FEATURE - Jess Abran
"I've been singing since I was a kid stuck in a play pen."
Only now, it seems nothing is holding back local Montreal artist, Jess Abran. No longer a small child stuck inside the confines of a play pen, the young up-and-coming musician looks to have banished any limitations thrown her way and is seriously pushing the envelope of what it means to be an independent artist.
"I've always managed myself, it's hard and I feel it's always going to be hard." Abran admitted. "Putting your soul and your heart, your whole being into something that barely pays the bills is always an uphill battle, but that's what art is. It's hard and that's what makes it beautiful."
And all that beauty has manifested itself into Jess Abran's new work of art. Her EP titled Naive, is set to be released at her launch party November 1, at O Patro Vys.
"Naive is a compilation of two covers, two collaborations and two originals," boasted Abran. "Some of these songs are old and some are new."
"I just thought it would be nice to have something set in stone, something that will give people a taste of my diversity, in the music I take pride in."
Pride should maybe even be a synonym to Abran's name.
Earlier in the singer's career, a well established producer, who has worked with such acts as Les Trois Accords, and Marie Mai approached her to work with him. But she and the producer had widely different ideas.
"The guy worked for multiple radio stations and recorded a lot of famous Quebecois artists," Abran said. "He wanted to charge me $1300 a song and wanted me to play poppy, radio friendly songs."
Instead, the experimental artist stuck to her guns, rejected the offer and returned to playing the folky, trip-hop indie style music she and her fans have come to love.
Jess Abran works hard at her musical career, but The Montreal musician hasn't limited her art to only guitar strumming and singing. Abran is a double-threat, and no, not in the intimidating violent sort of way.
The songstress has just returned from Hollywood. Along with being a folky, indie rocker chick, Jess Abran is also an actress. The double-threat most recently played Daria - the "underage, annoying little cousin" in the horror movie Lynched: While the Village Sleeps. The film was nominated for best trailer at the Hollywood Film Festival, hosted by the television show, Entertainment Tonight.
"When I landed in L.A. I couldn't believe what I was actually there for, everything was very surreal," said Abran. "This was something I used to watch on television growing up and now I'm actually sitting and witnessing the stars first hand."
"I was so happy to be a part of it all."
Knowing that Abran holds being an independent artist close to her heart, it's only fitting that she chose to work on the film Lynched: While the Village Sleeps, even though it was a low-budget, indie film.
"Our movie, unfortunately didn't win any awards, which was understandable considering our $4000 budget," Abran confessed. "We were up against Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables, which was backed by Universal Studios."
"We were just happy to be considered in the same category."
Abran may have lost out to Anne Hathaway, but earned a different victory after briefly meeting one of her idols.
"I quickly got to meet Seth Rogen as he was leaving the building." Abran bragged. "I also got to congratulate Amy Adams, they were both very kind."
Jess Abran has come a long way since being the kid trapped in the play pen. Now, Abran has the freedom to push herself as an artist and work hard for the people she cares most about.
"The "F's" of course! Family, friends and my fans," Abran said. "Without their constant push and support, I probably would have fallen a long time ago."
"The people around me are truly my support system."
Website : www.jessabran.com
Myspace : www.myspace.com/mykjess
Soundcloud : soundcloud.com/jessabran
Bandcamp : http://jessabran.bandcamp.com