Interview – Jennifer Alvarado

I recently checked out the song Rock This Way by singer-songwriter Jennifer Alvarado, finding her sound to be rather refreshing! I wanted to have a chat with her – read on below to see how we got one!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a single titled Rock This Way, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song?

I wrote this song after a period of writers block. I wanted to write a tribute to all my favourite classic rock songs, and because I have a ‘too much’ gene at times, I decided to challenge myself and see how many songs I could semi-reference with the song still making sense. I also wanted a fun song. I have a surplus of emotional, heartfelt ballads. Writing from raw emotion when I am angry or upset is my element, so I wanted to break from that and just have some fun.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Yes and no. It definitely slowed down the recording process; however, it caused me to also slow down and take a more careful look at what I was creating. I like being busy, but that can also keep you distracted.

Had I not had that time to slow down, I am not sure I would have ever released my country pop songs. I had plans too, but I always had excuses for why the time wasn’t right. The pandemic eliminated my excuses and also gave me a different perspective on my life and music.

Especially when I had Covid, I did a lot of soul searching and thinking during that period of time and I realized I did not want to die and know I never even tried with my music.

Do you plan to release any more singles anytime soon?

Yes. I actually am releasing an EP on the 24th of July titled, Songbird: Part One. Part Two will be released in probably late September. The project is my journey through and out of a toxic situation. Part One focuses more on the start and finish of the experience and the questions you are left with; while Part Two focuses on finding yourself again and rebuilding. Part Two will probably have a couple of singles highlighted from it.

Your last EP was titled Playing With Fire. What can you tell us about the EP?

The album was originally going to be titled Breaking Free and it was my breakaway from contemporary Christian music. However, the pandemic caused a disruption in the recording process and so I released several songs from what was originally going to be part of the album. I decided to go with Playing with Fire and released the rest of the songs and added an acoustic version of my first country single, I Break Things.

Some of these songs I had been holding onto for a few years and it was my first project that focused more on the secular side of life versus the sacred side. I look back at that EP and even though it was released in 2021, I feel like I’ve grown significantly since that release with knowing the message I want to share and how I uniquely want to share it.

Have you started writing for another EP or an album?

Yes. So even though I am currently finishing up Songbird, I already have a couple of other projects in the works. I have several songs in the wings for another more acoustic project. I also have plans to work on some holiday songs this year and at least an EP of new contemporary Christian songs.

I heard quite a few different influences in your music, from both the rock and pop worlds. What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

I have a rule when I am in the midst of projects to not listen to many outside influences, so most of my listening time has been devoted to classic songs in the country, pop or rock genres.

Yes, my influences have come from pretty much every musical genre. My most influential artist was probably Reba McEntire. She was not just a singer, but an entertainer and businesswoman. She showed me the importance of knowing this industry from choosing songs, to knowing how to brand and market yourself. Songwriting wise, I have great respect for Patty Griffin and Taylor Swift and many many others… but there is something in the way the are able to articulate certain phrases that inspire me to be better.

I also grew up loving Chicago, The Eagles, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Lisa Loeb, etc.

You were involved with leading worship at your church when you were growing up. Is this something you’re still involved with?

Yes. I actually serve as a Worship Minister for a local church. I direct choir and lead worship. I also travel around to conferences and other churches and lead worship. It is still very much part of my life and my heart.

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

I do. Most of are in the North Carolina area, but I am headed to Virginia and South Carolina as well. One of my goals is to take part in a national tour in the next year or so. Some of my upcoming dates are listed below:

JENNIFER ALVARADO UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

Saturday, July 9, 2022 – The Hoot Nannie, Forest City, NC – 7-9PM

Saturday, July 16, 2022 – Burton Farms and Vittles, Lincolnton, NC – 5-8PM

Thursday, July 21, 2022 – Thomasville Farmers Market, Thomasville, NC – 5-7PM

Saturday, July 30, 2022 – Greensboro Farmers Market, Greensboro, NC – 9-11AM

Thursday, August 4, 2022 – Hanes Mall (WBFJ for the Local Flavors Summer Concert Series), Winston-Salem, NC – 6-7PM

Friday, August 5, 2022 – Riverwatch Bar and Grill, Chimney Rock, NC – 5-8PM

Saturday, August 6, 2022 – The Damascus Brewery, Damascus, VA – 7-10PM

Thursday, August 11, 2022 – The Fresh Depot, Granite Falls, NC – 7:30-10PM

Saturday, August 20, 2022 – Burton Farms and Vittles, Lincolnton, NC – 5-8PM

Any last words for the fans?

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I appreciate you and I hope to be able to connect with you through the songs, social media and shows. I hope I am able to do this for the rest of my life and I couldn’t do it without the support I have received from you.