“It’s a combination of that traveling experience that can lead to songs or great ideas.”
Photos copyright Tafriha Ahmed and Jared Lee management.
CFM Music Scene chatted with Musician/Songwriter Jared Lee to find out what he has been up to. Jared Lee’s EP “Falling Through the Holes” was released in October 2011. His songs “Beautiful World” and “Hooray for Hollywood” have been featured on Season 10 and 11 of American Idol. Jared moved from Boston to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. Jared Lee has described his style of music as “soulful pop music.”
CFM: Do you remember the exact moment you wanted to become a musician?
“For me I don’t think there was an exact moment. Performing was something I always loved and from a young age I was drawn to the stage. I was involved in a lot of musical groups in school and high school. I think it was something that came natural and worked on and loved doing. But I didn’t know at a super young age that I was going to focus my career on it. I think it was just something I loved doing and as continued to get older and grow up. “
CFM: Who are your music influences at the moment?
”Wow! There’s a lot. I’m really inspired by a whole variety of musicians. Growing up I listened to a lot of R&B musicians: Boys II Men, Bryan McKnight, (and) James Ingram. I listened to those guys a lot and tried to mimic their singing style and try to do with my voice with their voices which I thought was so cool. Also listened to Sting a lot and, I loved his sense of melody. My parents listened to a lot of James Taylor so I had a variety of music coming at me. As I was growing up there was a lot that I was exposed to.
Now there are contemporary artists that I’m really impressed by, inspired by. Just to name a few, because there are a lot of them. Alicia Keys, who is so passionate, so honest in her performing and I love that. Pink is another. For guys there are so many. John Legend, who I really love. The Script, I think they are an amazing group. I love their songs and melodies.
There’s a lot. I like people for different reasons. If you ask me about a particular artist I would tell them about qualities I’m really drawn to. I could go down the list. There are a ton of them and this is just a few of them.”
CFM: You’ve recently been working with Pia Toscano from American Idol. How did that come about?
“Pia and I (Jared) have known each other for almost 7 years. We started working together in New York, long before (American) Idol and before I released any music. A friend of ours who hooked us up and suggested we work together, write and vibe. We became good friends and developed in our own ways. Now we are both living in Los Angeles. We both are working on music. We are both working on our own projects, but at the same time we thought it might be cool to do some stuff together. So, you know, the past few months we’ve started with some cover songs and we’ve done a bunch of performances in and around L.A. for KIIS FM and for the Viper Room and other charity events. We were also asked to play Scott McCreery; who won American Idol; asked us to come sing a rendition of Coldplay’s “Fix You” at his concert in New York. We are just seeing where it’s going. We’re talking about potentially recording some music together and doing stuff but we are also having a good time. We have a lot of fun together and she’s really talented. It’s kind of funny how it’s coming full circle getting to work together again after a 7 year gap.”
CFM: You’ve played with some amazing artist’s like Train. Is there someone you dream of going on tour with?
“Oh yeah, that’s like the favorite artist question. Honestly I think there is such good music out there. Especially as people are getting to know your music. Like they are for me. You can learn from some of the artist’s that have been there done that and Train was a perfect example of that. I played one show with them in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, a big wine outdoor party with about 4,000 people. It’s just great to a. Just watch them. They’ve got such great songs, but also I love the learning experience. You know what makes them great and trying to integrate those skills with my own performances. I got to play a few shows last year with Gavin DeGraw. He’s another great artist that’s really got it down. It’s just great to just kind of hang out on the side of the stage and watch him interact with the audience.
So, kind of gave you a long answer but there’s many artists I’d like to tour with along with the ones I’ve named earlier. I’d love to tour with Pink, Alicia Keys, and The Script. I think at this point when you are a new artist when you have any opportunity to go out with artists that have been successful and are doing it and are having people love their music because there is so much to learn. There aren’t a whole lot of artists I wouldn’t tour with. As long as the music is in the same thing and not a total mismatch because for me it’s kind of a type of lesson. Just going out there and watching somebody with more experience than you do it. There are a lot of people I would to get out there and tour with. Lot’s and lot’s and lot’s.”
