Boys can negatively affect young women, but for Courtney Jenaé, her own experiences with love and heartbreak influence her music.
"I like writing about boys," Jenaé said during her May 10 performance at DPS Event Production in Irvine. "They're crazy, but they make me sing."
Jenaé, originally born Courtney Woolsey (no relation) and from Fountain Valley, sang six songs of heartbreak and triumph for an intimate crowd in support of the Orange County band Midnight Hour. The show was also broadcasted live on UStream.tv for fans that could not reserve a place on the guest list.
While performing on Ustream definitely exposed Jenaé to more audiences around the world, she is no stranger to Internet fame. Her talents have also gained her recognition on YouTube, with her view count on her MsCourtneyJenae channel currently around 8,500 views and 3.8 million on her first account, CourtneyWoolsey.
Opening with "Dirty Angel," Jenaé showed off a powerful vocal range and seductive lyrics. She then kicked into "Intoxicate Me," which had similar themes.
"Accelerate" used car metaphors to express sexual awakening, backed heavily by Stephen Stahl's (producer) guitar riffs. Originally, Jenaé said she wrote "Intoxicate Me" and "Accelerate" for a popular musician, but felt like the songs "fit her" and decided to keep them. She has also submitted material to Maroon 5, The Pussycat Dolls and B.o.B.
Her single "Accelerate " will be released on June 12, followed by the July 10 release of an E.P. titled "Courtney Jenaé."
Then came the heartbreak songs, which many younger women in the crowd should have been able to identify with. "Magical" told the story of love gone wrong and how sometimes it's really not like the fairy tales make it out to be.
The acoustic song once again showed off Jenaé's strong vocals, moving from low alto notes to high falsettos. The lyrics were so direct that they were hard not to relate to.
"Ladies, if you're in a toxic relationship, get out," she advised the crowd before singing "Breaking Free."
The tune was cheerful and the exact opposite of "Magical." Instead of longing for a fairy tale romance, "Breaking Free" conveyed feelings of independence and happiness after the end of a relationship.
This contrast shows how talented Jenaé is. Instead of only being able to write about one subject like some artists, Jenaé is able to show versatility in her songs, drawing inspiration from various life experiences.
With unquestionable talent and the exposure that she has gained from her live performances and YouTube, Jenaé is well on her way to "Breaking Free" into the music scene.