Sometimes we survive through our art, and sometimes we save others. Jennifer Richman has done both. The Brooklyn born and bred singer/songwriter has a penchant for uplifting lyrics and songs of hope and inspiration. Her song “Beautiful Girl” spent over 30 weeks on Top 40 and Adult Contemporary Charts in 2010, and Richman was nominated as Best Female Artist and Best New Artist of 2010 by New Music Weekly Magazine. Jennifer Richman’s songwriting has won her comparisons to Jewel and Joni Mitchell, while her voice recalls Shania Twain and Mindy Smith. All of these are fair assessments, but fail to capture the essence of who Jennifer Richman is.
Jennifer Richman brings you into her stories like an old friend. It is this quality, more than any other that distinguishes Richman as an artist. Her songs touch chords in her listeners because they are honest stories told from the well of memory and the depths of emotion. Her drive to heal and inspire has informed everything that Richman has ever done, and she brings that drive to the world in song. Jennifer Richman is the change she wishes to see in the world. Devoted to the spiritual process, Jen set out on four trips to India, where she studied dehypnotic meditation under the guidance of Swami Yogiraj Nanak Chand, and Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound, through Yogavani Mission. Devoted to a life of service, Jen has worked tirelessly to help people with autism connect with others through sensory integration and the healing powers of music.
Jennifer Richman’s debut album, Flowers Of Gold, finds Richman weaving her personal experiences into song like a master songwriter. The beatific sound of her voice puts listeners immediately at ease, and Richman fills her songs with messages of hope, comfort and survival. Richman is currently working on her sophomore effort, due in 2011; a more mature musical affair informed by years of honing her musicianship and vocal craft, paired with inspiration from the passing of friends and the perspectives gained on concepts such as thankfulness and forgiveness. All of this is blended with Richman’s trademark blend of insightful lyrics laced with hope for a better world.
How do you describe your music to people, Jennifer?
Inspirational with a folk-pop sound. Heart-felt lyrics with catchy melodies, sung by a soft soothing voice.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I started out as a dancer, studying ballet throughout my early years. My grandmother taught me piano at 12 years old. I studied violin in school and sang throughout my school years in various performances. I was inspired to write music as an outlet for voicing my deepest feelings that were unspeakable at the time. I studied Occupational Therapy and from my first time in the field as a student until the present time, I brought a guitar with me and sang to the patients.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
TIme for everything and balance work with play.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Be a doctor or a lawyer or famous
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I have been able to use music as a healing tool because people I work with have been open to it. I have had amazing results with this, including getting non-verbal children with autism to speak. In terms of the artist community, I feel a lot of support from peers and am grateful for the connections I have made. Living in NYC is inspiring. You can learn so much from the abundant artist population here.
What other artists out there do you love?
Mindy Smith, Sarah McLachlan, Tracy Chapman, Bob Dylan, Glen Phillips, Mark Yodice, Ellis Paul, Jewel, Swell Season, Bob Marley, Philip A Jimenez, Sigur Ros, Joel Kaminer, Chelsea Lynn Lebate, Bach, Mozart, Gretchen Parloto
What does your future hold?
Touring nationally, radio airplay of my new single "Beautiful Girl" on some major stations (in the works), continuing to teach at universities (already teach at Columbia University in NYC) about my work using music to help heal children with autism and adults with mental illness, continuing to bridge music and treatment with persons who have disabilities and spread awareness of the benefits on a larger scale, a new album (am in the studio now working on it!!!)