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.