Interview with Jenny Palacios

Written by Divine Magazine

Jenny Palacios, is a Vitenemese/Peruvian/Canadian musician, singer/songwriter out of Toronto, Ontario, with a sound that blends influences from early 2000’s emo rock and modern alternative pop.

Getting to know Jenny Palacios

Photo by Jordy Clarke

What is the most useless talent you have?

I’ve been told I’m great with names! Which can come off a bit creepy when I look back on some memories, but that’s one for sure!

You are a new addition to a crayon box.  What colour would you be and why?

This is another great question. I have that 64 pack with the sharpener that Crayola makes, and I cherish it so much. I think or well I hope I’d be a blend of Cerulean and Periwinkle. Cerulean for the depth and periwinkle for some light-heartedness. An easy going purple-blue.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

Oh I’d beg the sim masters to make it Haruka Kanata/Far Away by Asian Kung-Fu Generation. It’s already Naruto’s second opening theme but maybe if we use the full version they’d let it slide.

What was the last TV series you watched on TV?

Slasher on Netflix!

As a kid were you ever frightened of a monster under the bed or in the cupboard?

Still am. I’m on the ‘nightlight/flipping mirrors/checking-the-bed-and-closet-before-bed’ team.

What first got you into music?

My mother was a music teacher back in Vietnam before she immigrated to Canada. So from a really young age, my brother and I grew up with a sense of importance around musical literacy, mainly with the piano and Celine Dion CDs. That’s not me saying I’m a virtuoso with theory. I could definitely afford to brush up a lot there haha. We had a tight knit family and grew up close to our cousins, and from there I think that’s where my brother and I found music that we liked. I remember feeling the natural pulsing to Tiesto’s  “Just Be” and seeing how much fun my uncle would have listening to music like that in the car when he’d drive us around. And when we’d stay over at our cousin’s, that’s where I found music I connected to emotionally. He showed us Linkin Park and we went on to find other bands like them at the time ourselves.

Who inspired you to make music?

I think maybe it was a combination of things. When I first started writing music, I was super young, first getting into emo bands who were on the radio at the time, and it never crossed my mind that it was a craft that needed to be honed. I remember being in elementary school, and just thought of it like, “my soul feels really nice listening to this stuff, I want to make it” and basically would write a diary entry that rhymed (sort of), following the V1-C-V2, etc. structure everyone seemed to follow. If I were to ever find those little notebooks, it probably wouldn’t be the best lines I ever mustered but I really do wonder what I even had to write about at like 9.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I think like most artists, it’s a huge blend of other music that’s moved me in some way or another. I don’t know if it always shines through in the final product, but I try to pull moments and lyrical styling out of singer/songwriter songs and blend that with synth pop elements, maybe add some phrasing out of the pop punk realm. Someone told me recently that a lot of the genres I blend influences from can get really cathartic, they called it “music that makes you feel like the main character.” and I hope that is or could someday be the case with what I write.

Are you finding the isolation of the pandemic conducive to your writing or is it hindering the experiences you can write about?

This is such an awesome question. I was actually thinking about this not even an hour ago. On the one hand, when the pandemic began, I was super eager to finally have the time to work on music extensively, and for super long periods at a time. My life before the pandemic was quite busy, I was a full time student and working two jobs, and writing half mindedly when I was at work or school. But in hindsight, I was incredibly inspired. I was always meeting tons of people, connecting in different ways, having great times, having horrible times, and so there was always something to say or feel. After a year into isolation, everything I wrote, when I did feel the bug to write, would be about feeling sad or lost in your own head, because that’s all we started to experience being alone for so long. The upside to that though, was there seemed to be like a boundless amount of time for introspection, and really digging through matters of the heart.

What would you be doing right now if it weren’t for your music career?

So even though I have always felt like music is where my heart is, my mom’s always instilled the importance of education and being as well rounded as possible in us. As much as I hated school, I graduated from a design program and now work as a graphic designer throughout the week, while also doing music. It sucked while I was studying it but I am thankful that I stuck to it because it’s another avenue where I can release some creative tension, without the threat of burning out since I’m constantly flipping between both careers. If music completely wasn’t in the picture, I’d most likely be doing just design, and probably helping out at my mother’s restaurant more.

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