INTERVIEW: Jalen Dudley

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

Thank you for having me. I’ve been great! I have been finishing up my upcoming EP for the last week so I haven’t really slept that much.

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

“OMW” is one of those songs that truly embodies the meaning of someone that you can deeply count on in a situation. I believe that as an artist, it is important to talk about these topics because everyone goes through similar occurrences in his/her love life. It connects to the audience and allows them to be placed into the song saying, “I’ll be there whenever you need me…” Everyone wants their loved ones to know that you can be able to depend on them.

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

No event in particular really inspired me to write this track, it was more so the fact that I was trying to stick to relationship dynamics whether it was with friends or loved ones. I wanted this song to be universal and allow anyone listening to instantly connect with the vibe.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

For this particular song, I wanted to give to the audience just to give a taste of who Jalen Dudley really is. I haven’t planned a video yet for this single due to working on videos that will be pertaining to my upcoming ep. I plan on releasing music videos for as long as I live, honestly. I wrapped up shooting my first music video last week and the experience was surreal. To be able to manifest a vision and have an amazing team like I have, I can’t wait to produce more!

How was the recording and writing process?

As I’ve gotten older, my recording and writing process definitely has changed. I record in an actual, professional studio every once in a while, but most of the time, the magic happens right in my bedroom. For this song, along with my other single “Rockstar”, I tried the same process. My philosophy is that the listeners are going to gravitate more towards the melody of the song because it’s catchy and that is what pops out to a lot of people when he/she listens to music. I work on getting the melody that sonically sits with the beat of the song.

What role does NYC play in your music?

NYC plays a critical role in the development of my music because being from New Jersey, it is inevitable not to discover artists that you may like because we are so close to each other. One of my biggest inspirations for playing the piano, besides John legend and Stevie Wonder, is Alicia Keys. To be able to see someone have their dreams become a reality knowing that she lived just across a bridge from where I live is a major inspiration for me. 

How has Chris Brown and Brian McKnight influenced your writing?

Chris Brown And Brian Mcknight, as well as many other great male R&B singers, are two staples in the foundation I build my vocal tonality from. They have been an influence on my writing because it’s times where I can get stuck on a particular song and I, as the artist, have to put myself in their mindset and actually think, “How would Breezy be on this track?” When a song talks about a particular topic or just has a certain mood, I like to listen to how singers arrange songs to get a different perspective on how to go about my own lyrics. As a musician and songwriter, it’s crucial to study the people you love listening to. I say this because once you begin to do that, it develops a way for the person to understand just how the singer hit the note and then build on implementing those skills within your own vocal range.

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

New material is definitely coming very soon. I can say that I don’t think I’ve worked on anything as hard as I’ve worked on my upcoming project. This has honestly been a year in a making all the way from the very first recording session up until now. What I’m most excited about with this new material is the fact that this is the beginning era for my artistry. I’m endlessly in the studio working on getting comfortable outside of the box and finding my pocket. 

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

As of right now I’m in the works of some releases hopefully within the next few weeks. As for titles, I’m always having moments in my day or week that I look back on and realize the impact it has in the decision making of the title of my upcoming project. Titles for me change very frequently. I like to catch the essence of the project or mood then dive into possible titles.

What other aspects of friendship will you get to explore?

From listening to this song, you’ll be able hear  me sing about aspects ranging from trust to dependency to possibly turning a friendship into something more. Everyone may find a different perspective when they hear the song, and I think that is what truly makes me love being an artist. To be able to have your specific idea that you build your song on and the listeners may come up with a completely different meaning to the song. Music finds a way  to become relatable to all.

Any plans to hit the road?

Of course! I can’t wait until I am able to put together a show at a venue and perform in front of the public. I was already in the works of trying to put together shows by next month, but due to COVID-19, a lot of venues haven’t been open. Hopefully things begin to open back up because I would love it if VENTS Magazine could make it to a show of mine!

What else is happening next in Jalen Dudley’ world?

Right now, I’m just working towards finishing my EP and a few photoshoots I have. More songs for the summer are definitely on the way as well. I never stop singing so I might as well make as many songs as I can!

LISTEN HERE

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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