Caitlin Jemma: Portrait and Interview Session
Caitlin Jemma’s musical journey began with a vinyl record collection. Her Dad’s vinyl collection to be exact. It was one filled with 60’s and 70’s rock and roll and folk albums and it was in this collection where Caitlin found her biggest musical influence, Bob Dylan. Shortly after she got her first guitar at 17, Caitlin began writing songs.
“Songwriting just came really easy to me because I’d been writing poetry and I also grew up in choir and musical theater and so over the next few years performing and songwriting was just something I fell into quite easily.
Um…I pretty much started writing songs as soon as I learned a few chords. So it only took a few months before I was writing songs and I was really into it and I started playing open mic nights, but I did that for a many years and I really can’t recall my first show, but I released my very first album on my 21stbirthday.
It didn’t take long for me to create a collection of songs and I was lucky because I was able to get away from home and see California and see different parts of Northern and Southern California and be exposed to a lot of art communities and I feel like that propelled me forward and inspired me in my early days.”
These days, Caitlin can be found crisscrossing the country on tour, playing in venues and telling stories of influences, love lost and travel. One of the stories Caitlin shared while playing Tulsa at the Blackbird on Pearl, was of a recent trip to Italy and an Italian man enamored with her voice in such a way that he felt the need to share that with her.
If you ask Caitlin to describe her sound in three words, she’ll tell you it’s “cosmic, country, soul”. She also has a distinct, vintage vibe. You can hear it on her newest album, Love Notes. Caitlin describes the album as, “A concept album about different types of love. So, the first song is about self-love and there’s other kinds. There’s a song on there about tough love, but the themes of the album are vulnerability, inner strength, like finding your own confidence in yourself. Basically like the message, is to always honor yourself and that’s pretty much the ultimate form of love that you can do is to honor yourself and allow others to honor their own needs. I wrote the album witnessing how many people are in pain right now and wanting to create something that is fun, but is also deep and thoughtful and meaningful in that way. So yeah, I want the album to make people cry and laugh and the whole spectrum of emotions.”
My personal favorite song on the album is, “Ain’t That Something”. With the trumpet wailing in the background and the soulful sounds of Caitlin’s voice, you almost feel like you’re listening to singer in a low-lit jazz club in the 1930’s. Caitlin’s voice has the power to transport you to another time or place, to draw out the emotion you didn’t know you were suppressing. Some of said that Caitlin’s voice is reminiscent of another talented artist in the Americana genre, Valerie June. As it so happens, when asked who was on the top of her wish list to collaborate with, Caitlin admitted that Valerie June was at the top of the list.
“My dream would be Valerie June. I love Valerie June. If I could ever even share a stage with her that would be amazing.”
If you’d like to catch this up and coming talented singer/songwriter, you can find her tour schedule here: https://www.caitlinjemma.com/tour
Or if you’re inclined, you can pick up Caitlin’s latest album, Love Notes, here: https://www.caitlinjemma.com/music
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