As an artist there is more to just making music.  You must present an interesting story for fans to connect with.  Our recent find Janna Pelle is developing quite a following by being completely unique.  We had a chance to chat with her lately about her move to Brooklyn and her recent concept album Key Change and the successful PledgeMusic campaign that funded it.  Enjoy it below:

Janna Pelle

You are a classically trained pianist, what pushed you into the DIY indie pop arena?

I went to high school for a piano magnet program and had to decide whether I wanted to major in music in college or not. I realized I did not ever want to be a classical performance pianist professionally, and I decided after high school that I would major in advertising, another more practical love of mine. But, because I went to school at UF which is in the amazing music town of Gainesville, Florida, I still was able to form a band and do lots of my own songwriting and play out doing live shows a lot. When graduation came around, I knew I wouldn’t be able to take my band members with me, so I started working on solo stuff, which was a lot more pop-oriented. And I didn’t have a huge budget, hence the DIY.


How would you describe your unique sound?

Female alt pop with a wink.


Who are some of your influences?

David Byrne most of all, not in terms of how I write but how I perform. I’m also hugely influenced by Lady Gaga, The Beatles and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Eminem – pretty much anyone who is fearlessly themselves on and off stage.


You are from Miami, Florida and seem to have adapted well to the NYC lifestyle. Compare the two music scenes?

Miami’s music scene is pretty non-existent. It’s more about the parties than who’s playing them, even if you’re a DJ. It’s very hard to build a following with live music. New York is hard but in a different way, there’s so much going on all the time and so much talent, it’s literally always a competition. But there’s much more opportunity here in terms of venues and shows and meeting other musicians. The Gainesville music scene is where it’s at – nowhere does it quite like Gainesville, FL where I went to school. It’s small but loyal and raucous and local bands have the opportunity to open for national acts all the time because it’s such a small town.


Your new album Key Change is a concept album. Those are rare these days. Tell us about it.

This is another way David Byrne has influenced me. His book, “How Music Works,” talks about how music has evolved due to the physical architectural spaces it is meant to be performed in. So I took that concept and applied it to my instrument, the keyboard.


You completed a successful PledgeMusic campaign reaching 107% of your goal. Our readers would love for you to share how you made it a success.

Lots of “Shameless Self-Promotion” – which is in quotes because that’s the title of my first album. I think the story helped too, people could fall in love with the concept before hearing the actual finished music. Lots of shareable content which made my project appealing to strangers, and lots of cool prizes (like a lock of my hair for $50).


What is next for Janna Pelle?

I’m already thinking about my next album. It’s going to be called “Single” and every song off the album is going to be a single, one released every month until I have a full album. I’m also going to try to stay single for the whole year.


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