Listen to ‘Still Wondering’ + Jocelyn Alice Exclusive Interview

Photo by: Zac Poor

Canadian singer & songwriter Jocelyn Alice continues to strive with her powerful voice and displays raw emotions in her music. The platinum selling artist burst onto the scene in 2015 with her track ‘Jackpot‘. Jocelyn is vastly recognized for her work on songs like ‘I Know‘ and ‘Bound To You‘, and her resume includes writing music for shows such as One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars.

Watch the official music video for ‘I Know’ below:

Rising the charts, her new track ‘Still Wondering’ truly highlights her musical talent and passion. XMPL got the chance to interview Jocelyn Alice in regards to her music, influences, upcoming EP and more. Listen to her new track ‘Still Wondering‘ and read the full interview below.

XMPL: Your singles speak for themselves. With hits like ‘Jackpot’ & ‘Bound To You’ climbing charts, did you think ‘Still Wondering’ blow up on Spotify that quickly?
Jocelyn Alice: Wow, thank you! I have to be honest.. After everything I’ve been through as a 32 year old artist that’s been on stage since she was 12, I try to expect nothing at all because the discouragement can be crushing in this business. All that I knew with Still Wondering is that it is honest and simple, which is the kind of music I’ve been working really hard to learn how to create for such a long time. It feels so good to put out music that your whole heart is proud of, but it’s especially cool when it seems to touch so many people so quickly. I’ve received TONS of fan messages thanking me for this song. I can’t even tell you how much that means to me. That’s the reason I am a writer. That’s what makes all the bullshit worth it. Because the more success you gain, the more bull shit. It’s so nice to remember to focus on what actually matters. My fans are like my life line.

Can you describe to us how you wrote ‘Still Wondering’ and the meaning behind it?
Everyone thinks it’s about a love relationship, but losing anyone is so hard, especially when you don’t know why. I lost a friendship that meant a lot to me and I am actually still wondering why… The not knowing sometimes feels heavier than the loss itself. This song allowed me a lot of closure I so badly needed and I feel proud to have found that on my own.

You are set to release a debut EP this year, please walk us through your involvement in the creative process.
I am such a slave to my process. I think it’s so important to learn what works for you and to have the courage to walk that out no matter who you’re writing with. I ALWAYS start with melody. Melody is king. I don’t feel like I actually write these songs.. they just come to me. Because of how sensitive that process is I have to be surrounded with people that really protect and challenge me, which is a tricky thing to figure out with someone as hard headed as I am. Lindsey Ray (co writer of Bound To You) and Ryan Marshall (from Walk Off The Earth) are my two biggest collaborators and also best friends. They celebrate my weirdness. They encourage my process and understand that if you’re working with a true artist, all you need to do is learn how to support them. At the end of the day, it’s me that has to go out there and sing these songs in front of thousands of people. The artist needs to be in charge. Period. And I am loving that audiences are starting to sense which artists are actually in charge. I can feel this shift musically and I am so proud to feel like I’m a part of that.

Being a Platinum selling Canadian artist, where does your vision take you next?
I just want to keep growing. As an artist, a woman, a human being and a spiritual being, if I’m growing then I am living. I’ve realized that sometimes having specific goals can be so helpful and sometimes they can be really limiting. Yes, I am dying to write a song for Rihanna. Yes, I would love to perform on a world wide tour. Yes, I would love to have a number one song on American radio. But as long as I’m able to work on my craft and get better I will be happy.

