Q&A: The legendary Janey Street on being a woman in music and her latest “Undone”

Janey Street is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter with a heart of gold and the voice to match. With a lifetime of experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the turbulent music industry of the 21st century, she has lived to tell her story one song at a time. Her thought-provoking new single, “Undone” seeks to answer questions that burden us all about the self and the world around us.

Janey Street was born and raised in New York City. In her early career, she recorded several albums for the likes of Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, Capitol Records, and Arista Records under the guidance of legendary music mogul, Clive Davis. In this time she saw big league success. Her single, “Under The Clock” was a Billboard Top 20 hit, and the accompanying music video saw frequent airplay by VH1. Street spent years on the road traversing the club scene of the US and Canada opening for all-star acts like The Bee Gees, John Hammond Jr., and Richie Havens just to name a few. However impressive, Street’s colorful resume doesn’t end at recording and performing. She has written songs for such diverse artists as Grammy-nominated, Ruth Brown, Dutch artist, Judith, and Japanese artist, Maria, among many others. She also has a new single “Sure Can Use Some Christmas Around Here” on the upcoming Alabama Christmas record American Christmas. To top it all off, Hollywood has been receptive to her work in both TV and Film (two of Street’s songs were featured in animated film, Foodfight (2013) starring Hillary Duff and Eva Longoria). Since her stint with the majors and the classic move to California that comes with it, Street has since moved to Music City, Nashville, TN to continue her career on her own terms.

“Undone” is Janey Street’s newest single off the album In My Own Skin, released in June 2017 on Blue Élan Records.

Girl Gang Music was lucky enough to do a quick Q&A with Janey. Read it in full below:

1) How did you get here? Did you always know you’d be a musician?

I’m really not anywhere. I’ve been just working really hard all these years. I know I wanted to do this at 6 years old when my father took me to see a Broadway Musical. It was a very quick decision. My older brother (who sang and played guitar and piano) was playing in Greenwich Village and he taught me everything I know. That went on to being in a blues band that played paid gigs every weekend in Queens NY when I hit 11 and it all just went on from there.

2) What has been your proudest moment so far in life? Music or otherwise?

There have been many but there was one just recently and that was with the release of my new record “ In My Own Skin.” I had won the 2016 LA Music Critic Award for best CD for my last record “ My Side Of Paradise” so I was asked to perform with all the winners in LA at the Hotel Café. When the main critic introduced me on to the stage along with the head of my label “Blue Elan Records”, they went into a whole big deal about me and presented me with a shinny glass 2017 Icon LA Music Critic Award, It blew my mind. I was feeling pretty proud even though I don’t go in for awards that much. It was a surprise and it just felt really good.

3) What was the songwriting + production process behind this record? If you have any pictures, we’d love to see them.

I live in Nashville, but record in LA. I worked with Grammy nominated producer Dave Darling on both my Blue Elan Records. I write songs all the time and many different kinds of songs. I did write both these records with myself as an artist in mind. It felt like an explosion because it had been a long time since I got to make records. I came up with a lot of cool melodies, hooks and lyrics. I then called in some of my good friends that are great songwriters to help finish up a lot of the songs and the songs came out really great. Dave is an engineer producer, so he really knows his stuff and is fun to work with. I have a production head and he was very open to my production ideas, which made us a good team.

4) What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I don’t know. I’m a pretty open book. I guess my insecurities. I think everyone tries to hide that but I’m not really even good at hiding that.

5) Whats something other than music you’re passionate about?

Animals

6) Do you think being a woman in music has affected your career? If so, how?

Yes. Women have always had a harder time. I have always had to have a man around to do my talking for me. I knew that made it easier, so I have had that on and off throughout my years in the business. You are always referred to as a female artist. In Nashville it’s really bad. In the entertainment world in general, if you are a good looking young woman, you can get ahead. When I was in my 20s, the were bowing at my feet, but I think I’ve been lucky in a sense because I was always signed on the basis of my talent, but being young and good looking helped for sure. Guys are under that kind of pressure but not as much and it seems to me they more respected in business dealings with some exceptions of course.

Check out some images of Janey doing her thing:

 

Janey Street’s Girl Gang Pick

Bessie Smith

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