Originally from Georgia, Jennifer Paige grew up in Los Angeles, eventually rising to pop stardom in the late 90’s with the never out of date hit “Crush”. The album, produced by Andy Goldmark, sold 11-million copies and went #1 in 16 countries. Paige then toured the world preforming her self-titled, debut release and its follow up, “Positively Somewhere”. Her third album, “Best Kept Secret”, featured the hit “Beautiful Lie”, a song co-written and recorded with Nick Carter. Fast forwarding to now, Paige is back with her highly-anticipated “Starflower” release, set to drop on March 31st.
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Chris Remmers: We’re going to talk about the places you have been, things you have seen and how that has shaped your career. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about where you’re from?
Jennifer Paige: Awesome! I grew up in Marietta, Georgia, which is just north of Atlanta. I grew up living a simple life with my brother, mom and dad. We actually took our first vacation when I was in high school. We ended up in Florida sitting on the beach. It was just so nice to finally get out of town and enjoy some fun in the sun. Of course, I had taken little trips here and there, but that trip I remember being our first real big family vacation. My parents always worked a lot, so to be able to get away for a whole week with them was an amazing time.
CR: That sounds like so much fun! At what point, did music peak your interest and come into your life?
JP: Well, it’s actually a funny story to tell you the truth. My aunt was a local country singer, and had a fair amount of success playing local venues and venues in the surrounding states. So, as a family we would go watch her, and then there was a local band who allowed my brother and I to get on stage and preform some duets. So, we spent a lot of time together singing as kids at various places like church and talents shows — things like that. I know that it sounds corny but it was defiantly a great foundation for me and my music career.
CR: That doesn’t sound corny at all! Music allows a lot of people to travel to places they would have never otherwise seen. Are there any places that have stuck out to you thus far during the progression of your music career?
JP: Yes, actually! One year my song “Stranded” was chosen as the summer song for this Italian outdoor festival called Festivalbar. So, because this was the summer song I had the pleasure of going to all the islands in the area and preform. It was a truly an incredible experience, and I fell madly in love with everything about Italy.
CR: Being around a their culture and famous food, did you have a favorite island or place you got to see when you were there?
JP: Yes, actually there was a place called Taormina which was absolutely incredible. It was definitely my favorite place I had ever been. The water was absolutely beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I hate to be cold, so the entire atmosphere was just right up my alley. The food was amazing, the people were so warm and welcoming, it is definitely a place I cannot wait to go back too.
CR: It’s always a wonderful feeling to go to a new place and have the local people be so kind and welcoming. You have obviously been to some beautiful places, and everyone for the most part has a bucket list of places they would like to visit. Are there three places you have not been to yet, that you would like to visit?
JP: I haven’t thought about it too much, but I would say the first place I would like to visit is Greece. I just think that would be really cool. I’ve never been before, and I’ve just heard amazing things about all the islands. Like I said before, I love nice weather and warm water, so I feel like it would be right up my alley. This is hard, because I have literally traveled all over the world and there are just so many beautiful places to visit. The list is really endless.
CR: You sound very cultured for sure. Are there any places you’ve been to that gave you a bit of a culture shock?
JP: For me, I would say one of my biggest culture shocks was going to Japan. Having been raised in the south where things are calm and not fast paced, when I went to Japan I just felt overwhelmed almost in a way. I was in a few of the biggest cities in Japan, and everything is just so fast paced, almost more than New York City in a way. The lights were incredible once you got into the city; the technology everywhere was just unlike anything I’ve experienced before. People were literally running all over the place. Men running into you. No one says excuse me. It was just one of the biggest culture shocks that I have dealt with.
CR: I can only imagine if your saying it’s faster paced than NYC. To switch gears a little bit, when you’re going on vacation what are some things that you look for? Are you looking to be in the city, at the beach or in the mountains? What are some of the things that interest you?
JP: For me, when I am going to plan a vacation, I like to be by water, in a beach type of environment. Essentially water and the sun and I am a happy camper. As long as I am warm I am easy to please.
CR: I am pretty much the same way. Give me warmth and the sun, and I’m a happy camper. Everyone has dreams of one day playing in a certain stadium or venue. What’s at the top of your list of venues you want to play?
JP: That’s kind of a tough question. For me, I feel like playing in a place like Madison Square Garden would definitely do it for me. I mean, almost any of the big venues in NYC. I feel like it’s almost the pinnacle of, “Yeah, I totally made it.” As an American, aside from Los Angeles, that’s about as big as you can get here in the states.
CR: Of course, I would agree with you there. What are some of the first things your like to do when you touch down in a new location?
JP: It totally depends on where I am and what I am specifically doing. I would say I like to get dolled up and just go out to see new things. I like to be spontaneous, adventurous and just kind of get out there meeting people. I think some of my favorite spots to eat or visit have come from speaking with locals, and getting a feel for the atmosphere of the area. Sometimes it’s literally like finding a local gold mine. At the end of the day, I do not like to have a schedule. I’m more of a figure-it-out-as-we-go type of girl.
CR: To wrap this up for you, what would be some of the things you would have someone do if they visited your hometown for the first time?
JP: I feel like I really grew up in LA. An amazing place I love and would recommend is Fonz’s right on Manhattan Beach. They are just amazing — the food’s delicious. It’s right there on the water, it’s truly a local spot that everyone living in the area goes to. So, if you’re ever in that area it’s definitely a place I would recommend you try at least once.