Musician, performer, vocalist, entertainer, host, and plant medicine advocate Jenna Denèe is Tampa Bay based and looking to heal the world by sharing her gift and expressing to others that it’s okay to be different. We all have something inside of us that longs to be shared, and Denèe wants others to accept our gifts for what they are, whether or not people like it.
Jenna Denèe began her music career in 2016 at the famous Love Artifacts dive bar in South Tampa. The owner, Lynn Love, hired her as a server and performer, where she began playing her ukulele and singing every Wednesday night for “dinner, tips, and whiskey.” Though she loved playing at this venue, she saw herself sharing her music on the beach and found bars along Treasure Island to share her sound.
Over the years, Denèe has played at venues such as the Hard Rock Casino, Armature Works, Hooch N’ Hive, Hula Bay, Green Iguana, and the Lion’s Den, just to name a few. After hopping around venues for a while, she was offered a job to host open mic nights at James Joyce Irish Pub in Ybor. “I decided to step into that role for a while. It was a lot of fun! I met a lot of musicians and made a lot of friends,” Denèe shared.
In the summer of 2019, Denèe experienced a healthy lifestyle change where she began focusing her attention on the Kava Bar community. “I began hosting open mic [nights] and other conscious events at the first family-owned established Kava Bar in South Tampa, Mad Chiller World!” She quickly realized that her passion for hosting open mic nights is what continuously brought her back to the scene. “Open mic is an offering of space provided to your local community for your expression of art, ideas, and creation. It’s a safe place to be your authentic self, support your community, and offer your unique skills and abilities! I still host open mic to this day!”
When asked what originally got her into music and discovering her sound, she said, “I’ve always had an ear for music. I started singing before I could speak. My grandpa was a musician and vocalist. He would sing and play with me before I could walk. Watching sing-alongs as a baby accelerated my reading ability. Everywhere I’d go as a child, I’d carry my cassette player and headphones so I could listen to music- especially every Beatles tape. [So,] “We ARE Music” is my mantra.” Clearly, music runs through her veins. She adds that the “first sense we develop in the womb is our sense of hearing and the first organ we grow is our heart. So literally, the first thing we hear is a drumbeat- the rhythm of your heart and that of your mother’s. Everything is rhythm, frequency, and vibration. We are making music all the time. Our sense of hearing is also the last sense to cease translation before we die.” Powerful words by the singer-songwriter.
Over time, Denèe has refined her stylistic music choices and describes them as “sultradelic.” In other words, “sultry, psychedelic, powerful, subtle, and beautiful.” All while combining genres such as “acoustic, island, soul, jazz, blues, reggae, gospel, world, rock, and pop.” Quite the accomplishment for this talented musician!
She spent most of her life believing in “separation from source, family, and self.” Although, she still had access to MTV and VH1 growing up and was exposed to musicians like Freddy Mercury, Pink Floyd, The Doors, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul McCartney, Selena, Lana Del Rey, and more, which she draws inspiration from. “Music serves as a mirror to show you where you are, rhythmically and vibrationally, and what you prefer. Music is a bridge of connection, eventually leading you to complete soul revival and oneness with self and universe! I make music that moves, heals, and takes you to places where you can embrace the multi-dimensional creator that you are!” Like the artists she grew up with and feels inspired by, Denèe listens to various genres of music. “Spotify describes it as soulful, rock, EDM, deep house, Indie, reggae, jazz, classical, spiritual, concentration, and soundtrack!” Clearly, a diverse mix of sounds and tones.
Through her music, Denèe is trying to share with others that we must accept the gifts we are given but, most importantly, love what we are creating. “We all have gifts we are born with in this life. [But,] do we know what our gift is? Are we offering it in a way that gives us the greatest fulfillment and satisfaction? It’s ok to feel all the ways you do… it can be alchemized, moved, and transformed into something so glorious. [But,] it is up to you! Every sensation, every response, [and] every thought is an opportunity and invitation for further exploration and expansion of soul and self. The point is that YOU like what you are creating.”
When it comes down to writing new music and diving into Denèe creative process, she places herself in a state where she can be relaxed yet focused, whether she’s creating music alone or with a group of musicians. “Usually, a chorus will come up for me first, and I’ll begin to sing it. I’ll know the feeling & then the rest of the melody will come to me, and I’ll just repeat it over and over again. Once I have the music memorized in my head, I’ll then translate it into words. I still like pen and paper, and physically writing out the words helps me convert the song to memory.”
Like many other musicians, Denèe has faced her own challenges and made mistakes along the way. “The biggest mistake I made was thinking that I would do all this work with my music career alone! [But,] you turn that around by collaborating! By seeing the gifts in others and welcoming each component to add their own unique, magical spin into this non-physical field of beautiful sound waves.” And, of course, she’s learned valuable lessons throughout her journey that helps her to continue feeling inspired. “When I see people brave enough to let themselves feel and then create the most beautiful experiences out of what seemed impossible, [that is what inspires me the most].”
When looking to the future, Denèe dreams of continuing her musical journey on a grander scale. “More music, more friends, more meditative spaces, more travel, more parties, more nature, more luxury,” the world is her oyster! You can continue to follow along with Jenna Denèe’s music by listening on Soundcloud.