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Jonelle Vette

By Monk Turner
Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, at 01:53PM
Jonelle Vette Monk Turner [Flickr]

What do you get when you mix small-town Wisconsin charm, Boston Berklee School of Music edge, Nashville songwriting craft, and LA gloss? You get the Downtown L.A.'s own Jonelle Vette.

Vette is far being just another sensual female vocalist. She is a walking encyclopedia of songwriting and likes to throw around big words like 'prosody' when talking about the art of being a tunesmith.

Miss Vette has been hard at work writing some new tunes for television in her Arts District loft. She recently took a break from crafting the ultimate hook to chat about her music.

MONK TURNER: How would you describe your music?

JONELLE VETTE: The stuff I write is a cross between Cat Power and Portishead...

MT: A lot of happy, joyful, cheery music...

JV: [laughter] Yeah.

MT: I'm being facetious of course. [laughter]

JV: It has kind of a sensual quality. Maybe I could throw in early No Doubt meets Gold Frapp meets Cat Power and Portishead. There is a big Nashville influence because I lived there for a year before coming here.

MT: So what drew you to Los Angeles?

JV: I finished at Berklee and moved to Nashville not really knowing where I wanted to go. My band and I broke up. I had a songwriting ability and I'm a singer and my teachers encouraged me to go to Nashville. It is kind of like graduate school. But I just couldn't live there. People who had heard my music were like 'you should really move to LA.' I got ready emotionally to be in a big city again so it just made sense.

MT: How does Downtown inspire you artistically?

JV: It's a vibe thing. Being in this environment around so many creative people. There is always something going on. There are just people to work with. Mark Byers is my most consistent co-writer and to have him right next door is awesome. Knowing you have the people to work with around you clears away some of the hassles. Inspiration wise, being around all this concrete and all these old buildings I like feeling like I'm in the center of something. I personally do better. There's Little Tokyo, Chinatown, the old downtown buildings, the architecture all coming together in one spot. Also the Latin culture. I feel like I am in the corner of all of these things coming together.

MT: Where can people hear your music?

JV: A song that Mark and I wrote is in a TV show. It's called High Society. We're going to work on more songs for the music supervisor who wants to place our music in reality shows. I'm in a writing phase where I'm writing new material. I'm trying to decide if I am going to be a performing singer or more focused on the songwriting and music placement thing.

For our sake, let's selfishly hope she focuses on the former so that we can witness her talent in action. In the meantime, check her music out on myspace at


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