The Tasty Travels of the Swanky Budgeteer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fashion Crazed Foodie's Premier Artist Interview. Meet: Jae Franklin (Fashion Crazed Foodie Loves Music)

Featured Artist, Jae Franklin
I am a sincere fan of Houston native, Jae Franklin. Her music is in constant rotation in my home-and it's not just because we go back like patent-leather combat boots, and flipped bangs! The relationship between Jae, her symmetrically talented, and equally gorgeous sister, Judith, and myself transcends the boundaries of average friendship. I've known them for years, as we all attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts together, and very early on, our friendship blossomed into what we consider a sisterhood. Their parents are two of the most benevolent, and supportive people I've ever met. As a matter of fact, Jae credits her dedication to her talent, and her longevity in the music industry to her parents.

Jae's music is meaningful, refreshing, and speaks to love, courage, and world issues. Her flawless vocals, spirited tone, and perfect pitch are reminiscent of the late Whitney Houston! Read our interview below to gain more insight on the Dubai, UAE-based songbird, her travels, the food that has the power to make her get up and dance, and to learn more about her latest release, Weary. Visit her website, and enjoy her music here Jae Franklin.


What is your talent, or passion, and when did you begin your pursuit?

My talent is singing and my passion is writing. I could do either one all day every day. My pursuit as a solo artist began in 2010; however, the experiences I’ve had up until 2010 prepared me for my journey as a solo artist. I guess you could say my pursuit towards a career in music began a long time ago, but my pursuit as a solo artist began just a few years ago.

What have you done over the years to enhance your talent/passion?
I’m in love with music and really enjoy traveling. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel around the world and share my voice with large and small audiences. As a vocalist, I’ve enhanced my talent by collaborating with artists from other countries to learn vocal techniques and practices specific to different genres of music. As a writer, I’ve had wonderful opportunities to write and record with some of my favorite songwriters and producers.

What do you find you are most inspired by?
I have to answer that question in 3 parts. Vocally, I’m most inspired by folks I can learn from such as my sister Judith Franklin, Rachelle Ferrell, Esperanza Spalding, Amel Larrieux, D’Angelo, Ametria Dock, Sarah Vaughn, and so many more musicians and vocalists. As a writer, I’m most inspired by folks who can write a song so thoughtful you’d think they were writing about you. Talented writers like John Lennon, Lauryn Hill, Carole King, Burt Bacharach, Bob Marley, and Fela Kuti are a few of the artists who have influenced me. Musically, Tinariwen, Buena Vista Social Club, Vicente Espi, Charles Garner, and The Roots always inspire me when I hear their music.

I’m also inspired by the small parts of life that make life worth living. It’s such a blessing to wake up in the morning, see the sun and know I’m not the only one. I’m inspired by entrepreneurs and go-getters, like you, who work towards success every day. Folks who are making a difference in the world inspire me the most. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there.

Who is your favorite artist/group from the 90's?
My favorite artist of the 90’s was Whitney Houston. My favorite groups were EnVogue, Simply Red, Jade, The Good Girls, Color Me Badd (yes, I admit it!), and Jodeci.

Jae shares her incandescent smile.

Do you travel, and if so how do your travels inspire your work?
Yes, I travel. For me, traveling is necessary whether it’s domestic or international. The world is so big and I want to see as much of it as I can. When I travel, I try to soak up the culture. Visiting the typical tourist spots doesn’t really excite me. Connecting with locals and finding out what it’s really like to live in cities like Bilbao or Berlin really make my experiences unforgettable. When you do something out of the ordinary, there’s bound to be a good story. That’s part of the inspiration. I’ll have something to write about which may result in a good song!

Tell me about your favorite vacation spot.
My favorite vacation spots are Vigo, Spain and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I spent a little time there in 2013 and ate the BEST authentic paella. Abu Dhabi is a traditional yet modern paradise. It’s almost like you step off the plane and immediately slow down and decompress because the pace is ideal for a vacation. Another favorite vacation spot is Dubrovnik, Croatia. I remember eating Nutella for the first time in Croatia. The atmosphere is extremely calm and everyone I met was very nice. My absolute favorite vacation spot (I saved the best for last) is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I worked there for a few years and the experience changed my life. Ethiopia is not just a place you visit. It’s a place you can call home.


What is your favorite food/dish?
My favorite foods are pickled beetroot, roasted seaweed, red seedless grapes, mandarin oranges, and watermelon. My two favorite dishes are my mama’s meatloaf and shiro wot, a delicious Ethiopian dish.

Have you ever been inspired by food? Like, have you ever had food so good, you broke out into song/dance?
Yes, every time I have my mama’s meatloaf I do a little dance after I take the first bite. I always ask her to cook her meatloaf for me or she’ll surprise me and cook it because she knows it’s my favorite. Since I’m a true Texan, I always add a little Texas Pete Pepper Sauce to set it OFF!  

What food/dish is your hometown known for?
That’s a good question. I’m from Missouri City, TX, which is really close to Houston, TX. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Houston. I think Houston, and Texas, in general, are known for barbecue. I have never had any barbecue better than Texas barbecue.


Tell me about your style, Jae.
I call myself The Swanky Budgeteer, because I have a knack for expensive/high-end clothing, accessories and 5-star travels at outrageously discounted prices. Tell me about your style, Jae. Do you budget shop? Thrift? Coupon?
I have known you for as long as I can remember and you truly are The Swanky Budgeteer. You just get fashion! That’s why I always ask you for styling advice. You’re amazing!! My style can be summed up in four words. Urban, chic, light bohemian.

What is your favorite era in fashion?
My favorite era in fashion is the 60’s. The free flowing dresses, prints, bell-bottoms, and afros have all stood the test of time. Yes, afros were and still are a fashion statement. These styles all made a crazy impact in the world of fashion.

Lastly, what do you want the readers at to know about your music/project?
Thanks for this opportunity to share with your readers. My music can be heard at and all my social media links can be found there. Cheers to Life is the title of my new project! It’s a reminder for everyone to appreciate the parts of life that make life worth living. We’re releasing Cheers to Life later this year! I’m excited and I can’t wait for you and your readers to hear the first single, Weary, which will officially be released mid-February 2015.

Thanks again FashionCrazedFoodie! I’m so excited about your success and truly appreciate this opportunity.  

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