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Jamie Pennelly (Kalamazoo, MI)

Jamie Pennelly (Kalamazoo, MI)

Solo performers Interview

Artist Name:  Jamie Pennelly

Age:  27

Date:  4/10/2013

Are you an instrumentalist only?  No. I sing as well.

What instrument do you play?  Taylor guitar.

1. What inspired you to start singing and playing? A couple years ago a good friend of mine posted a quote on her Facebook that read, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” For some reason that quote really got to me and it stayed with me. It kept on coming to mind and made me reflect on what really made me come to life. About 9 months ago, I’ve accepted that music, performing, singing, and songwriting makes me come to life. And when you figure that out, I believe you can’t not do it…if that makes sense.

2. How long have you been performing publicly? I’ve been in something performance related since I was about 8 years old in choirs and then musicals, and I did my first solo performance when I was about 17 years old. I’ve done something performance related almost every year since then.

3. How long did you play before you started gigging?

5 months.

4. How long have you been playing guitar?

About two and half years off and on, and just this past year almost every day.

5. How did you learn to play guitar?

I taught myself chords.

6. Have you taken lessons if so do you take lessons now?

I took some lessons for about 3 weeks, but for the most part, taught myself chords.

7. Where was your first gig?

Buzz Café in Oak Park, IL.

8. How did you get it?

I was going to their open mic about every month for several months, they had an open slot, and they asked me if I would like to have my own show. I asked them what that meant, then said, “Sure, sounds good.”

9. How scared were you?

Extremely scared. I kept telling myself, “What did I just agree to?”

10. How do you get gigs?

Through open mics and responding through craigslist postings.

11. Do you use an agent, if so how did you get that rolling?


12. What do you use for equipment?

Just my guitar, a mic, and a small amp.

13. Do you use a monitor?


14. Do you have any tips you can share as far as setting up your equipment for a gig?

I’m still learning how to set up my equipment, but so far, I just say give yourself as much time as you think you need, so you’re not rushing to set up


15. How long was you longest gig?

1 hour and 30 minutes.

16. How long was your shortest gig?

30 minutes.

17. How do you choose what songs to learn?

I write my own songs and then recently started covering songs as well that complement my style and the messages I want to share.

18. How do you learn new songs, by ear, YouTube, books?

I learn through YouTube and looking up chords through ultimateguitar.com.

19. Who are a few of your favorite artists?

Jason Mraz, Jewel, U2, Nickelback, Norah Jones, Alanis Morisette…

20. How often do you play out?

Couple times a month.

21. Do you have any CD’s out?


22. Do you have any aspirations to take you music further than your current success? Absolutely, I’m very passionate about it and feel I have a gift to share.

23. How far will you travel?

Within a couple hours driving


24. How far have you traveled to do a gig?

30 minutes.

25. Can you recall your best show?

Yes, the most recent one. I’m starting to get more comfortable doing gigs. I was relaxed, enjoying myself, focused on the crowd, and got audience participation. I realized I like being able to have some connection with the people in the venue.

26. How about your worst show?

The one before my most recent one. I was playing and singing my heart out. There weren’t many people in the café, but the ones who were gave me no recognition. It’s as if I wasn’t there. It was painful, but I learned a lot from it and realized I want to play for others without expecting anything in return


27. Do you have any advice for a person just getting into gigging that you would like to share?

I’ve actually just started gigging and what got me to just start gigging especially being so new is an article I read that pretty much said to go out with your bad self. Pretty much, I’ve learned so much by just putting myself out there as a beginner. I feel it has been a great way for me to learn and just have fun.

28. When you practice do you go through a P. A. or just you and your guitar?

Just me and my guitar.

29. Anything else that you would like to share?

From the first question, I shared a quote that inspired me to sing and play. What I got out of that quote has pretty much directed everything I’ve done performance wise. My set is called “Wake Up and Live with Jamie” and my purpose is to inspire people to live their best lives and do things they love because I believe that’s the reason we are here. My hope is to see more and more people doing the thing that makes them come alive because I truly believe it will make the world a better place. =)

Contact information/Press Kit

Email: jpennelly@yahoo.com