Natalie Jean’s Upcoming “What Would You Do For Love?” Americana Album Inspired by Hatred & Divisiveness in Our Lives
As a multi-genre singer/songwriter who regularly attends music industry conferences and events like the recent Grammy Awards, Natalie Jean often hears people asking, Why don’t artists write about issues, anymore?
Well, Jean, who’s released 5 independent albums in different languages and earned 70 various award nominations, is doing something about the worsening divisiveness and seeming lack of empathy in our society, as exemplified by the man in The White House.
Coming from an artistically inclined American-Haitian family, with French, African, and Creole roots, Jean wants to be a proactive agent for change in her upcoming album and tour, “What Would You Do For Love?” And, this incredibly versatile artist is refreshingly honest about her motivation, confessing:
“Most of of my songs are based on personal experiences. ‘Mon Ange/My Angel’ is a French song about a person contemplating suicide, and they realize an angel is helping them out. That’s about me, and that’s how I write, I’m not ashamed to bring out anything. I like to talk about things people can relate to. I suffer from depression, and it’s in my family. So, it’s something I fight on a daily basis, and music has been my saving grace in the past. Now, I feel the past couple of years have affected a lot of artists, and it’s even depressed me severely. So I wanted to put these issues into my music and upcoming album.”
Washington, DC-born but Kensington, Maryland-raised Jean grew up listening to Elvis and then discovered jazz and her second LP was an homage to the form. But with her Haitian and Creole roots, she’s also recorded both a Haitian (‘Haiti Mwen Renmenw’) and French-language album (‘Lecons D’Amour’), and her singer father, Guy Robert Jean, contributed to both projects.
Now, fully steeped in these eclectic genres with a dash of American country thrown in, Jean is working on her Americana album. She’s just released the album’s title song, ‘What Would You Do For Love?’ which sets the tone aurally and visually. The evocative song’s powerful video kicks off with a “Separating Families not Pro-Life” sign outside a developing news story “Inside a child detention center” that refers to those human “not” cages. Of the impactful song, which offers up first class music by Jean’s music producer, Alexi Von Guggenberg, and mixes up pop and country, she explains:
“It’s not about trying to change somebody’s mind, but give them a new perspective. This song is about the sacrifices we would make for our loved ones. Would you be able to watch your loved one suffer, knowing you would be able to do something about it, and possibly making the ultimate sacrifice? This is not about changing someone’s opinion, but asking you to take the time and think about the subject.”
The song’s lyrics include, ‘Hard times coming at every corner…what would you do for love…I’d do anything for love’ and the video ends with the miracle of birth in its final scene. Jean adds:
“The record will touch on different topics, from self-love to social issues. As an artist, I want to be an effective player in life, be part of the solution, not part of the problem. There’s also a song about the #MeToo movement. Another about the NFL and why the players choose to kneel. One about the environment. And there’s also one on Trump that Michael Peloso, a friend, wrote for me — ‘This House’ was written when the Government shutdown happened earlier this year. I mean, even an issue like healthcare deals with love and empathy for others, which is one of my main messages.”
The artist was massively impressed by the female empowerment that highlighted the all-day Grammy award show event, and even walked the red carpet at the Grammy Premiere Ceremony. Further inspired by former first lady Michelle Obama appearing with four female stars (Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jennifer Lopez) later that day to talk about how important music has been in their lives, Jean has ambitious plans for her album.
“So, I’m working on 12–15 songs, country and Americana type of songs. Then do a ‘What Would You Do For Love’ tour to back it up. I’m thinking really big on this. First, I’m pushing the singles ‘What Would…’ and ‘You Don’t Know Me’ during the year while doing a whole marketing scheme around the overall theme.. And then release the album on February 14, 2020, Valentine’s Day, because it is about love.”
But, given her versatility, she’s also offering her talents in a variety of ways, saying, “If you’re looking for a song for a documentary, or an inspirational song for a campaign or specific program, etc, I have a wide repertoire I can submit to many different places. Because I can sing in different languages, if someone wants a song in Spanish, I can do that, so I offer a lot. I’m even open to sending a song like ‘What Would You Do…’ to Democrat candidates, as they always need musical accompaniment for their platform.”
And, if you’re a young or new songwriter/singer, she offers up some very helpful “Dos and Don’ts.”
For Natalie Jean, the Beatles were right, All You Need is Love…
Trip on Natalie Jean’s new singles “What Would You Do For Love?” and “You Don’t Know Me” and drop in on Natalie Jean’s website, along with her Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud pages.