In the ever-changing universe of dance music, there are very few artists who have the talent and support to achieve super-star pop status. Singer/songwriter Jenna Drey is prepared to prove that she is the exception. Not only does the artist have pipes of steel and a three octave range, she has assembled a top-knotch management team that includes two-time Grammy-award winning producer Nile Rodgers, known for his work with Madonna, Diana Ross, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton; Kevin Churko, sound engineer for Shania Twain; and David Frangioni, sound engineer for Aerosmith.
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“As a child, my desire always overshadowed my talent,” remembers Jenna Drey, who was born in Los Angeles and raised by her father, a soldier, and mother, a TV actress. Her mother, Margaret Teele, appeared in shows with Jerry Lewis, Elvis Presley, and even Gomer Pyle. Still, Jenna does not attribute her talent to heredity. The gift of music was something she worked hard to acquire. “I began singing lessons at seven, piano lessons at nine, and songwriting at eleven. My desire is what made me strive toward improving my craft as an artist and songwriter. It’s been a life long labor of love.”
Today, Jenna Drey commands a sensual, yet silky voice that critics have likened to Karen Carpenter, with the strength and zest of a modern Pat Benetar. Her musical style incorporates catchy melodies and hooks with intelligent lyrics and high-spirited arrangements.
Jenna was first discovered by Jeff Furst, co-founder of the eighties pop phenomenon The New Kids on the Block. Furst became Jenna’s manager, but they soon parted ways when it became clear that each had different plans for Jenna’s future. Furst wanted Jenna to pursue a career as a contemporary country music artist. Jenna wanted a career in pop.
Luckily, Jenna met David Frangioni soon after. “I was trying to find a studio where I could record music demos for the new songs I had written,” she explains. “I made an appointment at David’s studio and played him some of my song ideas. To make a long story short, he believed in my potential as an artist and encouraged me to continue writing and recording. He later helped me to assemble a team of other talented artists who have all been instrumental in the success I have experienced.”
One artist David introduced to Jenna was Kevin Churko, who had just completed working with Shania Twain and Mutt Lange. Kevin was looking for new talent to collaborate with. After listening to her demos, he agreed to produce and collaborate her first album.
Jenna re-located to Miami and began co-writing with the likes of Grammy award winning producer Juan Zambrano (J-Lo, Rickey Martin, etc.) and Kevin Churko. While honing her songwriting skills for the album, she gained industry notoriety by winning five high profile songwriting contests: The Dallas Songwriters Association National Contest for “Stand In Line” and “Shadow of A Stranger”; The USA Songwriting Competition for “Why Should I Believe You" (which hit #1 on multiple worldwide internet pop charts in November 2003); The International Songwriting Competition for “Killin’ Me”; and most notably, the VH-1 Save The Music, “Song of the Year Competition” where she won in two categories, Best Dance Song for “Say Goodbye to Loneliness” and Best Pop Song for “Just Like That.”
“Just Like That,” produced by Nile Rodgers, was further honored in October 2004, when it was adopted as the battle song for the 2004 World Series Champions, The Boston Red Sox. The chorus of the song, revised to “Reverse The Curse, Just Like that”, played at all televised home games, reaching an audience of over 12.5 million baseball fans each week. The response from fans was so positive that Jon Lander of Mix 98.5, WBMX-FM in Boston, began spinning the single every day during rush hour traffic. Jenna Drey appeared on the program three times and became known as Boston’s good luck charm. Every time Jenna returned to the station, the Red Sox continued to win. And sure enough, the team won the World Series, “Just Like That.”
Other sports teams, including the Pistons, Pacers, Raiders, and Wizards have since begun implementing the “Just Like That” sports mixes into their live game entertainment.
Most importantly, however, the exposure Jenna received from the success of the single, coupled with her consistent songwriting wins, led to her first record deal with Emanon Records. The label commercially released “Just Like That” in January 2005. Jenna’s second single, “Killin Me”, produced by Billboard dance producer Mike Rizzo, is scheduled for nationwide release March 2005. The song has already been picked up by Sirius “The Beat”, the #1 nation-wide dance station. DMX radio has also added the song to its rotation. Jenna Drey’s debut full-length album will drop mid-summer 2005. Jenna is also scheduled to complete another follow-up single, produced by the legendary Nile Rodgers in 2005.
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