Jenna Isn’t Famous is taking Stage Right Secrets readers behind the creative process of her debut single, “Disconnect.”
Stage Right Secrets | What was the initial concept for the track?
Jenna Isn’t Famous | The concept for this track came from me feeling like I was getting mixed signals from this person in my life. A lot of our interactions made me feel like I was a detective that needed to decode what they were saying. Things that were mildly flirty and could be read either way. I wanted to be direct and call them out, which is something I am working on doing in my real life, but it is also something that I know how to do best in a song. I knew I wanted the track to be something dark and stealthy, like a tiger waiting to pounce. One of the first things I wrote for the track was the bass line, which I think captures that sinister feel.
Who did you collaborate with on the track?
I worked with my friend and producer Akshay Athawale (Rockshay). We actually met a few years back when I was looking for a keyboardist to play in my band and we became fast friends, we both are fairly sarcastic. I had been working on producing some demos for myself, but he approached me and said he thought he could take my songs to a higher level. I was just starting out with producing and he had been doing it for years. He had a really good understanding of how I wanted my songs to sound and is a good interpreter of how to make my abstract thoughts a reality.
What was the first lyric you wrote for it?
I actually just went back to my Voice Memos to check: the first lyric I wrote was the chorus line, “there’s a disconnect between what you are doing and what you are saying.” I was driving back from somewhere where I had seen this person, and I was feeling so confused, so I just started riffing in my car. When I sang that line I knew I had something special, so I started a recording in my Voice Memos. Some of my best writing happens in the car. There’s this thing called “default mode network” that your brain goes into when doing more monotonous things like driving, showering, etc. where the brain synthesizes data and plays with information. So I think I write my best melodies and lyrics when I’m not actively trying to.
How did the song progress into what it is today?
I wrote the chorus first, then the pre-chorus. The melodies and lyrics came pretty naturally for those parts, especially “you say we’re just friends / but then when the night ends / you keep trying to stick around”. The verses were a bit harder to write. I was having major writer’s block, so I just laid on my floor and tried to “trick” my brain into thinking I wasn’t writing. In a way, it was similar to meditation. And once I quieted my brain, then the lyrics came. I brought the song and the bassline to Akshay and he started working from there. One thing I remember distinctly that was a bit different in earlier drafts was that the first pre-chorus was much more intense. However, I wanted the first pre-chorus to still have that sneaky feel, like a detective during an investigation. Something eerily quiet. And then the second pre-chorus has that more pulsating energy and lets loose. I really like the distinction between the two.
What do you envision a music video would look like?
There is actually one in the works! I play a detective bringing someone in for questioning, and my friend Brandon plays the “criminal.” Stay tuned!
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