Jennifer McGill – Unbreakable
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) How would you describe your sound?
A) Gutsy Pop Soul
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A) Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Ann Wilson, Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin.
Q) Please tell us the story behind your single “Unbreakable.”
A) I wanted to create a song about not being alone on the spiritual battlefield. I believe that living an unbreakable life starts with who you want by your side when you’re fighting the good fight in this life. I believe that God never leaves my side, no matter what, and I wanted an anthem that reflects the strength and restoration I have found in God, through my hardest battles.
Q) What is it about the song that you feel listeners are connecting to?
A) I think listeners can hear that the “Unbreakable” theme is close to my heart. No one wants to feel weak and alone, including me! “Unbreakable” helps listeners remember that there is great power and unity in the “us” that is “with God.” Plus, it’s a great beat with strong, encouraging lyrics! My favorite line is “Surrender is off the table!”
Q) How does the video play into the message of the song?
A) “Unbreakable” is about not just surviving, but thriving in the harshest of situations. Seriously, one of the last places I want to hang out in is a desert! Braving a 14-hour shooting day of harsh sand, wind, mountains and sun was worth painting a picture of emerging through the struggle into a place of strength.
Q) What is your song writing process? Do you need music before you can create lyrics?
A) I prefer to begin with a theme and then have a musician play while I listen to what the chords have to “say.” However, I have written songs from many different approaches, which include finishing a song started by someone else, working from someone else’s track, working with no instruments, by myself and with up to four people!
Q) How much of hand do you have in the production of your music?
A) I was very hands-on with the production of the “Unbreakable” album. I co-wrote each new song, vocal produced every song except “What Are You Waiting For,” co-produced “Hanging On For Dear Life” and worked closely with producers on song vibes, harmonies and final mix levels. I also choose the wardrobe for my photo shoots/videos and have a lot of say in the images chosen for the Unbreakable album artwork and promotional materials.
Q) What can fans expect from a live Jennifer McGill performance?
A) I am very energetic in my life performances and aim to deliver the big notes one hears in the recorded song versions. I also enjoy meet and greets after performances, to thank fans for being a huge part of the evening!
Q) What songs off your album Unbreakable are you looking forward to performing live?
A) I have performed all of the “Unbreakable” songs live and some of my favorites are, of course, “Unbreakable” as well as “What I Know Now,” “Stronger Than Anything” and “Hanging On For Dear Life.”
Q) What do you hope listeners take away from listening to your album as a whole?
A) I hope listeners not only see my life journey through the album’s songs, but also hear a part of their story within my music as well as experience renewed hope, strength and inspiration to sustain them for the road ahead.
Q) What album/band are you currently listening to and why do you dig them?
A) Listening to Bethany Cruz’s music, who is also a dear friend! Her voice has depth and power that really moves me. I love strong female voices!
Q) We know you are a former Mouseketeer. What are some of your fondest memories from being on the series?
A) My favorite place to be on set was the recording studio. I loved every minute of working on a song and getting everything just right in front of the microphone. That’s when I most felt like a hero who could save the day with a song!
Q) Where are some of your favorite places to perform and what makes those locations so significant to you?
A) I still have dreams about returning to “The New Mickey Mouse Club” set and performing. Significance: I grew up on those soundstages, which was where I decided to make music my career.
I loved singing in other countries like Germany, Scotland, Iceland, Hungary, Switzerland, Bahrain, Bermuda and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Every location was spectacular and also gave me a chance to learn something new about a different part of the world. I also loved performing at Red Rocks Amphitheater because the dressing rooms have walls made out of the Colorado red rocks. Plus, I sang in front of 10,000 people! What energy!
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
A) Justin Timberlake is one of my favorite artists, but also one of my fav old friends from “Mickey Mouse Club.” I enjoyed our time together back in the day, which would make it extra cool to work with him again now that we’re all grown up.
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A) Social media is how I discovered there were still so many active “MMC” fans! These days it’s the fastest way I can send love to lots of fans at once. I would love to meet every one of my fans and social media helps me to connect until that great day comes!
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) I wrote “Unbreakable” for you! I am so grateful for each and every supporter and my music is one of the ways I want to thank you! Remember you are never alone and you are never defeated as long as you have breath in your lungs and God in your heart!