For Day 28 of the Open Mic Creativity and COVID-19 Special Project I thought I would steer away from authors, agents and editors for a bit to see how an old friend – the super talented songwriter and musician Jeffry-Wynne Prince – is holding up during the pandemic. His band The Bitter Elegance has a new album out, and he’s already working on the next one so you can say his creative spark is still sparking!

OM: This pandemic-induced lockdown has certainly altered all of our lives for the time being. What has been the biggest impact on you so far? 

JWP: I am in an unusual situation in that the logistics of the lockdown have felt more like a vacation than a punishment. I am introverted and a bit of a recluse, so not having to deal with the outside world has been a welcome change from the usual daily cascade of madness trying to juggle home-life, income generation, and artistic pursuits. My life is currently 24/7 writing and recording. While I know at some point we will return to a version of normalcy, for the time being I am embracing the change, so the biggest impact has been how I refocus my daily energy.


OM: You are a very talented songwriter – how has this all impacted your songwriting? Have you been able to keep up the same kind of pace and schedule as before? 

JWP: Thank you for the kind words! As prolific as I have been though out my entire career, I falsely thought that the big driving force for my outflow was that I still had other outside pursuits with my Interior Design interests. With that off-the-table, and on this extended vacation, my output has nearly tripled. We (the bitter elegance) just released a full album in February (which took the usual 14 months to write and complete), and I fully expect to have another full album release in a matter of weeks.


OM:  Has it changed the kinds of songs you are writing? Do you feel more or less introspective with what you write about now? 

JWP: I tend to not contrive what or how I write (aside from maybe thinking along the lines of album flow and continuity), and I am mostly writing as I always have – from an observational point-of-view, told through a first-person lens. While I have not gotten more introspective with the current situation, I find that my songs are a bit more autobiographical simply because my observations are happening in such literal proximity to me.


OM:  We always hear people say after tragedies that the event has given them a new perspective on life and humanity blah, blah, blah. I can’t understand why we need people to die to appreciate the frailty of our existence, but then I’m a cynic. How about you? Has this situation changed your outlook on the world at all? 

JWP: I am the ultimate optimist, which manifests in me being super cynical – I have so much hope inside of me that everything makes me doubt the inherent goodness of humanity (if that makes any sense). This situation feels surreal and I do worry about what kind of economic and social landscape we will return to, but it has not changed anything about me. I still love what I love and I always embrace life and attempt to not take things for granted.


OM: Do you have any new projects or events you want to share with us? 

JWP: The latest album “Hiding in the Spotlight” (available on Amazon / Apple Music / Spotify) was just released and we are super excited about it. We have no current plans to do any live-streams as we are deep into recording and writing another record while we have the time to do it.


Rich Ehisen

Rich Ehisen is an award-winning journalist, editor, and public speaker who has spent more than twenty-five years interviewing and reporting on politicians, athletes, authors, CEOs, celebrities, artists, cops, doers, and dreamers all over the country. He is the managing editor of the State Net Capitol Journal, a LexisNexis publication that covers all 50 statehouses, and his freelance work has appeared in a variety of publications across the country.


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