“I think every artist has mixed feeling about the music industry. There are times when you love it, and times that you hate it. ” – @decemberrose92
Listen to the Interview:
Episode #272 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax
GETTING TO KNOW DECEMBER ROSE
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
I think every artist has mixed feeling about the music industry. There are times when you love it, and times that you hate it. The pros and cons sometimes outweigh each other, but thankfully they take turns in phases. The pros about the industry are, really and truly, the satisfaction you get knowing people related to your work, and how many people it helped in some way. That in itself is fulfilling. Beyond this, the pros extend to working with more like-minded people, sound painting, and simply just being creative. Some of the cons are trying be at the right place at the right time, proving yourself time and time again, industry politics, but most of all, finding the right people to work with! It’s a tough balance to achieve being caught in the middle of being both creative and business related because in business, they measure you as a product of value and worth. In art, you are simply a beautiful creature. So that’s another thing that plays into the cons; being able to find a healthy balance of not letting business affect your personal sense of worth. Working with good people, beautiful souls, really makes the world of a difference in propelling everything forward. I’ve been told from a very young age to have “thick skin”. So as hard as it has been, I’ve been overcoming these hurdles by working on myself as a person (personal and spiritual growth) as well as by trying to keep a positive and open mind to make sure I bring greatness into my life.
What I like about social media is that it’s super accessible. I love being able to reach out and interact with people from all around the world. I guess that’s part of why people might call me a “social butterfly”. The challenges with it however, are the visibility in posting hours, and the phrasings of my posts. Social media has a science of its own when it comes to “online traffic hours” and such. So, it takes frequent adjusting to “rush hour” fluctuations.
Sometimes it’s “hit or miss”, but I’ve tried my best to stay on top of it with lots of observations. The other challenge it making sure I “mean what I say and I say what i mean”. As we know, messages can get misconstrued when delivered so impersonally such as on social media. That being said, I sometimes find it to be quite the task to make sure I’m being super expressive and clear so that new visitors to my pages can get a sense of who I am, how i express myself, and most importantly, not misinterpret my posts.
Singles vs an album…
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference. I feel that releasing singles highlights certain things about an upcoming album. The most obvious reason is that it’s usually one of the songs you feel most strongly about. Another reason would be that the single kind-of speaks for itself; the album wouldn’t be “complete” without the single(s). From a marketing standpoint, releasing singles is a good way to test the waters with the target audience. It helps get a clearer picture of the directions to take for full album launch. Also, we live in a new musical era where people don’t listen to albums in their entirety, and usually just download the singles.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
I would love to chat with Katy Perry for 5 minutes. I really admire her for being so real and open (about her humble beginnings, her struggles, her journey, etc), and despite the milestones she’s reached, she still comes off relatable and approachable.
There is definitely a huge emphasis on being “current and trendy”…
and it drives many people slightly crazy… Luckily for me, I’ve always been a bit of the “weird one” to go against the grain and do my own thing. Don’t get me wrong, the pressure to be trendy can be exhausting, and stressful at times, but I’ve managed to find a healthy balance of allowing the trend to influence me artistically, but not to define me. Trends change, what’s considered cool changes too. If we always chase trend, that gives us an expiry date. As an artist, it’s important to aim for longevity, and to be so genuine that you really become a timeless classic.
I am most afraid of…
In different contexts there will be different things I am afraid of. In the context of showbiz, I suppose one of the things I’m most afraid of is “Murphy’s Law”: wardrobe malfunctions, stage malfunctions, etc.
My personal definition of success is..
doing whatever I want to do with the best of my abilities. The best success story to further explain this with would be my waking life right now. Starting from the ground up, in a household with no knowledge of the music industry, no real “contacts”, no real clue how to chase a dream, etc, I was able to work hard at “laying the foundation” (music training), building the walls (working with good and talented people for music and videos), and now I’ve just started building the roof. I started from nothing and now I’m building the roof which is where I’m at in having releases, and EP reviews, and interviews, and such.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
As cheesy as it’s going to sound, music is my life. Granted there’s more beyond it, but that would be to help people. So on a grand scale, the musical dream is to win a few Grammies and Junos and tour the world. However, my goal through all that is to make sure, with that success, that I give back to the communities of people that helped me get there. My goal has always been to open some form of charity foundation (foundation cause to be decided), to be a motivational voice for today’s youth, and to create an entire curriculum for Pop music training. My whole life, both in an out of school, Pop music has been undermined. Those that criticize it speak from an unfounded and uninformed perspective. Musicians from all genres, and students interested in studying music, must be more informed on the incredible work, strategy, and creativity that goes into a successful Pop song and artist. I want to tailor a program to bring the Pop world to a higher level of recognition.
3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.
1) Am I a better person than I was yesterday?
2) Am I a better singer/songwriter than I was yesterday?
3) Am I happy?
Those are the 3 keys to me moving forward towards my goals. The sooner you become a better version of yourself, the sooner people will feel your love and gravitate towards you. The sooner you are able to deliver music from within, the sooner people will want to listen. As for the last one, well, doesn’t everyone want to be happy? Do things that make you happy! Not temporarily happy, but REAL happy. The sooner you reach inner peace, you reach happiness; and once you’re happy, who WON’T WANT to be around you???? You’ll be a beautiful force of feel-good energy.
Getting started is…
definitely difficult but it all began with the inspiration. The big trigger for me was watching the movie “A Walk To Remember” with Mandy Moore. That movie came out in 2002 when I was around 9-10 years old. There was a scene in there when Mandy sang a solo in a theater; it was such a beautiful performance with so much elegance and grace. So back then, that scene REALLY struck me. I idolized her for years. She was such an inspiration to me that I was able to gather my thoughts and feelings around music and singing, and channel it all into making it ‘what I do”.
I wrote this song based my own experience of being a Casanova victim if I may put it that way. Being someone’s “option instead of a priority” never usually has a great ending. So, I wrote this song to get the self-pity out of my system as well as remind myself (and others that have been through it) how powerful we are to be “the bigger person” and overcome it all. I wrote this song alongside two other Canadian writers (Ava Kay and Michael Sonier) who both really helped make this song what it is. Writing with others is always a good time! Together you experience a wide range of emotions, and while everyone bounces ideas off one another, we’re all supporting each other through the highs and lows.
People can expect that whatever I release, it’ll sound and feel fresh. The release of my EP was just that, an EP, with songs I feel very strongly about. Since it’s an EP, there wasn’t much thought put into it being part of a theme. However, since I am now working on a full length album, I am putting lots of thought into concepts and themes, tossing ideas around of making sure each song is streamed with a thread of consistency of some form. My goal with this new album is to bring listeners through experiences of different types of relationships (ie, friends, parents, siblings, romantic, etc) and give them an opportunity to feel something about each of them. I feel as though there’s are a lot of “hot button” relationship experiences that aren’t often sung about besides the romantic ones. There’s so much more beyond that and people everywhere neglect tapping into some of these emotions. It’s important for everyone to get a little reflective now and again, to find their peaceful center.
I live in Montreal, Canada…
To be real, the music scene here is mainly rock/metal, and jazz. Montreal hosts some super popular music festivals every summer that bring out tourists from all over. Montreal is known for both its nightlife and for being a cultural city. There’s a lot of history and beautiful architecture in “The Old Port” which is also known as Old Montreal. We have many great restaurants, lots of festivals, etc. It’s just such a great city that it’s really hard to sum it all up in short. I would encourage everyone to take a trip to Montreal at least once. This summer, I had the nerve to attempt zip-lining. So my new “fun thing to do” is just that. It was much less scary than I thought, and a lot more fun than i expected!