Meet Jenavive

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Submitted by Michael E. Williams

Two years ago, at Canadian Music Week, I heard several talented musicians whose careers I have been following since then. These performances, all at the Cashbox Canada  booth, included  Ambre McLean (great voice and talent), Lyric Dubee (young and dangerously good) and a beautiful shy young lady from Calgary ,who did not really want to perform, but I coaxed her into it… she did a few original songs and wow! Her name was Jenavive… a classically trained pianist who discovered her voice. Music became her solace and gave her confidence as she was teased and bullied growing up.

JS: Music definitely helped! I spent all of my time in music classes.  I practically lived in the band room in high school. My high school band teacher was a very positive person in my teen years. We're actually  still really good friends today. I'm not sure what would have happened if I had not had music to turn to. Beethoven was my rock.

MW: What was your inspiration to finally sing after you had the music down?
JS:  I was kind of a chicken and I never wanted to sing in front of anybody. Then I had a terrible relationship break up and moved back home to Calgary to start over.  My brother and I were hanging out and I said, ‘you should learn guitar, let’s start a band”.  He did. We have been playing together ever since. I had always wanted to be a singer and never had enough nerve. When you get picked on in school you get shy. I dated a drummer for a long time and worked with his band. I was envious of what they were doing and wanted to try it. Our break up gave me that kick in the butt that I needed. At my first show on New Year’s Eve 2009, I rented out the Calgary Zoo and had 300 people. We just did covers and it was amazing. Then I started writing songs. I don’t do anything half assed!

MW:  what has been your recording experience recording so far?

JS: I worked with a producer for a year on the first one and it was a disaster but resulted in my first single “Wonder”, “Live and Learn”, then, “Under the Sheets” which I did with my ex-boyfriend, the drummer. We worked out our issues in the process of recording the record and it worked out well. Up to this point it was just me and my brother.
 I usually write on my own. I wrote the album and used the recording of the album to audition more people and build a band. We are releasing four EP’s over the next six months. ”Spades “ is the first one and the next one will be out in May. I really like EP formats because it gives us more time to focus on the songs. We are doing videos for all the tracks on the CD with B sides and interludes on the actual CD release. It’s kind of a concept album to be released in the fall. I am just trying to do something new and grow as writer. I love the energy of the band live.

MW: How do you manage all this?

JS: I do everything. I try to keep things small and obtainable. This year we are expanding a lot more so we shall see.  We are going to do a lot more touring across Canada coming back through the States. We have done a lot this past year playing with the full band in the Yukon, Alaska, New York and solo in Boston.

MW: the magic for me from the beginning was your voice and the piano like on “Home”.

JS: Thank you. I have always played piano.  That song is on the May EP.
Jenavive has heart and spirit on her side, armed with an increasing circle of fans, friends and musical collaborators. Calgary’s Jenavive has such a great attitude to go with such an enormous talent, it’s refreshing to see and hear her grow as an artist. For more information visit: