Interviewer (Q) It’s been awhile…how are you?
Jennifer (A) I’m fine, thank you….and you?
Q. I’m well, thanks. I know we are going to discuss all subjects, music, essays, websites and the forthcoming video page. With all the changes at the websites, how has the past year been for you with your music and essays?
A: I feel very blessed because the number of hits to both sites is now over 4 million a year…I mean it’s really incredible. I still remember when I first began 8 years ago, and 32 people would visit my site and I would be thrilled…can you imagine how I feel now? And I still have most, if not all, of those original 32 people receiving the newsletter. I feel very, very blessed.
Q. Tell us a little about how both websites have grown?
A: Well, I think they’ve grown because I’m always adding new stuff to the sites….new quotes during the week, an essay every other week, um…. a new song a month, updates to the pages, and now I will be adding free video of the songs and essays in January, which I am very excited about. I remember the last interview I said that would happen, and that I would finally have to comb my hair….just kidding of course!
Q. Yes, I remember you mentioning that. You completed your CD “Crossroads” this year, how did it feel premiering a new song each month while it was being recorded?
A: I like it better than waiting until the record is entirely completed before sharing the songs with my fans. It just feels like a more natural process….I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because a year is a long time to keep music in a box!
Q. You let people hear and download your music for free. How has that worked out.?
A: I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think there is an alternative. With file-sharing going on, an artist doesn’t really have much say in the matter anymore. But then again they never had much say with the record companies either. But my fans are very loyal, and they do donate, which I really appreciate. Can I take this moment to mention that all donations are truly appreciated?
Q.Of course you can! Your essays have touched quite a few people, some even highlight them on their personal websites. How does that make you feel?
A: I am mind blown by some of the responses to my essays. And to my music. I cry when I read certain letters from people. One man recently wrote me that he played my version of the song “Amazing Grace” at his son’s funeral…I mean, that really touched me. One person wrote that one of my essays stopped him from committing suicide. Another person said that she wants to play my song, “Two Hearts” at her wedding, thousands of miles away. This keeps me going, let me tell you. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Q. Can you say a few words about the amount of music that has been downloaded from your websites?
A: Oh, I thought I answered that already. Over 4 million hits to the sites a year, so I had to open another sister site, jenniferavalon.net. There was too much bandwidth being used up on just one site! The one site had to shut down briefly because of overload, so that’s when I decided it was time to open another site. It’s working out great now.
Q. What can we look forward to this coming year?
A: Well, as I mentioned, the biggest thing will be the free videos. We’ve been working very hard on them, filming all over the place and stuff. It’s very cold here in the northeast right now, so it’s been a bit of a challenge here and there, but, as they say, the show must go on! Each song has a different type of video for it, because each song has a different kind of mood. It’s really interesting to see what happens when one decides to combine visual with audio…I absolutely love the process.
Q. How has the free business model worked out for you?
A: Free is the way to go, because it reaches all over the globe. There is no barrier to free. But one must know how to live somewhat humbly to be able to afford to do it, if you know what I mean.
Q. Humbly? How so?
A: Well, I think in general it’s just wise to try to live humbly. Not be a pig.
Q. Well, I don’t think I’m going to touch that one! Tell us about your next CD “Paradox”? I understand the first song from the sessions will be the January song of the month.
A: Thanks for asking….the next song is called, “Darkest Before the Dawn.” I’m in the middle of recording it as we speak, as a matter of fact. It will be released January.
Q. Music, essays, and videos….any movies in the future?
A: Movies? Well, I guess if someone sees me and thinks I can be an actress….I wouldn’t say no to a great part (laughter) I mean, I don’t really think that way. My videos are a way to express visually what I am trying to convey in my songs…you know what I mean? I have been stopped on the street in my life by people who’ve thought they’ve seen me from somewhere….they think they’ve seen me on t.v. or in the movies or something. The same thing used to happen to my Dad. I guess we both have a certain type of look or something.
Q. What does Jennifer Avalon like to do in her spare time?
A: I particularly like this question…thanks for asking it. When I’m not writing or recording, my favorite thing to do, I think, is to play with my doggies, and cook. I also love to read, especially at night, when it’s dark outside and I can lay in bed under warm covers with a good reading light. I also like certain television shows, like “24”, and “The 4400” and a few others.
Q. Understood. 2006 is looking like a big year for you. What will the introduction of videos bring to the music and essay pages?
A: Video is a whole different “animal.” It adds another dimension, I feel, to the music, and to the essays. The music will become three dimensional, in a sense, and the essays will have a new life….I will be recording them with my voice, and with visuals. I am so excited about adding this dimension…it’s not only fun, but I feel like my fans will get to know me better, and vice-versa. There are some wonderful people out there, let me tell you. I wish I could personally meet everyone who visits my sites, but of course that would be an impossibility.
Q. As a final question, what would you like to say to the folks who visit your websites?
A: If I can give even just one second of happiness to those who visit my sites, then I will feel I have “done my job.” Peace of mind is everything, and that’s what I wish most of all for those who come to listen and feel and see, at my sites.
Q. Thanks Jennifer, much continued success. I feel peaceful just having been around you today…thanks.
A: You’re very welcome….have a wonderful week. Don’t get too stressed out..it’s crazy out there right now!
Q. I won’t. Thanks again.
A: You’re welcome. Take care…. bye bye.