written by Kristofer Upjohn
Jette-Ives has proffered to the public a wonderful disc called In
The Deep. For those who haven't heard it, I can tell you that
the CD's title is appropriate. This isn't just some chillout CD
to be tossed in and peripherally appreciated as relaxing background
music. This is a disc that brings a variety of influences (including
a fave of mine, jazz) into the mix to create absorbing, engaging
music for those moments of introspection and escape - but note,
the escape is into the music, not out into some netherworld where
this is a background heard distantly. Prepare for a journey. And,
since you're here, check out a little insight into the creation
of this delicious record from the minds behind the music.
Kris: What images were going through your
head as you composed and performed this music?
Jette: I was a rollercoaster combination of heartbroken,
euphoric, frustrated, and remote during In the Deep's creation.
When I perform the music, all I have to do is sing a song's first
note and I"m back to the moment and the muse that created
Holmes: As the composer, I often wove my own frustrations
and desires into this music I wanted it to be both a voyeuristic
& self-exploratory experience for the listener.
Are they the same ones that go through your head now that you
listen to the final product?
Jette: Absolutely. I remember a kiss and a dance, a smile, a seduction,
an extreme, the far-reaching consequences of a chance meeting.
Holmes: Yes yes yes...
How much did jazz consciously figure as an influence?
Jette: Consciously jazz did not figure in as an influence. Unconsciously
I grew up listening to Eva Cassidy, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald,
and Billie Holiday, so they are my mentors.
Holmes: When I set out to write this music, I initially intended
to experiment in the jazzier side of things, which was not my usual
focus (I've had more classical training). But jazz is just one spice
on this album. There are many different attitudes. After Jette and
I got in the sandbox and made a few songs, we realized we had something
to build together, and In the Deep was born.
Would you consider yourself chillout or something else?
Jette: I actually don't consider us chillout; I think we're more
pensive lusty, frustrated, flirty, disconsolate than chillout.
[Smiling] Not that I mind being placed in the chillout genre!
Holmes: I think it's the kind of music that sends a chill down
your spine, warming your muscles along the way. It's a seduction,
and I hope it hurts in the good way and inspires bodies to dance
together, hip to hip, slowly and deeply. So... chilled out? If you're
What outside of other musical artists influenced you as you
Jette: I don't listen to a lot of music when I'm working on an
album, so 99% of my influences are outside of the musical realm.
Ultimately, I fell deeply, irrationally/rationally in... lust &
admiration... for someone indelibly close & unobtainable.
Holmes: It was about experimentation and release trying new possibilities
that I had overlooked in previous projects.
How did you decide upon a name for the album In The Deep?
Jette: We were in the midst of recording, and, after several months
of deliberation, Holmes popped into the vocal booth and said, "In
the Deep"? And I knew exactly what he was referring to. Our album
is very much about & inspired by submersion. We spent nearly two
years deeply immersed in its creation.
Do you have a favorite track on the album? If so, why?
Jette: Mine is "Thin Ice" I wrote it, then lived it, so the evocations
are very intense. It's odd during In the Deep's creation, I had
a habit of writing songs that later happened to me. "Proximity"
is another example of said phenomenon.
Holmes: Mine is "Vexed," because it is my finest moment as a producer. And
"Proximity," because it is such a sexy song. It puts nails in my
skin, holds back back back from the most delicious ideal, which
rests unobtainable and just inches away. Until... it ravishes.
Jette: Wow, Holmes, that's quite a vivid description! And you're
right. That's exactly what happened in "Proximity"...
What should listeners understand about you when listening
to "In the Deep"?
Jette: I"ll let them decide. It was a very honest album for me.
Holmes: I am just the support crew to Jette's stories. I have supplanted
a feeling into the music, a hidden directive just under C minor.
Is there an overall message to the music of Jette-Ives?
Jette: "Carpe diem."
Holmes: That we are sexy motherfuckers, all of us. You just have
to let it out, even if it is just between you and your lover, never
hold back. We are here as ourselves only once.
Jette: Yes! Just what he said.
What was the hardest part about making this music?
Jette: Waiting to hold the finished product in my hands.
Holmes: Wearing so many hats Producer, Engineer, Musician, Composer.
It meant crazy amounts of time seeing the songs from their inceptions
to their final forms. And there was also my desire to push myself
to write string arrangements that I REALLY loved, which I accomplished
on this album. I am raising the bar for the next album.
Jette: During In the Deep's conception, I had so much
going on, so much to say, that the writing process was very fluid.
Holmes: Recording Jette... She was a one-take wonder. She made it easy on me. It was a pleasure.
Jette: The day I first saw the album. Holmes met me at my favorite
restaurant, we ordered drinks (we"re scotch people on the rocks
for me; neat for him), and he gleefully, I might add waited
until I was ready to implode with anticipation before giving me
In the Deep. Aside from that meeting, working with, and
getting to know Holmes has been one of the best & most influential
experiences of my life.
Holmes: For me, it was giving to the voice of the very talented and unique Jette Kelly a proper vehicle on which to ride. And let me tell you she is as good live as she is in the studio!
Is there anything you'd have done differently, given the opportunity?
Jette: No. As for being given the opportunity to do things differently
we'll do another album!
Holmes: I would have pushed us to play out as a band more often and from the beginning... I was so focused on getting the album done that I had little else to give, and playing live is a very consuming act in and of itself... Artists must invent a show, take a very present crowd on a real-time journey with the music. I have to simultaneously dedicate both hemispheres of my brain to that one.
Jette: I'm so very happy these days. Very peaceful and excited
about upcoming opportunities. There are showsin November, we"re
performing in Miami with the New World Symphony. They're awe-inspiringly
talented, and they regularly work with legendary musicians like
Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming. Dustin Budish, a superb violist and
one of the NWS's premier arrangers, is a wonder; and Stacey Glassman,
their director of annual giving, is one of my favorite supernovas.
It's lovely in order to prepare for our performances, Holmes &
I have the honor of spending quality, rambunctious time rehearsing
with our bandmates: Matt, Rex, Danny, and Scott (darling, raunchy,
brilliant gentlemen, the lot of them!). Actually, Matt's our exceedingly
charming upright bassist, and he's been a part of Jette-Ives almost
since the beginning most of the songs on the album feature him.
We're all looking forward to traveling and meeting new friends,
having new experiences. I'm going to write about all the delicious
ones, of course! Everyone interesting who becomes involved with
me should beware if you make an impact, you"re song-fodder!
Jette: He's tired. He has J-I obligations, and I haven't let him
sleep in days...
Thank you for taking the time for this interview!