PopImpressKA Journal at the radio show with Radio show host Ralph and amazing singer/songwriter Jensen Keets
About Jensen Keets:
Music and fashion have always been great ways to make a statement. Jensen Keets, is a singer/songwriter/fashion designer who is ready for her close up.
After spending nearly five years perfecting her first full length, self-titled album, Jensen is ready to share her K.D. Lang-esque twang vocals meets Alanis Morissette’s irreverent pop/rock style with the world.
Jensen grew up in the small town of Vestal, New York, but always dreamed of moving to New York City. She’d visit her grandfather at his bar in Pennsylvania and keep putting coins in the jukebox to hear Elton John, Billy Joel and other artists who were big in the 1970s. The song “On the Radio” by Donna Summer would prove to be a huge influence on Jensen. She’d sing that song 20 or 30 times a day at the top of her lungs until her mother would say, “ok, that’s enough for today honey.” She still marvels at how her Mom must have gotten so tired of hearing that song, but was so patient, because she knew how much Jensen loved it. While in high school, Jensen began taking classes in visual arts and singing as a song leading Cantor at her church. After spending three years in college in upstate, ny, it was time for Jensen to make the move to the big city. She had two equally ambitious goals—study fashion at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology and explore her musical aspirations.
Jensen’s debut album, “Jensen Keets” explores the complexities of being a modern day woman in the city. “Strong” is a powerful ode that starts off with a somber tone. It is about the September 11th terrorist attacks, but it’s also about the current economic crisis. She sings, “Empty pocket pain. The days of golden homes are now homeless days. But New Yorkers refuse to stunt their faith. Cause we believe in peace and love for one planet all race.” This is modern poetry set to music. “Expectations” is a song that questions this society’s constant need to “trade up” to a better house, car, and life. The video shows Jensen walking through cobble stone streets as she belts out the chorus, “Come and save me. Expectations on the rise. But they lie. So why do you set them so high.” Jensen has the unique ability to boil down complex ideas to their bare essence, and she makes it jangly and singable too. This song is reminiscent of Sheryl Crow’s “Everyday is a Winding Road” in terms of clever lyrics and “gets stuck in your head” chorus. “Cry” is probably the most personal song on the album. It is about her mother’s recent death from an inoperable brain tumor. She says, “After my mother died, I realized that life really is not forever. I needed to stop putting things on hold and start facing my fears and chasing after my musical dreams.”
Jensen credits her friend, musician Karyn Kuhl, formerly of Sexpod, with introducing her to music producers Charlie Nieland and Barb Morrison, of Super Buddha. It wasn’t until she worked with Charlie and Barb that she found the self-confidence to really go for it in terms of her music. She says, “Charlie and Barb really believed in me as an artist. They were so supportive, and they were totally in sync with me on every song.”
Next up for Jensen? Continue to create music and fashion and develop as an artist in both disciplines. Get out on the road, tour extensively, and continue to build a loyal fanbase. She also plans to launch her own fashion label that would be a nod to 1960’s classic rock style, with a softer, more modern edge.
“I’ve had people tell me that I should really decide between music and fashion, because there’s not enough time to really excel at both. What I tell them is if I’m inspired and engaged, I can work 20 hours a day, no problem. I think a lot of people defer their dreams and I know that life is precious and extremely short, so why just do ONE thing you love? Why not do EVERYTHING you love?”