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Jan Seides

How would you describe your music?

I'm a singer/songwriter so it's pretty eclectic. Contemporary Folk, Light Jazz, Alt. Country, Light Rock, etc

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

Since I'm a solo act, I'm the leader, the agent, the publicist, etc. My husband, Andy Murphy, is a recording engineer and a great producer. He produced my first two CDs. The third one is self-produced, and we're still making decisions about how the fourth one will come about.

Describe your gear.

Taylor guitar (410 CE), Kurzweill K 1000 keyboard.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

Absolutely, there's a difference, though I'm going to have to fumble through the explanation. I think that there is more expectation that a woman will choose between her art and, for example, family, in much the same way as there used to be an expectation that a woman would choose between career of any sort and family. That seems to be far less true for me. Also, there is a difference in the degree of acceptance. The moment for me was when I read that both male and female audiences overwhelmingly preferred male music performers. Many of my songs are directed at women, so that was a bit of a blow.

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

My take is that the younger generation isn't afraid of being flamboyant, exuberant, sexy. My generation was far more subdued. I think the difference began with the punk rockers. In my generation the model was Joni Mitchell, who though brilliant, was subdued and "feminine". Now that model is Lady Gaga and Beyonce. In between was Tina Turner, Chrissie Hynde and Patti Smith .

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"Oh yes. That advice was to do my homework before doing any deals. Don't shirk finding out as much as you can about the situation, and if you don't understand it, ask questions. Or pay someone to take that responsibility, if you can't.

As far as advice about making music, the best advice I've gotten is to remember that it's about the audience, not about you. Try to be a blessing to your audience. "

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

Piano was where I started as a small child and is the most intuitive for me. I took up guitar in my teens, mostly because it's portable, but also because I loved the sound. Now I've been playing long enough that I'm almost as familiar with a guitar neck as I am with a keyboard.

Related Themes: The First Time