Interview | FFS 5 with Jane Sheldon

Photo by Tony Byrd

After stepping away from performing with Southern California band American Bloomers to focus on raising her son, lifelong Angeleno Jane Sheldon returns to the songwriting fold with a Christmas tune that is both timely and timeless. ‘One for Mrs. Claus’ is an ode to the oft-forgotten better half of the North Pole’s most famous family; a lighthearted yet powerful reminder that behind Mr. Claus is a woman making sure things get done correctly each holiday season. Santa might get all the mainstream praise, but this is a celebration of the matriarch who is long-overdue for recognition—”the CEO of the North Pole”, as Sheldon puts it.

Please tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how did you get started in music? Any defining moments along the path to present day?

Hello cool people of the internet. I was born in (mostly) sunny Santa Monica, California and raised around the west side of Los Angeles. We moved a bunch but generally kept to the westside. Like most people in Los Angeles, I spent quite a bit of time in the car and I remember my Dad introducing me to the great music of the ’60s: The Beatles, The Stones, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, and a lot of Motown. I loved singing harmonies along to the radio (still do). When I was 12 or so, my older brother (who would later go on to be my band member in American Bloomers) gave me a guitar. I started writing songs and playing open mic nights around town. There was a cool coffee shop in Ocean Park called Wednesday’s House and I cut my teeth a bit at their open mic nights.

As an artist, how do you define success?

If I write a song and it connects with one person, makes them feel a little less alone or a little more understood, to me, that was a success.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

I’ve always been able to go into the room and write a song, but promoting myself never came naturally. I’ve gotten better at it. I think that comes with age and taking yourself more seriously and realizing there’s only so much time a person has on the planet to make their mark creatively.

What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?

Let’s not waste our time with being “realistic”, haha.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

I have a 3-year-old son, and since I’ve had him, my sense of the world has broadened. Watching him play and seeing how he learns new things every day has deepened me creatively, and I think I’ve written my best songs to date since he came around. Oh, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. That helps me, too.

Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)

Photo by Tony Byrd