of days and it was taking me this long??/!!!! But, Stephan stuck with it, constantly perfecting the track until I was well enough to sing it and give it my flavor.
What about the process of recording do you think would surprise your fans the most?
Jana: That it can be so boring. Since I do all of my own backgrounds, I have to act as a choir with up to 8 voices, so when I'm singing, I'm having to layer and sing the same line at least 8 times by doubling, or by adding harmonies. Though I love all aspects of singing, sometimes this can be boring when I'm repeating myself over and over again!!
How will you market this single? Will it be available at JanaMashonee.com and on iTunes? Do you think there will be a music video to go with the single? Will it be part of the next CD?
Jana: We will do traditional internet marketing and it will be available of course on iTunes, Amazon.com, etc. Maybe even Walmart. This will not be a part of any upcoming album, though I'm writing tunes as we speak....There will definitely be a music video to go along with this song and a "new look" for me...:)
Derek Miller was featured on “A Change Is Gonna Come”. Anyone special with you on this one, or are you spectacularly solo as usual?
Jana: Ronnie, this song is all me...backgrounds, lead, and all!! I think you will be surprised at the new sound as well!! Thank you!!!!
Most of you got here from Jana's Facebook page. Welcome! Please feel free to leave a comment, you don't have to sign in. Also feel free to share this interview with other fans.
I was listening to Jana and Stephan Galfas on a blog radio show around Christmas and they reported two exciting pieces of news. "Raptor Ranch" which stars Jana will be featured at the Berlin film festival in 2012 and will possibly be in limited release in the USA around Haloween! They also said that there was ANOTHER NEW SINGLE on the way in a couple of months that has a "special guest" performing on it with Jana. Stephan said this single would be "like nothing Jana has ever done" or something like that. (I was listening but wasn't taking notes! LOL!)
The new single with the special guest, Stay With Me Baby, and other new music will become available on a brand new CD sometime in 2012.
I think Jana's time has come. She has done the work, perfected her message, and recorded some outstanding music. It's up to us, the 14,000 + Friends on Jana's Facebook page, to get the word out there. If you haven't already, go to iTunes and get Stay for only 99 cents!
Then tell your friends, share the music and together we can make 2012 huge!