Natalie Jean’s voice will remind you of a Millenial Tracy Spencer. Like Spencer, Natalie Jean’s sings about being vulnerable in this world, amidst heartbreak, relationship misunderstandings, and loneliness. Songs like “Faithful” exhibit the hurt and the rage a woman feels when she’s deceived, and when she’s the victim of overall relationship treason. The Haitian-American sings in French and English. Get to know Ms. Jean a little better, and how music became an obsession with her. #kreyolicious
Kreyolicious: How did you land in the music business.
Growing up, I always loved music. In fact, I wanted to be a dancer, among many things. My father Guy Robert Jean is a Haitian singer. He used to sing to me all the time as a child. I also have an aunt Sandra Jean that created the first, all female band in Haiti, called Riske. I also have a cousin named Moses Jean, who is a music producer. So you could say, that it is a family thing. I began to write music when I lived in New York. I wrote over 50 songs.
Kreyolicious: Oh, wow…
I wrote about the pain and love of being in relationships. While I was in New York, I decided to do a demo. I actually did the demo in Virginia and sent it off to some music sites. I had [some] interest at the time. But I was going through personal issues, and decided not to pursue a music career. Several years later, my pastor, suggested that I try to get back into the music business. So, I decided to take the demo that I had, and send it to different music labels. Tate Music Group told me they were interested in signing me. So, I recorded my first album in 2013 called Obsession through them. It was a Pop/Jazz album. I was promised certain things through my contract that never panned out. So, I decided to leave them. Even though, I had just created this album, I felt that I needed to start fresh and record a new one. Jazz is my favorite genre. So, I decided to do a self titled Jazz album called Natalie Jean. I wrote all the songs on the album, my music producer Alexi Von Guggenberg, composed all of the music. I have received many awards for some of the singles, and the album made it on the Grammy Ballot for 2014. Even though this album was fairly new, I decided I wanted to do a French album. This album would be titled Lecons D’Amour [Love Lessons]. I decided that I wanted it to be pop and dance. My father wrote three songs on the album: C’est Toi et Moi [You and Me], Je Taime a La Folie [Love You Like Crazy], and Nostalgie [Memories]. “Devenir Gris” [Shades of Gray] was actually written in English by a famous blues artist from the UK named Trevor Sewell, and I translated it into French. This is by far my favorite album. It also made it on the 2015 Grammy ballot and has garnered some awards and recognition.
Kreyolicious: Very impressive. Which singers have the most influential in your musical life?
Lena Horne, Nina Simone, Celine Dion, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Guy R. Jean.
Kreyolicious: How did your current project come together?
I’ve always wanted to sing in French. I’ve always wanted to sing my father’s song “Nostalgie.” I thought that this would be a great way to showcase my versatility. I can also sing in Creole and Spanish. So, I decided that I would be up for the challenge and create a French album. This albums is about the different experiences we tend to face in our search for love with someone and within ourselves.
Kreyolicious: What would you say to someone who’d like to go into the music business?
I would tell them that they should be true to themselves. Don’t let anyone change your music. You should create everything that comes from within. Never give up. Music is universal. If you love your music, someone else will love it too.
Kreyolicious: Do you take any measures to take care of your voice?
I try to take multiple vitamins and drink a lot of orange juice.
Kreyolicious: Have you been to Haiti?
It has been a while. But I was in Haiti when I was twelve years old. It is an amazing and beautiful country. I hope to visit again soon.
Kreyolicious: What’s next on your agenda?
Believe it or not, I am working on a new album. I just released a new single called “Looking Back.” Looking back is about someone who has met someone, and the person turns out to be a liar. After, the person has time to think things through, they realize they never really liked the person, but the person gave them what they needed at the time. I am hoping to release the album by the end of July. This album definitely has a darker feel to it. I love to change things up.
Be sure to check out Natalie Jean in the video below. #kreyolicious