Over the last 5 years, Jen has been making regular trips to Los Angeles, CA, to record music with her dear friend, producer Rich Jacques. It all began at a little studio called the “White Room” in Hollywood, and on her initial trip, in the spring of 2009, they recorded a group of four original songs. This group of songs included “Venice Beach” and “I Didn’t Just Kiss Her”, which quickly became two of Jen’s most popular songs ever. They felt they might be doing something right! The White Room Sessions consists of many unreleased songs, as well as a few older songs of Jen’s that with Rich, were re-imagined. In addition, they recorded some cover songs, like Journey’s “Faithfully”, and while these covers will not be on the double record, they will be released digitally as part of the Pledge campaign. By pre-ordering the new double-album, pledgers can gain access to exclusive merchandise, memorabilia and events.
We caught up with Jen and asked about why we haven’t heard much from her over the past year. She gave us an exclusive on a few things she learned in her time away from the spotlight:
As many of you know, I took a hiatus from a full-time music career last year. The decision to do this was actually a long time in the making. It apparently took a while for me to accept how over-extended and exhausted I’d allowed myself to become over my years as an independent artist. Somewhere along the way, I began believing, as so many of us do, that being stressed out and putting tons of pressure on myself was just “normal”. That is, until I hit a major wall, with questions arising: like,
a) why does all of this matter anyway, if I’m so unhappy?
b) how can I really be fulfilling my purpose of inspiring others when I’m so stressed and anxious all the time?
c) what about the people I really love, most who have taken a backseat to my busy schedule?
A major reason I took the break was so that I could spend more quality time with the people that I’m closest to, as I had some nagging regrets that I hadn’t been present with them for many years. It turned out to be the greatest gift ever to myself, too, to be able to give more fully to these relationships. This includes, of course, time with Bug and Jack (my dogs :))! In the end, no material things, or professional accomplishments we achieve, can compare to the love we experience with our family and closest friends. Time away reminded me of this great truth, and for that, I’m so grateful.
Another important thing I learned about myself in my time away is that I’m much more of an introvert than I’d previously thought. While I do love performing and sharing my music with people, I’ve realized that I refuel when I’m alone. My alone-time is crucial, not only to rejuvenate, but to delve in creatively, without distraction, and get my best writing done. Now, I try to take time daily to read, meditate, pray, reflect, and write. I highly recommend it!
I’ve also learned the importance of setting boundaries. This goes back to my song, “Everybody’s Girl”, which I wrote about how I’d always tried to be everything to everyone. I know some of you out there can relate! Learning to say no, with grace, has become a top priority in my life. It all begins with establishing your values and your priorities. From there, it’s easier to figure out when to say yes and when to say no.
Finally, I’ve come to see first-hand that stepping away on occasion to rejuvenate and reassess priorities is a crucial part of following one’s dreams. It doesn’t mean you’re a “quitter” or a “slacker”, but rather, that you’re aware you must take care of yourself first to do any good in the world. I’m back, feeling refreshed and ready to rock!
Please join and support Jen’s brand new Pledge Campaign HERE! You can pre-order her new project “The White Room Sessions” and get access to all kinds of exclusives and VIP events!
More about Jen:
Jen Foster has a list of musical accomplishments that should leave even the most ambitious artist satisfied, but she’s not stopping there. After years of owning and running her own record label, writing and recording four solo projects, crisscrossing the country playing respected venues and festivals, supplying music to film and television, and growing an ardent fan base, she is still striving for more. Foster persists on nurturing her dreams, and in doing so, making a
difference with her music. Where some people dare to change the world, few have the vision to do so, and even fewer are able to make their vision a reality. Jen Foster is well on the way to this lofty goal. She spent several years in California before relocating to Nashville, TN. Her songwriting endeavours have led to collaborations with Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive) and hit-maker Jeffrey Steele, among many others. Her touring history is as impressive as any you will find by an independent artist. She has not only played the largest Pride Festivals in the country (Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Nashville), but she has also found herself sharing intimate stages with Melissa Etheridge, Brandi Carlisle, Edwin McCain, and Rachel Yamagata, and on extended tours with The Samples, K’s Choice, Michelle Malone, Antigone Rising, and Patrice Pike. Creating music has always been instinctive for Foster, and she feels a constant pull to craft songs that serve a larger purpose. This pull has led her to explore how to make a difference with her music. She has already seen many of her songs find a home in unique places. The track, “Without Michelangelo” was employed as the theme for the Chamberlin Nursing College. Her powerful, “Venice Beach,” served as the theme song for the Emmy Award winning web series, Venice. Foster’s music has also been featured in The Hills, American Pie: Beta House, All My Children, among other various web series and short films. Additionally, Foster serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International and has received an abundance of national press, including appearing on the cover of She Magazine in 2013, as well as spotlight features in Curve Magazine and LOTL Magazine. My Lesbian Radio named Foster the “It Girl” of 2013.