when we think we have nothing, it’s funny how we find / a simple grace, a deeper place with more than we dreamed we had inside / and that’s the reason why we live / to GIVE.
– from “Give” (Jen Foster/Angela Kaset)
Jen Foster has always persisted in chasing her dreams. After years of running her own record label, writing and recording five solo projects, crisscrossing the country playing respected venues and festivals, supplying music to film and television, and growing an ardent fan base, Foster says she’s just now hitting her stride: “I’ve come to this really cool place in my life where it’s not about proving something to my parents or winning an award to feel validated. It’s simple. I’m here to make music and to make a difference.”
A native of Houston, TX, Foster earned an English degree from Whittier College, just outside of Los Angeles, before pursuing a full-time career in music. She spent several years working and playing clubs in L.A. before relocating to Nashville, TN, where she currently resides. Foster has found herself nicely situated with one foot in the songwriting community and the other in the hustle-bustle world of an independent artist. Her songwriting endeavors have led her to collaborations with Randy Bachman, Pam Tillis, Jeffrey Steele, Mike Reid, and many others.
Creating music has always been instinctive for Foster. As a teenager, her struggle with her sexuality compelled her to write her first songs, as a way to make sense of the confusion. From there, she not only found herself becoming part of a community, but a voice for the underdogs in her world, as well. Since those early years, she’s always felt a pull to craft songs that serve a broader purpose. This pull has led to a host of philanthropic collaborations, beginning with Foster’s songwriter series, “The Writer’s Share”, which she created to benefit the TJ Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer, and AIDS Research. The series featured hit songwriters Richard Marx, Keb’ Mo, Lari White, and Chuck Cannon, among others. It was held quarterly at the world-renowned Bluebird Café for several years.
A more recent endeavor was “She4MarriageEquality” in 2014. This campaign centered around Foster’s song, “She.” Foster and her team took their concept to Marriage Equality USA, who readily jumped onboard to roll out a national promotion. “This song has always been such an overwhelming fan favorite,” Foster reveals. “Countless women have shared their stories with me about what this song means to them, and it continues to be used in commitment ceremonies and weddings across the world. I felt moved to do something on a mass scale with this song and that’s how this project came about.”
Foster has already seen many of her songs find a home in unique places. Her powerful anthem, “Venice Beach,” served as the theme song for the Emmy award-winning web series, Venice: The Series, starring soap stars Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia. Her song “Without Michelangelo” was employed as the theme for the Chamberlain Nursing College. Foster’s music has also been featured in The Hills, American Pie: Beta House, All My Children and a slew of other web series and short films. Additionally, Foster has served as the artist/writer representative on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI) and has received an abundance of national press, including appearing on the cover of She Magazine in 2013, and spotlight features in American Songwriter Magazine, Curve Magazine, and LOTL Magazine.
On the performance front, Foster’s touring history is as impressive as any you will find by an independent artist. She’s not only been involved with some of the largest festivals in the country, but she has found herself sharing intimate stages with Melissa Etheridge, Brandi Carlile, Edwin McCain, and Rachel Yamagata, and on extended tours with The Samples, K’s Choice, Michelle Malone, Antigone Rising, and Patrice Pike. She’s also been a keynote speaker at Nashville’s legendary Tin Pan South songwriting festival, as well as the Indiegirl Conference in Knoxville, TN.
Continuing her passion to help causes she believes in, Jen Foster’s newest project, “The White Room Sessions”, will benefit some of her favorite charities, including Bonaparte’s Retreat, a Nashville-based dog rescue organization founded by Emmylou Harris, and The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN, the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge for elephants. Jen has committed to give 10% of all proceeds from this project to the causes she cares about. “The White Room Sessions” is a double album, and with this many songs spanning a 5-year period, it is definitely Foster’s most ambitious project to date. A tour is currently being planned, along with the release, for Spring, 2016.