INTERVIEW: Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter Jenny Bruce aka GHOSTE

Hi GHOSTE, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Great to be here! I’ve been busy! Hope all is well with you.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Haunted”?

The track is a collaboration with brilliant producer, composer, Matt Anthony. We’ve worked together on many songs, but this time I walked in with a very open mind. We met before I came into the studio to discuss my GHOSTE project and I gave him a general sense of where I wanted to go, but I also expressed that I really wanted him to experiment. I was excited to explore a new direction moving away from my acoustic singer-songwriter vibe. I think we accomplished that!

Did any event, in particular, inspire you to write this song?

This is a true story. I had a very vivid dream one night that I was standing on stage, surrounded by dim blue lighting, and an MC announced, “introducing, GHOSTE!” and behind me, on a screen, the letters G-H-O-S-T-E were projected. When I woke up the chorus for “Haunted” was in my head… It took me some time to finish the song, but that’s how it started.

My mother visits me in my dreams. I feel like this one came from her. Recently, I heard Paul McCartney tell the story that his mother, Mary, visited him in a dream and told him “Let it be.”  Then he wrote that song. I am certainly NOT comparing myself to McCartney as a musician! Yet, my mom does come to me in my dreams when I’m struggling. These days, as an independent artist, and a middle-aged woman, I began feeling increasingly invisible and voiceless. A ghost. I think perhaps, my mom was trying to help me find my voice. GHOSTE.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! The official video will be coming out right around Halloween! Probably a few days before. Please check my Instagram and Facebook for details. Aiming for a pre-Halloween release. The video is a lot of fun. Most scenes were filmed in various “haunted” locations in France. Three different ruins dating back as far as the 14th Century. I worked with a young French Filmmaker, Bertrand LeNoir. He was into the whole ghost thing and knew a lot about the various locations.

How were the recording and writing process?

Always amazing when working with Matt Anthony at Engine Sound. He’s my “co-ghostewriter”. I brought in something very raw and acoustic and he did all the transformative magic. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and creative wellspring of sounds and ideas. We have so much fun making music together. He produced my Jenny Bruce “Firefly in a Jar” album and so many other songs for me. It was exciting to do something so creatively and artistically different from what we have usually recorded together.

What role does NYC play in your music?

New York is part of me. Since I was born and raised here, it’s what I know and is such an integral part of who I am. Most of the time I do my writing as I’m walking, cabbing, subwaying my way around this city. So I should probably give NYC some writing credit. If you check out my Instagram account @ghostenyc, you’ll see that I take a lot of photos of my hometown. I like to focus on different perspectives. Watertowers, bridges, subways, skyline… NYC is my muse.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than when writing on your own?

That really depends on my comfort level with the person I am writing with. For this particular project, I have been collaborating with close friends. So, what comes out feels very authentic and true to me. The process is inherently different when you collaborate. You have to be open to hearing the ideas of others and having them disagree with yours. I guess it takes a certain degree emotional maturity. 

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

For sure! I’m actually planning on launching a Kickstarter Campaign in mid-November to fund the rest of my recording. I have another song already recorded and a bunch of songs lined up. I’m being very picky about what will be included in this GHOSTE project. It has been very freeing to write and record as GHOSTE and I want to continue that vibe. It’s liberating! I will continue recording through the coming months and am hoping to raise enough support to record a full album’s worth of music.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Haunted will be officially released on Friday, October 19th. Next week! As for the next single… Still planning the release. I will be launching a Kickstarter Campaign in November… so lot’s of fun things going on!

Any plans to hit the road?

Not just yet, although I’ve had some intriguing requests from the other side… of the pond that is. Seems some fans in France and Romania are calling! Dream gig, Transylvania! Hoping to do a few shows locally here in NYC in the coming months. Will keep you posted.

What else is happening next in GHOSTE’s world?

I recently recorded a live video at the haunted Kreischer Mansion in Staten Island, NY. That was so much fun! Matt and I experimented with performing “Haunted” live. The jury is out, I guess. Waiting for the live video recording! Should have that any day now. Otherwise, I’m signed up to attend a “ghost hunt” at the Morris Jumel Mansion in November – can’t wait!

Most importantly, I want to record all the new songs I have. Songs about longing, living, and exploring the unknown! I want to connect with others and share my message that through the struggle, and no matter how great the challenges, there is mystery, magic and beauty everywhere. Often, hiding in plain sight.


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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