The Rocks Off 100: Angela Jae, Renaissance Artist
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there, too. See the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Angela Jae is someone you could refer to as a "renaissance artist." Not only is she a singer and songwriter, she is also an artist in the most literal, visual sense of the word.
"I am Angela Jae, a singer, songwriter and visual artist," Jae herself says via e-mail. "I am currently in the studio with my production team, the Aeronotiks, working on material for my solo project. I've also been writing for various artists as well as working on concepts for my first official art collection."
Good War Story: "I started my career in an R&B group with two of my best friends," says Jae. 'We spent quite a few years together and were fortunate enough to have been signed to a major label deal around 2005."
We experienced success, made great memories together, but were subsequently released from our deal a couple of years later and decided to part ways shortly after. I was forced to make the decision to either continue to pursue a career as a solo artist or take another path altogether.
My passion for music would not allow me to turn away, so I continued to write and record. I came to know myself a whole lot better as an artist by having to do a lot of things on my own after being so accustomed to having two other individuals to feed off of and lean on.
I feel like I could have given up after the somewhat discouraging experience of the group chapter ending, but I found great strength and excitement in my personal growth and the possibilities as a solo artist, and here I am, post-war!
Why Do You Stay In
Houston NYC? Like any native Houstonian, Angela Jae loves her hometown, but...
"I decided to make the move to New York because I felt like it was the best way for me to really immerse myself in the industry," she says. "I just desired more than Houston could offer in terms of exposure and creativity. In New York, I feel like I am completely in my element, surrounded by like-minded individuals with a passion for the arts and entrepreneurship."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "One of the biggest issues I see in the industry is that artists tend to be boxed in in terms of genre," says Jae. "I am an artist who listens to a wide range of music, and I am inspired by all of it. I don't agree with the industry's idea that an artist can only create one style of music in order to be accepted or marketed."
"I believe that music enthusiasts and people who thoroughly enjoy 'music' are looking for freshness and uninhibited creativity," she adds. "If I decide I want to write/perform a pop ballad today, and tomorrow I'm feeling super-R&B or alternative, I want to feel like the industry accepts that, which can be hard at times.
"I will say, however, that because of social media and other online outlets, it has become easier for fans to truly get to know artists and form a relationship with us beyond what the industry would portray, which is refreshing," concludes Jae.
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life
- Brandy, Full Moon
- Frankie Beverly and Maze, Greatest Hits
- Grizzly Bear, Shields
- Gotye, Making Mirrors
"And," she adds, "I would probably sneak Imogen Heap [Ellipse] in the case of one of the other discs!"
What's Next? "I am currently promoting my single, 'Broken Heart,' and should be shooting the video for it very soon," she says. "I have also been toying around with ideas for an EP or mixtape. My focus right now is writing and collaborating as much as possible.
"I should be hitting the stage sometime this summer for sure!" closes the busy Jae. "I enjoy performing a great deal because of the energy and excitement, but songwriting is closest to my heart."
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
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