An instant musical rapport between Jenni & Javier evolved into the Miel Crudo experience – a unique celebration of ‘world’ music.
How did Miel Crudo come to fruition?
Jenni: My lifelong friend, Jules, got us to meet up about 3 years ago, and we had an instant musical rapport with each other; however, we both needed a catalyst or kick start to get the music going. The catalyst was meeting each other – we seem to bounce off each other’s music style with no stressful effort, which is a great thing.
Javier: That’s it in a nutshell – we just clicked.
You were originally known as Raw Honey. Why did the name change, and what does it mean?
Javier: The name change came about as we evolved as a duo. We had more original and exotic tunes, so we wanted a more original and exotic name which defined and reflected what we are now – hence the name Miel Crudo came about. In addition, as I’m of Spanish heritage, it seemed appropriate and extremely relevant – the name translates to ‘Raw Honey’ in English.
Jenni: ‘Raw Honey’ defined what we are doing – an unplugged feel without any additional instruments or special effects; however, we felt that the Spanish translation reflected our sound more accurately.
Introduce us to the members of Miel Crudo and the instruments they each play.
Javier: The band consists of two members – Jenni Willow, who is one of the most passionate and creative musicians I have had the pleasure of collaborating with, and myself, Javier Serrano.
I play a Maton acoustic guitar, which has a distinctive and unique tone to it, and Jenni plays a powerful bellowing Taylor, which acts as the motherboard of our combined sound.
Jenni: We also have the sweetest little 9 string acoustic/electric guitar (it was originally a 12 string, but we removed 3 strings to change the sound). Amazingly, we can play it to sound like a Mandolin, Balalaika or even a Sitar. It’s a joy!
Tell us about your style of music and its origins.
Javier: Our style of music is difficult to define, as it fits into many genres of music, each with its own unique sound. You could loosely call it ‘Intercontinental’ or ‘World Music’, as it originates from a collective memory of sounds and styles throughout both our lifetimes. Amazingly, this unique collective of sound just shines when we play together; mostly spontaneous, our music is never or rarely planned.
Jenni: To be honest, we just pick around and something comes together.
We don’t consciously set out to have a song with a theme; if it happens, it happens. We often say, “Gee, that sounds Russian” or “Hey, that sounds Arabic” or “That’s a bit Irish”– and around the world we go!
Where did your passion for music, and in particular, this style, stem from?
Javier: I don’t really know where MY passion for music comes from; however, I have definitely been influenced by a number of musical genres, from hard Rock to traditional classical to Flamenco guitar, but most of what we’re playing as Miel Crudo tends to be spontaneous.
Jenni: We believe we have been bestowed with the ability to make wonderful music – an amazing gift! I can remember humming entire piano concertos when I was only 4 years old (I would hide in the cupboard and pretend to be the radio for my sisters). I’ve been playing piano since I was nine and love that medium just as much as the guitar. I’m not sure where my style comes from, but it definitely comes from the soul.
Who and what have been some of your influences throughout your career?
Javier: My love of music and natural curiosity for all things music amount to influences drawn from a massive range of genres and sub-cultures, from Van Halen and ACDC to Paco De Lucia and Julian Bream.
Jenni: From an early age, we had Classical music constantly blaring in our house; add to that the delicious 1960s cocktail sounds and the Tijuana Brass (which was so cool), and I feel it’s safe to say my musical interests are eclectic.
However, I’m not sure if I’m influenced by that style of music, as I prefer not to mold myself on other music or musicians, but allow my music to take its own path; although, I’ve always been nuts about Jeff Beck. When I first heard his Truth album, I almost went into orbit. Way ahead of his time, that’s for sure.
Then there’s my love of Jimmy Page with his amazing riffs, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
You recently finished recording an album; tell us about that.
Javier: The album is the culmination of the music and energy that continues to flow between us – a documentation of our work. It features all original music, which is raw, sweet, yet a little quirky … a tapestry of uniquely different sounds drawn from different cultures.
Jenni: Our album Salt of the Earth is a juxtaposition of songs about daily life, observations, our surrounds, the random, the mundane, the exciting. It’s a musical journey that focuses entirely on the experiential aspect of sound, without any vocal additions. We are both so proud of the end result and can’t wait to share the Miel Crudo experience through this album.
What other plans have you got in the pipeline for 2012?
Javier: Our focus for the coming months is to promote our album and to develop and foster ongoing relationships with venues/clients with the objective of securing gig bookings up and down the East Coast.
We also have plans for another album.
Jenni: Our ultimate goal is to be out there playing. There’s nothing more rewarding than to have folks coming up to you and saying, “We loved that” or “You made me feel good”. That’s our utopia. However, we understand the importance of ensuring that Miel Crudo is ready from a business perspective (i.e. development and implementation of our online presence via our website and social media network marketing channels), so we have also concentrated our efforts on the actual ‘business’ side of things, so potential clients and fans have easy access to our music and direct contact with us.
Where can people find out more, and how do they book you for a gig?
Jenni: We have a dynamite promoter and marketing guru called Mel Cox of Marshmello Marketing. She is responsible for promoting and marketing Miel Crudo and is also focusing on the development and implementation of our online presence. She really believes in us and has been an absolute pearl.
We use Facebook as our main online communication hub, particularly for updates about our music, gigs, feedback etc. ‘LIKE’ us at www.facebook.com/mielcrudo
For all enquiries regarding press, marketing, availability and pricing, we can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For bookings, contact Jenni on 0487 407 046 or Javier on 0432 519 933.
This story was published in issue 22 of the Coffs Coast Focus