Meet Jelisa van Schijndel, a multi-talented musician, independent artist, actress and writer. She finished her bachelor Performing Arts and started her career right away with a role in a Broadway production. She now focuses mostly on her music career, which enriches us with beautiful songs.
T. When did you first develop an interest within music?
J. From a young age I was dancing whenever I heard music, all day long to a point my parents said; maybe we should do something with this ‘little performer’ and sent me to ballet school. My mom did contemporary dance herself when she was young, so she particularly has been very supportive towards my creative development. Actually, both my parents have been very supportive as they are music and art lovers. I have been surrounded by music all my life. My dad always played music from sixties, seventies in the car; my brother was always listening to hiphop and other music and don’t forget I grew up in the nineties; the era of MTV/TMF; the iPod. When I was 13, I started writing lyrics myself. But also, dancing was always about the rhythm of the music and expressing yourself. Singing is the same. Looking back, I guess I felt like I was destined to end up singing, creating and performing.
T. Who are some of your biggest role models in the music industry?
J. For me the beauty is in the divergence. I am always searching for new music new artists inspire me but I like listening to old Soul /Indie/ alternatively other forms of R&B, funk and Jazz. There are established artists that I admire but I find it difficult to chose. I will give it a try : Cleo Soul, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sade and Prince; but I don’t like choosing haha!
T. What are your current goals?
J. Making music of course, being in the studio, doing my thing. In that way I develop and educate myself as an artist lyrically as well as musically but also performance wise. Writing and making music can be a very isolated existence; of course spending time with other musicians wich I enjoy. Sharing it with your live audience also requires contemplating on how you want to share everything you made in that isolated place. It is a different kind of creativity but as important. Every venue, every audience is different. But performing is the ultimate bonus for all the effort you made.
T. Describe yourself in three words.
J. That is impossible haha but again today I’ll give it a try: Adventurous- Creative – Contemplative.
T. What gets you waking up in the best mood?
J. Sunshine, meditation, exercising, talking to my mom on the phone, my morning playlist, a cup of tea and the sound of birds in the background.
T. How do you want your audience/listeners to connect with your music?
J. All my lyrics are honest feelings or thoughts ; in a way it it’s also therapy accompanied by music. My life is not always perfect so whatever touches my soul I try to translate that into words and music, share these thoughts by following my intuition. And by expressing myself Im trying to connect with people so they feel recognition and I hope that that will give comfort or make people feel less alone. Music also opens a door to another world where you can just be and relax.
T. What was your biggest achievement last year?
J. Again just one? I guess it would be the release of my first EP. I set that as a goal and I achieved that goal. It started as an idea and a feeling and it became reality, just by making myself vulnerable.