I can remember climbing up on the top of a fountain ledge at the Brazos Mall in Lake Jackson, Texas and singing Christmas Carols to anyone who would listen as they entered and exited Dillard's. A few people even threw money to me on the ledge. I'm sure the money was for me, or either they had a bad aim because none of it made it into the fountain. I can remember how expressive I was as I sang my heart out to the passersby. My mother, embarrassed and tickled pulled me down after a security guard noticed me and noticed that I was probably generating more cash flow that the department stores. I was five. I can't imagine what type of trouble I might get into now at the age of 24.
I've been singing for a long, long time. The first song I ever sang was at Shiloh Baptist Church. I sang "Yes, Jesus Loves Me" at the age of 7. At that point, with the microphone in my hand and the approval of my family members saying "Amen" and "Sang Boy!", at that point I realized that I might have something special.
At the age of 10, I stepped on stage at O.M. Robert's Elementary and belted Brandy's "I Wanna Be Down" into a Shure 55 "Old School" Microphone during a talent show. The local newspaper, The Brazosport Facts documented the talent show, and I was pictured inside.. I can't find the picture to save my life. Holiday Events, Church Programs, and Talent shows seemed to be my trinity for singing.
In high school, I developed a greater appreciation for Choral Music and I began singing music written by Classical Composers like Bach, Tchiachovsky, Monteverdi, Brahams... You name him, I joined a choir that praised his music. I competed in UIL Solo & Ensemble competitions. In college I joined the mixed collegiate choir and I developed an even greater appreciation for Choral Music.
I joined The Ars Supernova in 2006. The other young men in the band at the time wanted to create something that was more than what we'd been hearing on the radios and on television. We were all indeed hungry for more than popular music was giving us at the time. Through the formation of the band, I was able to express myself freely through my lyrics. Vocally, I'd try to pull from some of my musical influences; Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald and a younger influence, John Legend...and even Beyonce.
MUSIC... such a wonderful tool for expression. Sometimes it's a bit frustrating... Because to have a career in music, people have to want to follow you. There has to be something about you that makes people believe in what you're trying to do. In my opinion, some people sell their souls just to have a hit record, no matter how bland of a song or how short-lived their success becomes. The band challenges me to be myself...and never compromise what I write for the sake of a #1 hit.
I figure Solange Knowles to be another influence. She christened a new type of music and vocal expression through her latest album. (I'm actually quite intrigued by her to tell you the truth)
But through this new album, LUMINA, I want people to hear the music...I want them to hear the passion. I want fellow vocalists to hear what I'm doing vocally. Sure, I want to make a career out of this, but to be quite honest... If atleast a handful of people will listen and dig this sound... My heart is happy. It's art... It'll be critiqued, criticized, made fun of, but I'll be darned if someone tells me I'm not good at what I do... LOL (Just kidding)
My comrades and I have been blessed with the gift of music, and we've been blessed with an audience of the WORLD to share it with?
You believe in me?
Friday, January 30, 2009
The word Renascence means new birth or life; a rebirth.
Our song Renascence was written especially for young women. As a man, I cannot even begin to imagine the pressures that society seems to place on young women to live up to the standards of "beauty". It hurts to see young women try so hard and then fail because of the constant change in standards of this word; "beauty".
However, I do know how it feels to work at something for so long and work so hard and still feel like you're missing the mark. We all search for approval in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes, it may be a kind word, a compliment, a smile or a hug.
I've heard and witnessed so many stories about young women who failed to see the beauty in themselves and sought other, more tangible ways to define what they considered beauty. TV and magazines can paint such a twisted picture of "perfection", and some women may see that and believe THAT is beauty. Let me be the first to tell you... A great majority of the things you see in print are edited masterpieces. Adobe Photoshop works wonders and can fool the untrained eye.
But more than that. The song Renascence talks about a young woman who lives to please others, especially a man in an abusive relationship. She's beaten, battered, and broken not only by him, but also by this worldly view of beauty that she has been trained to believe is the way for her to live. In the end, the woman finds an honest friend, or maybe she looks in the mirror at herself and realizes that she's always been beautiful, but she gains confidence in herself. She finally opens her eyes and for the first time, she loves herself. She sees that light, that positive bright-shining light within herself.
In the Spring of 2007, a Texas A&M Student lost her life to the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Pictures of her will forever be branded in my memory. She was beautiful. Her personality lit up a room. She gained the strength to move on without him. She's no longer here because this man did not appreciate her beauty. He could not see how someone so young could have so much strength to live her life without him. So instead of allowing her to live her life without him, he ended her life.
Whoever you are, where ever you are...No matter what you're going through, through this song "Renascence", I'm connected to you. You don't have to feel inadequate. You don't have to feel like you're not beautiful. Love yourself. You ARE paramount. You ARE important. It's okay to start over; to redefine who you are in life. Sometimes we need a refreshed mind. 2Pac said it best, "Keep Ya Head Up."
Ladies and Gentleman:
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jirod Greene. I'm the front man/lyricist of Austin's own art-rock band, The Ars Supernova. I wanted something that I could use as an outlet for my thoughts as I seem to always have a lot of my mind, and I'm always willing to share. So keep coming back as I'm sure I'll have more to say later.