interview: Magana

interview: Kassie Salas

Earlier this month Jeni Magana released the stunning video for "Inches Apart" and totally stole our hearts, again. The singer was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about her previously released EP, remixes of her material created by label mates what's next and filming.


The Grey Estates: What made you choose to have interpretive dancing incorporated into the music video for "Inches Apart"?

Magana: I don't know that I necessarily decided to seek out interpretive dancing.  The video content was mostly informed by my desire to work with director Lauren Finerman.  I thought this would be an interesting project for her since she has a long history with dance.  She was a dancer and circus performer and we have previously collaborated on a performance including music and dance/aerial silks.  She also worked for the NYC Ballet and was very experienced in filming dancers.  It just seemed like an obvious choice for her.

How did it feel/what emotions came to you while watching this type of art being performed right before your eyes?

It was a very cool experience to see everyone making art out of my music in their own capacities.  The choreographer and the dancers really went through a process together to create the dances that you saw.  The cinematographer really brought small movements to life and it was fun to watch them discuss their plans for the shots.  The makeup artist had a vision for how she wanted me to look.  These are things I would never be able to think about, and it felt cool to let everyone sort of have creative control over their own domains and just be informed by the song.  

Any memorable moments from filming?

Being in that space all day was really cool.  I was really excited just to wander around and see what each room held.  

Where did the idea of having "Inches Apart" and "Golden Tongue" remixed stem from?

I think it was probably Jamie's (of Audio Antihero) idea originally.  It seemed like a cool way to involve other musicians from the label.  I like the idea of building a little bit of a community out of label-mates.  

What was it like hearing your music having a special twist from Benjamin Shaw and Frog?

Super fun!  This whole video/remix release has been in the spirit of collaboration - of letting go of the songs I wrote and recorded and see what other people would make of them.  And it's neat to hear your own work from someone else's perspective.  Plus, "Golden Tongue" is a lot more danceable now.

Are you currently in the process of writing more music/have any other big plans dealing with music?

I love "big plans." I always have plans.  Right now we're in the very early stages of recording another batch of music.  Maybe a full-length record?  Maybe a series of singles?  I'm not sure where it'll go yet, but my favorite part is right now.  It's just going into the studio and starting to imagine how we think these new songs should be recorded.

Are there any other hobbies you're fond of doing?

So many hobbies, so little time.  I really love things that I can make with my hands.  I love baking, because it's a tangible (and tasty!) reward to a certain amount of work.  I worked on a few cakes with a friend of mine that were crazy flavors and she decorated them beautifully and usually wrote a birthday pun or something on them.  I also love random crafts.  I have a lot of talented set-designer/prop friends and one of my favorite things to do is go over to their apartments and make random things with them while catching up on life.  I love drinking whiskey and talking about self-help podcasts with anyone that will talk about it.  Is talking about life-dreams a hobby?  Also, as some people may know, I'm fond of taking photos of the interiors of refrigerators and then turning them into magnets.  And collecting photos of post-offices, so...send me any that you see please!  @maganarama on instagram.

What made you want to step into the world of music?

I've often wondered about that.  It just seemed like something that I did a lot and knew that I would continue to do for as long as I could.  That's still pretty much my plan.  

Soundtracks: Buffy's The Bronze in 2017

mp3: "Atom Bombs & Shitty Songs" - Jesse Gage