JEANNE MARIE BOES: Hard work breeds sweet fruits

29 11 2012

New music writing from Ignas Bautrenas!

“HARD WORK BREEDS SWEET FRUITS.”

“Someday I want to make my living just playing music,” Jeanne Marie Boes tells me. This young singer-songwriter from Astoria, Queens doesn’t doubt her upcoming success one bit. “Music is my life,” she says, “I go to sleep and wake up to it. For the last few years I’ve been taking every possible way to make it as a performer and I believe that hard work breeds sweet fruits.” There is not a sign of doubt in Jeanne’s voice and upon listening to her music performed live and on her records I must admit her confidence is well-deserved.

Jeanne on BalconyTV in 2012 – watch the video here

Jeanne grew up in a house where Frank Sinatra was played alongside Led Zeppelin, so her musical background is anything but one-sided. “My parents always listened to different kinds of music and I loved it. We had a piano in the house, so naturally I began tapping the keys and hearing the different sounds it made. I started playing the piano seriously at an early age and simply never stopped. Probably never will,” says Jeanne.

Jeanne’s latest video for “Answered Call”

Her songwriting process always starts with the melody and hooks, and the lyrics come later. “I am very melody-driven and chord-based,” she tells me. “I like to play around with different chord progressions and see what I can come up with. Then I work around the best results of my experiments and later write the words.” When asked about these words, Jeanne says, “Emotions are the main catalyst for my songs. I write about different experiences, whatever might have happened recently that triggered the emotion I’m dwelling on. But a good melody is what really makes a song, so for me they always come first. I don’t know why that is. I guess this way is just easier for me to tell the story I want to tell.”

When it comes to influences, Jeanne names indie icons Death Cab for Cutie and alternative rock acts such as The Kills and The Black Keys alongside Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and The Beatles. “A lot of contemporary music is based on beats,” she says, “and I am not saying that it’s bad, but I don’t think that I would be able to do that. I write my music differently. I love a good melody – catchy, melodic, simple songs.” At the moment you can find two of Jeanne’s EP’s for sale online – “A Seasoned Heart” is deeply rooted in blues, and “Promising Girl” is a lot more pop-based. “I try to incorporate a wide variety of styles into my music and still sound like myself,” says Jeanne.

Jeanne covers The Kills!

Jeanne began performing at the open mic nights in and around Astoria when she was in high school. Years have passed since then and nowadays Jeanne is an accomplished performer with the aforementioned two records already released. Being a solo singer-songwriter is Jeanne’s forte, but recently she began performing with different musicians to make her music sound even more colorful. I ask her to tell me more about the musicians she’s played with and her face lights up in a smile. “Recently I have played with Alex Martin on bass and Lee Press, from Long Island City-based rock band Ekra, on drums. We have performed quite a few shows together. The biggest one was a concert at The Studio at Webster Hall. I am very proud of them and of the fact that we got to play there together.”

Since then Jeanne and the two supporting musicians have parted their ways, but being a solo artist, she is not disappointed at all. In fact, she is quite excited to experiment more and play with others. Jeanne says that it is of course much harder to schedule rehearsals when more musicians are involved, but it is a lot more fun to play in a group. She also remarks that having a supporting band can give her a stronger backbone during the bigger live events. “At heart I will always remain a singer-songwriter, but it is great to hear another person’s opinion on the structure of my songs and I feel a lot more confident on the stage with others playing with me.”

Jeanne with Alex Martin and Lee Press live at The Studio at Webster Hall

Whether going solo or backed by a band, the difficulties of performing live don’t scare Jeanne one bit, and she is trying to get as much exposure as possible. “Money was never a reason for me to play music. First and foremost – I do it for pleasure. This past summer there were a few instances when I played two gigs in one day, and that required transporting all of my equipment from one part of New York City to another in 95-degree weather. You’re right to think it sounds crazy and exhausting – believe me, it is! But I want to keep on going. Music makes me happy!”

jeannelive

Ignas Bautrenas is a short story writer and journalist born in Vilnius, Lithuania who currently lives in Astoria, NY. He attended Hunter College from 2004-2009 and graduated with a BA in English. Ignas currently writes for sugarnthunder.com, manomuzika.lt, 15min.lt and other publications.

Want more?

Like Jeanne on Facebook and follow her on a myriad of other social networks (!) via her website.

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Not to mention:

For the holiday season, she recorded her own oh so lovely version of “Silent Night,” which is currently playing on Women of Substance Radio on Wednesdays through January 1st, 2-7 PM ET (11 AM-4 PM PT)! You can buy the single or download the MP3.

And:

Earlier this year SNT’s Audrey teamed up with her videographer/editor bro Dom to interview Jeanne and catch her performing live at the one and only Astoria Soundworks for their The Bang & The Clatter video series.

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