Smokin’ hot & rockin’ out @ The Central – Jessica Speziale CMW2014 gig

Last weekend was about theatre, this weekend is about music. It’s Canadian Music Week, and I was out at The Central to see Jessica Speziale play with her band last night.

Speziale is a sultry-voiced, rockin’ music force, performing with heart, soul and drive. If you haven’t had a chance to see her play live, get yourself out there – you won’t be sorry.

In the meantime, you can check out her recent video release of “Brace Yourself,” a song from her Dear Reverie CD. You can also take a gander at the interview I did recently with Speziale about the video and launch.

Playing in Speziale’s band at The Central last night was: Matt Makarenko (guitar), Iliya Vee (bass and backup vocals) and Dave Sufrin (drums).

Here are some pix from last night’s gig:

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Jessica Speziale’s “Brace Yourself” music video

Jessica Speziale launched her first official music video for her song “Brace Yourself,” one of the featured tracks on her Dear Reverie CD, on Saturday night at Cherry Colas in Toronto, during the Music City North music fest.

Here’s the video, scripted, directed and shot by Bruce Nagy:

I interviewed Speziale about the video on the blog recently. You can check that out here.

You can also find Jessica Speziale on her YouTube and Facebook sites, and follow her on Twitter.

“Brace Yourself” – Interview with singer/songwriter Jessica Speziale

IMG_0101Jessica Speziale is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose powerful vocals easily shift between  kick-ass beats and sultry ballads, with R&B-inspired pop/rock sounds. I had the pleasure of attending the launch of her CD Dear Reverie, featuring the rockin’ out, guitar-driven “Brace Yourself,” which has now become Speziale’s first official music video. With some new recordings under her belt, Speziale is now looking ahead to the video launch, happening Saturday, March 22 at Cherry Colas in Toronto, during the Music City North music fest.

I won’t be able to attend the launch, but got a sneak peek at the video got in touch with Jessica Speziale for an interview over email.

LWMC: First off, congrats on the music video for “Brace Yourself”! Its fast-paced editing, and evocative locations, moments and images really illustrate the song well. What made you decide to go with “Brace Yourself” for your first official music video?

JS: Thank you so much! When I met with director/screenwriter/videographer Bruce Nagy, it came down to three songs. We decided on “Brace Yourself” because of the storyline. Bruce felt it was the strongest and came up with the idea right off the bat! I’m really happy with the way it’s turned out.

LWMC: Can you tell us a bit about the process of putting the video together? Who wrote the script for you/envisioned the story, and who shot and edited it?

JS: It was all Bruce Nagy!! (laughs) When we first selected the song, we talked about some of the themes in the song, the origin of the song, and the visual that I see when I play the song. Bruce used that imagery to enhance a jilted love storyline that he came up with. We met for coffee and listened to the song and went through the lyrics piece by piece. He then took all the ideas from that meeting and drafted the storyboard so that I could properly visualize what was in his mind. Once the storyboard was fully discussed and edited and approved by us both, I set out to assemble the cast and the scheduling! When it came to editing, Bruce did all of the technical work, and we went back and forth with ideas and drafts. Bruce is an incredible person to work with. He is incredibly patient and focused, and he made sure that I was part of the entire process.

LWMC: What was your favourite part of that process? And your least favourite part?

JS: I have to say my favourite part was the actual filming!! One day, we shot the full cast and extras in the Distillery District and at Bruce’s place. It was just such a fun day with amazingly talented friends! My least favourite was probably the editing! (laughs) It took so much longer than I imagined it would! And it’s the nit-picky part, so it can be tedious.

LWMC: Without giving too much away (I’m not down with spoilers), I really love the Tarot reading scenes and the Tarot card imagery that was used throughout various points of the woman’s journey in the video. The lyric that hooks me into it is in the chorus reference to April 1st, which brings to mind the Fool. How did you come to use Tarot symbolism in the video?

JS: We really needed something that tied all the scenes together! Some kind of image. The song is written about a thunderstorm and that whole notion of being reminded that we’re small beings on this planet. So, the tarot cards made sense as the, sort of, outside force that communicates with the audience to narrate the story. Fortune telling being a way that the universe communicates with humans, right? So, it was an idea that really struck a chord with us. And we used it!

LWMC: Are you planning on doing any more vids of Dear Reverie songs?

JS: I would really like to! I’m speaking with a couple different directors right now about doing another one off Dear Reverie. While that’s in the works, I am really starting to get focused on the next album, too 🙂

LWMC: Besides the video launch on March 22, any other upcoming gigs you’d like to shout out?

JS: If you’re in Hamilton, I’ll be at the Underground on March 28th!

LWMC: Anything else you’d like to share?

JS: I’d just like to send a huge, huge thank you out to the team that made this video possible – especially Bruce Nagy – and I really hope to see you all at the release party on March 22nd at Cherry Cola’s! 10pm screening!

LWMC: Thanks, Jessica!

JS: Thank you!!! :D:D

As for the “Brace Yourself” video itself, you’ll have to wait until Jessica Speziale makes it public on Saturday, March 22. Head on over to Cherry Colas to see that happen live, along with a live performance of the song – otherwise, drop on back here after the launch and I’ll have it posted.

In the meantime, you can check Jessica Speziale out on her YouTube and Facebook sites, and follow her on Twitter.