A Darlington singer is excited to be releasing her first CD after five years of blood, sweat and tears in the recording studio. Andrew White speaks to Jenna Louise.

When she gave up music on leaving college, Jenna Louise would never have dreamed she'd be releasing her own CD just a few years later.

Yet here she is, after five years in the rcording studio, sharing personal highs and lows through her self-penned album 'My Journey'.

For the Darlington singer-songwriter it's a "wow, what's happened" moment.

The Northern Echo: Jenna Louise has been in the studio working on her album for five yearsJenna Louise has been in the studio working on her album for five years (Image: STUART BOULTON)

"I did a lot of music at school and college," said Jenna Louise, who attended Longfield School and studied performing arts at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College.

"But I got out of it when I left college to take up a career."

The turning point came when she attended an 'experience day' at Carl Pemberton's music studio in Middlesbrough, some six or seven years ago, and she began to think maybe she could return to singing.

Carl, one half of X-Factor's Journey South, was so impressed, that he told her: "You have to come back."

"It all started from there really," says Jenna, who started writing her own material soon afterwards, adding: "I had no idea what was going to happen for my music."

One thing that did happen was she caught the attention of County Durham filmmaker Dean Midas, who has won acclaim and awards for his locally-made horror shorts.

Jenna has worked with producer Sam Haynes, who specialises in 'spooky' music, and has helped her dive into new genres with Halloween-inspired tracks for Mr Midas's productions.

And she's been getting herself heard. Jenna has featured on BBC Music Introducing - and some other stations across the BBC platforms - and she was awarded 'Artist Of The Year' and 'Most Played Artist' in 2022 with First Choice Radio. 

Her music is being played in America, Malta, Finland, Australia, Canada and all around the UK on various radio stations.

The Northern Echo: Jenna Louise is launching her debut CD on all platforms from March 4Jenna Louise is launching her debut CD on all platforms from March 4 (Image: JENNA LOUISE)

Meanwhile, Jenna has kept writing her songs, influenced by a wealth of noteworthy musicians who inspired her to bring her emotive and multi-genre tracks to life.

The influences behind 'My Journey' are as diverse as the artist it represents - from the moving ballads of James Bay and Lewis Capaldi to the empowering anthems of Pink and Kelly Clarkson. Ella Henderson, Becky Hill and Sinead Harnett are other admired musicians who have shaped her work.

A wealth of local talent has been working alongside Jenna on the music which has gone on to make her debut CD.

Carl Pemberton fills the roles of producer, composer and occasional co-writer. With the further help of local Producers Carl Booth and Hiast, remixing Jenna's songs into house music, the resulting album is a playlist of 'multi-genre magic'.

The collaboration resulted in an album that captures a broad spectrum of tones and moods.

"My music is my journey," says Jenna. "Every single song is about something I've been through or witnessed in life. They are my emotions - my journey and my stories."

Despite the array of influences, there's no overarching theme to Jenna’s music.

The Northern Echo: Jenna has had the help of local producers and musicians and has been influenced by a diverse range of artistsJenna has had the help of local producers and musicians and has been influenced by a diverse range of artists (Image: STUART BOULTON)

"The album is very versatile in the genres I go with. I just went with what was right for each song. I'm inspired by lots of different artists and lots of different artists.

"I'm just very versatile, I go with how I feel the song is going."

The album, which has already sold well in the Darlington branch of HMV, is to receive its official launch at an event at The Hammer & Pincers pub, near Newton Aycliffe, from 7pm on Friday, March 1.

Jenna will be supported by musicians including Carl Pemberton and upcoming singer Evie, with special guest DJ sets from Carl Booth and Hiast. Jenna will be selling her signed albums directly to those attending.

The event will be raising money for the 'Missed A Beat' charity which aims to ensure more defibrillators are readily available across Newton Aycliffe.

The charity was chosen after the boyfriend of a friend of Jenna's went into cardiac arrest during a football match at the age of 26. After the quick thinking and aid of his friends, teammates, opposition players, and officials, his life was saved through a combination of CPR and defibrillation.

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Jenna's album will then be officially available to download worldwide on all platforms, from Monday, March 4.

Jenna, who works in financial services, is hoping that the CD is just the start of her new musical journey - perhaps a springboard to performing at festivals.

"I'm very proud of myself," says the 30-year-old, who has come a long way in the last five years - and hopes she still has many more roads to travel.