INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL WILLIAMS
STORY BY KATINA GOULAKOS
Jewel is one of those female artists who can go by a single name like Cher, Beyonce or Madonna. This down to earth superstar was raised in Alaska and by the 4th grade she was performing along side her father at dive bars around the area. At the age of 21, Jewel’s first album “Pieces of You” was released. Much to her surprise, the album went multi-platinum with “You Were Meant for Me” and “Who Will Save Your Soul”.
Imagista was mesmerized by her recent performance in New York City. Not only are her vocals impeccable but also her sense of ease on stage is admirable. Jewel’s humor and kind demure are felt throughout her performance, a quality not many artists have.
Jewel, who comes from a family of musicians and artist, never aimed her sights on fame. Her goal in fact was to be one of the best singers and songwriters in the industry, which she accomplished. She claims it was always hard for her to learn someone else’s music, she found it so much easier writing her own, which worked out in her benefit.
Jewel has been blessed to call, none other than, Bob Dylan and Neal Young her song writing mentors. Dylan took her under his wing and brought her on tour with him. They would go through her lyrics and he was instrumental with instilling in Jewel the confidence to develop her own song writing style.
Neil Young, who she met a little later in her career has also been a tremendous supporter of Jewel. She says both Dylan and Young taught her an important lesson, which is “to follow relentlessly whatever your instinct is.”
Jewel also took the advice of her mentors and went on a little break from show business and asked herself “what do I really want to do with my life?” The time spent away from the music industry offered Jewel some perspective and, to her surprise, she chose music again. However, she decided to engage in it very differently. She decided not to live in L.A anymore and to stopped the heavy touring.
Jewel is unique because not only has she broken boundaries in the music industry, but because she has taken her career to another level completely. The now 41 year old continues to be inspired by the world around her. She has re-invented herself and taken a step back from fame whenever it was feeling to be a bit too much. “Humans are not one thing however, artists get to a brand and are suppose to stick to it, not me”.
Jewel is an artist who marches to the beat of her own drum which is why she is so inspiring to us. She is more than just a singer and a songwriter, she truly is influential and accomplished, and the respect and admiration she garners from her adoring fans is well deserved.
*Stay tuned for an upcoming in-depth podcast interview with Jewel and Imagista.