Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Jenna Torres

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Together with American Songwriter, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jenna Torres over Zoom video! 

If there’s anything 2020 taught the world, it was to accept vulnerability, harness the unexpected, and find power and joy in life’s ups and downs. It’s a lesson in which singer-songwriter Jenna Torres was already well-versed — and one that she brings to music fans everywhere in her fifth studio album, All Heart.

As fitting as these songs of hope and heartache are for these raw times, they were all penned and recorded the months before the pandemic hit. For Torres, writing is just as much a form of transformation and healing as it is her offering to the world. The album is a welcome gift during a period when so many are struggling to find meaning amidst both the light and the dark.

“I don’t think we have the option to avoid heartache,” she told American Songwriter upon the release of the album’s title track, “All Heart.” “It’s our responsibility as songwriters and as performers to transmute the pain and the hurt into something that has the power to actually help somebody else through their experience. That’s my absolute goal. You have to surrender the goal in order to be true to yourself.”

Produced by Stephen Leiweke, All Heart was penned in Nashville, where Torres lives and draws musical inspiration when she’s not spending time in her hometown of New York City. The album’s eight tracks take listeners on an emotional journey that ranges from the triumph of hope to the wilds of heartbreak.

Each of the 8 songs on the album are standouts, kicking off with the gorgeous vocal harmonies of “Better Boots” and the country-folk anthem “Wild Thing,” Torres perfectly encapsulates the sensation of flying high on dreams yet to be realized. As the album moves into the title track, a raw and elegant ballad, Torres deftly showcases the beauty of vulnerability — a theme she continues to explore in “Tell Me Your Story.”  In “Rose of Jericho,” Jenna draws inspiration from the courage of our ancestral foremothers. Finally, the defiant “Going Where The Love Is” brings the album full circle back into freedom once more.  

All Heart is Torres’ fifth studio album, following up the critically-acclaimed A Woman’s Touch (2014) and Wild Sugar (2017), the latter featuring the hard-driving single “Heart On Wheels.” Throughout her career, Torres has written songs for Warner Music Group and Warner/Chappell Music, including songs for Martha Wash of the Weather Girls as well as a Top 10 Billboard hit, “Busted Heart,” penned with co-writer Ben Glover for the band For King & Country.

“Releasing this album means more to me than simply releasing music; it is a way of transcending the limitations that we are all experiencing right now,” says Torres. “When so many of our natural impulses to gather and celebrate and even mourn have been stripped away — when coming together in the ways we are used is practically forbidden — you can’t take the wings off a song. It will fly regardless of lockdowns and pandemics. People will find comfort and joy in music and I, for one, consider it a privilege to offer my songs as way of not only keeping my dreams alive but as a reminder that dreams don’t play by the rules.”

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