Words are very easy for me! If words are difficult for you, I can help. I can fill in missing bits in your song, reorganise your song so it works, or write fresh lyrics for you. I am also a singer/songwriter so I can write you something new.
Jelila is a singer/songwriter who has written more than 200 of her own songs. Her words and way of music is very creative and usually has musicians craning their necks to see ‘eh! What are you playing there?!’ Her self produced and hand-made tracks are on her bandcamp site www.jelila.bandcamp.com A wandering minstrel in a previous life, Jelila’s singing can have a madrigal-esque quality to it which goes well with lute, harp, lyre and ancient instruments. Her lyrics can also be ancient in their romantically put prose. Jelila’s vocals are very touching and in fact she produces hugh vibrational sounds that produce not only goosebumps and tears, but transformational healing.
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Interview with Jelila
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Words just bubble up in me! I am a bubbling source of words. Always got a pen in my hand. Songs just spring up in me, I write them down. I tweak very little as that tends to spoil the freshness. A Nashville professional songwriter named Angel absolutely loved my songs, and would listen to me sing, song after song, in a cafe in Bali, applauding. He worked in Nashville (for years!) by dissecting the best lines, reconstructing songs in a team. The opposite of my approach! He said my songs are very, very good, and loved all of them! Angel had one super famous song, recorded by Otis Reading or a singer like that, I forget. But you would know the song if you heard it! And know Angel.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Words, music and singing. I have ‘musicality’ not just music. ‘Jelila could sing the telephone directory and make it sound good!’ So said a friend. It’s true, the quality and emotion of my voice, and my skill at wrapping the words around the music, rather than singing notes on the music, make my singing very interesting, even, entrancing. My voice is really an Alto, though I do sing very high, when doing healing singing. I have quite a broad vocal range, 3.5 octaves.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: A natty skill I have, is to write a drop-dead wonderful bio for you, in about 5 minutes. I just have this wierd skill. I can size you up from your website, music and vibe, in about 5 seconds, and write something you’ll absolutely love, just ‘like that!’ When you see it, you’ll be like ‘yesss! Of course!’ (And wonder why you made all those crossings out on fervid crumpled sheets of paper, for hourrrs without... getting anywhere).
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I hate Joni Mitchell. Can’t stand Nick Drake either! Yet people say I sound like both of them. What to do! I do not sound like them! Maybe I remind people of them. But don’t people always want to be reminded of something? Nick Drake’s vocals (RIP) are muddy! I hate that! And Joni is just a bit mannered and up itself (sorry sorry sorry!). Arrgh! Patti Smith inspires me - love her intelligence, courage, and truth. Also love how her work is really ‘art’ and watching her channel energy on stage - cool. People have said I sound like her, which pleases me a lot.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I enjoy helping the creation. I’ll do my best to provide what’s needed and when, and I’m also great at inspiring others and coming up with ideas.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I’m working on a series of songs that imagines the romance of Adam and Eve - the first love. They encounter each other in various ways and times and tell us a story about the idyllic love at the beginning of the world.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My own music, is ballads, with classical guitar. Mellow, soft, lovesongs or ‘about relationship’ songs. Some are more strident, I have been compared to Patti Smith (which delighted me, of course!) I began as a poet, writing 300 poems before I wrote one that seemed to want to be a song, so then I wrote a song. That was 20 years ago; I’ve written more than 200 songs since then.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When I record, I endeavour to do it in one take, and often succeed. I prefer this as it reduces editing effort; also I can vibrationally sense the cuts in the music and it spoils the ‘flow’. I think subliminally, others do too. So a real natural one time sung recording is precious!