Photo by: Zac Poor

Your collection of music dabbles in pop, reggae, funk, and even some soul. Who were some of your music influences that allowed you to be so versatile?
You know, it’s funny… I honestly don’t know. I didn’t grow up in a family where music was even playing in the background. I can’t name a single Stevie Wonder song. I don’t know a lot of older music. I only discovered Fleetwood Mac a handful of years ago. I don’t create from a place of trying to create. I just allow my soul to speak through me. I see it as more of a channeling and less of a doing. I do know that I was obsessed with Christina Aguilera when I was younger. I would spend 3-4 hours a day nailing every riff until they were perfect. I also grew up singing country music and am still so passionate about that genre. If you listen closely to my vocals I definitely still have some twang in there. When I first started out as an artist, I had so many industry people tell me that my versatility was my biggest curse. I needed to choose a genre and stick with it. Thankfully, I don’t give a fuck what people say. I knew that one day people would get it. Music right now is so genre-less. Camila Cabello has one of my favourite albums ever. I was so pleasantly surprised by how many ballads that girl rocked on there. Everyone probably saw her as a dance artist after Fifth Harmony but she led with her heart and you can really feel the honesty in that. Without artists, this industry has nothing. Artists should remember that and steer their own ship, otherwise in my opinion, they’re not really artists.

Your music is very influential to a lot of your fans. What kind of advice would you give a young artist ready to start their music journey?
KEEP. PLAYING. LIVE. The foundation that I had when I finally signed to a major label was something no one will ever be able to take away from me. Experience is invaluable. I am so grateful to come from Calgary because it’s such an open city. Lisa and I crushed over 300 gigs there.. Sometimes no one came. Sometimes a drunk lady would be riding me like a stripping pole while I tried to sing a ballad. Sometimes my mic would shut off in the middle of a song. Sometimes nerves would take over and I would go have a panic attack in the car in between sets. This is the kind of in-the-moment problem solving that can only be learned by having to go through it. I also get asked how to find a producer that will work with you. I used to go to a school in Calgary called Beatdrop and attend their beat battles. I would wait until I heard a beat I liked and then I would ask the producer if I could write to it. Sometimes they hated the song! But eventually I found my people. Go on Soundcloud. Look for a producer that needs you as much you need them. You only need to find one…

How did you approach the process of writing music for shows like ‘Pretty Little Liars ‘ & ‘OTH’ compared to your personal hits.
Exactly the same! I think a lot of people don’t realize that 99% of the time I’m not trying to write for something specific.. Hey, if you can pull that off then good on you! But it is continually surprising to me which songs get put where. For instance, the song I wrote with Mother Mother called ‘The Drugs’ that went number one on rock radio was initially written as a duet between Ryan and I. Songs kind of take on their own lives and I think there’s a big life lesson there. Keep letting go so that your music can be what it needs to be rather than what you thought it should be.. because it’s probably even better.

Photo by: Allison Seto

Many of your singles have been remixed by artists like Galloway & The Him. Are there any artists you would like to work with on a single?
ARE YOU KIDDING!? So many. I am fucking obsessed with Lauv. His melodies and concepts are so tight. I’m a big Kygo fan. I saw him live once and I had no idea he was such an accomplished musician. His piano playing is godly. I’m also dying to work with more hip hop artists. Eminem, Jay-Z, Drake, G-Eazy… I’m a huge hip hop fan. I’m also in love with Justin Bieber. His vocals are so dreamy. I think we could do a really special collab one day.

Since you’ve taken your path as a solo artist, what kind of challenges or differences did you face?
Almost everything in my life is different since I went solo except for Lisa and I still heading my band. I live in a different country which is still really challenging for me. LA is ruthless sometimes and you need to wear a lot of armour when you’re someone who feels everything and everyone like me. I’ve had to prove myself over and over again in sessions even though I’ve already proven myself in Canada. But the biggest challenge is self doubt. Maintaining belief in myself has been tough… and ironically gotten tougher the more success I’ve had. *cough cough* Imposter syndrome! *cough cough*

We are truly looking forward to your EP! Are there any other projects you would like to let our readers know about?
I have a few collabs in the works that I can’t talk about yet, but I will say that they’re some of my favourite songs I’ve ever written. I’m also helping to write a new solo project for someone that Canada loves dearly and that has been one of the most cathartic experiences of my life. I know if I continue working with the people that champion me the music will champion itself. LETS GO!

Listen to Jocelyn Alice’s new song ‘Still Wondering‘:

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