Jen Janet picked a decidedly inopportune time to pack up and move her life to the opposite coast.
“I moved to California right when the pandemic started,” the singer-songwriter said. “So that was probably not the best time.”
She launched her goth-inspired fusion of hard rock and alt-pop around the same time, something she would have also loved to introduce to West Coast audiences.
“I really wanted to be a lot more integrated into the Bay Area scene by this point, but obviously because of live shows not being around I couldn’t be,” she said.
She didn’t waste the idle time, though. Instead, she honed in on her creative side: writing and recording new music. She plans to release a new single each month for the first half of 2021.
“There’s not a lot of good things to come from the pandemic, but the free time allowed creative people to focus on the things they’re passionate about, even if it kinda sucks,” Jen Janet said.
Born in Massachusetts, she’s been singing since she was 4, getting her start in school choir. She fronted bands through school, including Blind Revision, Mimesis and Novarium. Now as a solo artist, Jen Janet looks to an eclectic array of artists like Poppy and PVRIS—”A lot of alternative rock that has an electronic, more modern production”—for inspiration.
At first it was difficult finding producers who could dial in her vision, she said. Some would nail the heavy rock side, but didn’t know how to effectively infuse electronic elements, while others struggled to mix heavy guitars over electronics.
She found cohesion with Four Year Strong guitarist Alan Day, who was finally able to mix the elements exactly how she envisioned. She teases that the track they collaborated on will be one of the songs released later in 2021.
“He turned what I wrote into this amazing, weird metal extravaganza,” Janet said. “He totally just took it and made it amazing—it has metal breakdowns and very electronic beats. It’s very, very cool.”
Aside from music, the free time during the pandemic also afforded Janet to discover a new passion she wasn’t expecting: wine! She blogs about her wine discoveries and adventures on her site. For her interview with Rock’N Vino’s Mike DeWald and Carina Sterzenbach, she sipped on a glass of Snoop Dogg’s collocation with 19 Crimes wines.
“I had always been interested in wine; honestly didn’t know much about it,” Janet said. “It was me being like a broke college kid just drinking Yellowtail or whatever.”
Since moving to the Bay Area, Janet has explored Livermore, Napa and Sonoma.
While she doesn’t know what form her concerts might take next year, Janet said she looks forward to getting back on stage as soon as possible.