CFM: Traveling to all these locations likes Oregon or Nevada; have you been inspired by them?
“It’s really cool because especially last year when we took the song “It’s Over (Goodbye)” to radio (stations). We spent a few months just going around to a bunch of different radio stations and meeting the program directors and playing some concerts for the stations. We got to go to some places I had never been such as Oregon. We went to Idaho, Washington State, and Orlando. We were really all over the place. We covered a lot of ground.
You do get inspired by a lot of different places because it gives you a new perspective on the United States, which is where we were last year. A lot of towns you’ve never been to where you just have no idea what they look like until you are actually there. Just thinking off the top of my head, Boise, Idaho, I never thought about that city really because I had no interaction with it. But it’s a really cool place and great people, beautiful. What other places? Missouri, Iowa. A lot of places I never traveled to before and had some beautiful college campuses. There are beautiful towns you can explore in. You meet new people in every city and you get inspired by their experiences. It’s a combination of that traveling experience that can lead to songs or great ideas.”
CFM: You’ve been posting a few cover songs to your Youtube page. Are you working on more?
“Yeah. I’m always working on new stuff. Right now there will be some new covers coming out. Pia and I are doing some more stuff. I’m also writing for some other projects other than myself. I’m working on some new recordings on my own that I’m going to release. All that stuff is in the works right now. That’s what I spend most of my time doing.”
CFM: Fans love your music video for “It’s Over (Goodbye)”. Are you planning on making a follow-up music video?
“Thank you so much. We will probably see what we are going to do. It kind of depends. Going to see the release plans if we are going to do another EP or a full album. What I’ll probably do is the song we pick to release as a single; we’ll put together a video for. There are a couple of ideas floating around as to what the next song will be. Once we have our definitive game plan with that we’ll probably shoot a video for it.
As that’s going on we’ll be doing other things with video content. Just maybe not a full-scale music video. (For “It’s Over (Goodbye)”) We had an awesome time doing that. We got a great director, Brent McHenry, who graduated from USC to shoot it. We shot it in two locations, L.A. and Malibu and on a helicopter pad in downtown Los Angeles. And (we had) Cassie Scerbo who was a star on the show “Make It Or Break It” on ABC Family and is now shooting a couple of movies got to play the leading lady. Another girl Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, (who is) another successful actress that’s been in a couple of movies; she came and did another role. It was awesome. Everybody just kind of cooperated. Had a good few days. I was really happy with how the video “It’s Over (Goodbye)”) came out.”
- First concert? Boys II Men
- Last song you played on your iPod? Diplo “Climax”
- Favorite food? Oh that’s a hard one. Too hard to answer, I’m going to go with.
- An item you have to travel with? I know what it is. It’s really not going to sound cool but clay sculpting wax for my hair. It’s really thick hair so I need that stuff.
- Favorite movie? Good Will Hunting is one of them. The favorite questions are hard for me because I’m one of the guys that likes a variety of things. But Good Will Hunting is one of them because I’m from Boston.
- Guilty pleasure? Copious, copious amounts of cereal at all hours of the day. (A specific brand?) I mix them up. I do a two or three combo in one bowl for variety.
- Ninja or Pirate? Ninja
CFM: What can fans expect for 2013? Any last words?
“For 2013 I’m working on a bunch of new music for myself. There may be some stuff that Pia and I are going to do. I think you are going to see some of my songs that I’ve written on other artists that you might know on their albums. I’m working on that as well.”
Follow Jared Lee on twitter at www.twitter.com/JaredLeeMusic
Keep up with Jared Lee on his official site www.jaredleemusic.com
You can purchase Jared Lee’s EP “Falling Through Holes” on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/falling-through-holes-ep/id468535819