In addition to running 38thnotes and working as a full time educator in Oakland public high schools, I also write for Jay-Z’s arts and culture site, Life+Times. Most recently I conducted an interview with the refreshing Jennah Bell, an eclectic Bay Area singer/songwriter. Read below for the intro and click through for the full interview.
Jennah Bell catches you off guard at first. Perhaps it’s because her native Oakland, CA doesn’t seem like the most likely source of alternative folk music. However, given the Bay Area’s eclectic musical history and ever-strange present, it becomes clear that the 23-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist is definitely a product of her environment. A hippie at heart, Bell’s music emanates warmth, honest emotion and imagination. Combining Alanis Morissette’s melancholy vocal hues, Tim Burton’s fantastical darkness and Dr. Seuss’ childlike brilliance, Bell is fashioning an experimental lo-fi soul sound all her own.
Raised in Oakland, cosigned by the Grammy Foundation and educated at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, Bell is both savant and free spirit. And thanks to her recent Early Bird EP and viral Subway Series, she has begun winning over the mavens of the indy music world with her quirky Bay Area soul. Bell sits down with Life + Times to discuss her recent EP, her influences, the west coast and being a fish out of water.
Click HERE to read the interview (press play to view).