Just in time for Christmas, singer-songwriter Audra Mae, the great grand-niece of Judy Garland, shares her rendition of the enchanting classic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. Mae is also known for writing songs and singing with artists such as Christina Aguilera, The Chainsmokers, and Avicii. The intimate live video, presented by Jammcard, shows the captivating one-take performance of just Mae and pianist Dylan Meek together at United Recording Studios on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA.
“For me, ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ is about wishing the present away for the future,” explains Mae. “We all fall into the trap of believing that happiness is really somewhere else – rather than right here, right now. I think this song illustrates that melancholy mindset better than any other.”
Garland originally made “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” famous in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The performance has since transcended generations, withstanding the test of time as a shimmering anthem mixing desperation with hope. “The world is better for her having existed,” Mae shares of Garland. “We all feel like we know her because she put her soul out there for us to connect with and relate to and I hope to carry that torch along with the rest of her admirers.”
Elmo Lovano, founder of Jammcard, a music tech startup known for bringing together top-notch artists and musicians, brought the show-stopping cover to life after a happenstance meeting of the minds between Meek and Mae in the Hollywood Hills. Mae explains, “Dylan Meek and I discovered each other as kindred music makers through this song at the after-party of fellow Jammcard member Ty Taylor’s solo show in LA. The party, as it just so happens, was held at a house in the Hollywood Hills where Judy used to hang. It’s worth mentioning that, until that night, I never sang ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. Because of my distant relation to Judy, I always felt strange about putting myself out there like that. I was afraid of my interpretation being misread as exploitative. However, that particular night, it happened organically at Ty’s insistence… and so, in the late hours of the evening, at a baby grand piano, Dylan and I went for it and the whole room fell absolutely silent. I can only imagine that Judy herself would have loved leaning over a piano and singing while Dylan intuited her vibe. He’s beyond talented. And so was she.” Following the event, Lovano and Mae came together on the decision to record “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”.
“I am overjoyed that Jammcard allowed Dylan and I to recreate the magic of that after-party moment,” Mae adds. “I hope everyone who lays eyes or ears on our Jammcard performance feels our total sincerity. Most of all, I hope every true fan of Judy Garland and Harold Arlen [the original composer] feels the respect and reverence we have for her immense power and immortal influence over everyone who came after her. Without her, there would be no us. So, here’s to Judy and to Harold. Forever may she reign as the queen of our hearts. And forever may he be remembered as the man who penned one of the most iconic ballads of all time.”
The Jammcard Exclusive performance can be seen now on their YouTube channel here.