Drake Jensen

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Drake Jensen
Drake Jensen NAC.jpg
Drake Jensen
Background information
Born (1970-04-15) April 15, 1970 (age 44)[1]
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada[1]
Origin Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada
Genres Country
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Synthesizer
Years active 2001-present
Labels Soaring Eagle Productions
Website http://drakejensen.ca

Drake Jensen (born 15 April 1970) is a Canadian country music artist.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Drake Jensen was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island in Canada.[2] At age four, influenced by his mother’s love of country music, Jensen connected to John Denver through "Country Roads".[1][3] Other influences included Merle Haggard, George Strait, John Conlee, Ronnie Milsap and Charlie Pride.[2] He was bullied as a child and left Grade 8 because of it.[2]

Career[edit]

His first recording was a 2001 cover of Anne Murray’s "A Little Good News", which received airplay throughout the Maritimes and was a favorite of CBC Radio One.[1]

After a lengthy hiatus, he revived his dream of becoming a vocal artist. His 2011 debut album On My Way to Finding You was recorded in Nashville with veteran independent producer Kim Copeland. The first single “Wash Me Away” has logged airplay on 100 radio stations worldwide and the album received a positive review from influential country critic Robert K. Oermann in MusicRow Magazine.[4]

In fall 2011, he released his version of Roger Miller's "Little Toy Trains", originally titled "Old Toy Trains" and written in 1967. The song was released on a limited-edition pressing and made available for digital download. The proceeds of sales were donated to Make-A-Wish Canada.[5]

His Ottawa debut took place at the National Arts Centre in December 2011, with opening artist Tia McGraff from Port Dover, Ontario.[6]

On January 16, 2012, he publicly announced that he is gay and told his story of severe childhood abuse and bullying. He dedicated the video of his single, the title track to his album "On My Way to Finding You", to the memory of Ottawa teenager Jamie Hubley, who committed suicide after having been severely bullied.[7][8][9][10]

In April 2012, Jensen released "Scars", written by Toronto singer/songwriter Don Graham and co-writer Zita DaSilva, and is donating the proceeds of digital download sales of this song to Bullying.org. [11] Due to popular demand, the song was included in Jensen's sophomore album, OUTlaw.

In November 2012, he released a video in which he performed a cover of Tammy Wynette's hit song "Stand By Your Man" featuring drag queen Willam Belli from Season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race.[12] The song was released as the seventh single from Willam's album The Wreckoning.

Also in November 2012, he released his first Christmas album Christmas At Home, featuring the song of the same name by fellow Cape Breton singer/songwriter Rita MacNeil, as well as "Home Again" by Duncan Wells, also of Cape Breton. The latter song was made popular by Cookie Rankin of The Rankin Family.

In December 2012, blogger Andy Towle chose Jensen as one of the top 50 most influential comings out of 2012.[13]

The first single, "When It Hurts Like That" by Matt Ullman and Kyle Morrison Marion, from his second studio album OUTlaw was released via video on YouTube on January 30, 2013. The video was filmed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by Blake Faucette and Justin Reich. Within four weeks of release, the video received over 100,000 views, and the single was named TRAX HEADSTARTER single of the week, having received the most spins that week at Canadian radio.

Jensen was one of the headliners at Waterloo Region's tri-Pride music festival on June 1, 2013.[14]

On June 13, 2013, Jensen released the video for "Scars" during his performance at Nashville Pride's Pride Rocks! pre-party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, where songwriters Zita DaSilva and Don Graham saw it for the first time.

In December 2013, Jensen continued the collaboration with Canadian songwriters Graham and DaSilva by releasing the original Christmas single "Live Every Day (Like It Was Christmas Day)" along with a video produced by Jonathan Edwards of Corvidae Music.[15] Jensen also released a cover of Gene Autry's "Here Comes Santa Claus", and is donating the proceeds to Santa Canada, an organization co-founded by friend Larry O. Lantz to bring Santa and the Christmas spirit to terminally ill children, at any time of the year.

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Jensen moved to Ottawa and in 2008, married partner Michael Morin who is also his personal manager.[16]

Band[edit]

His band, The OUTlaws, is currently composed of:

  • Andy Dubois - drums
  • Doug Chase - keyboards
  • Ellen Daly - fiddle
  • Jonathan Edwards – Band Leader, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmony vocals
  • Tom Nagy/Stefan Ferraro - bass
  • Rich Haller - acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin

Awards[edit]

  • May 2012 - Montreal's Fondation Émergence awarded Jensen with their annual Coup de Chapeau (Hats Off) Award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against homophobia.[17][18][19][20]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country
US
On My Way to Finding You
  • Release date: 1 May 2011
  • First single released: Wash Me Away, 1 May 2011
  • Label: Soaring Eagle Productions
  • Formats: CD, music download
Christmas At Home
  • Release date: November 2012
  • First single released: Christmas At Home, 22 Oct 2012
  • Label: Soaring Eagle Productions
  • Formats: CD, music download
OUTlaw
  • Release date: 12 March 2013
  • First single released: When It Hurts Like That, 12 Feb 2013
  • Label: Soaring Eagle Productions
  • Formats: CD, music download

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak positions Album
Eur
2001 "A Little Good News"
2011 "Wash Me Away" 16 On My Way to Finding You
2011 "All You Need" On My Way to Finding You
2011 "Little Toy Trains"
2012 "On My Way to Finding You" On My Way to Finding You
2012 "Scars"
2012 "Still on the Radio" On My Way to Finding You
2012 "Christmas At Home" Christmas At Home
2013 "When It Hurts Like That" OUTlaw
2013 "Live Every Day (Like It Was Christmas day)"

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director Editor
2011 "All You Need" Blake Faucette Justin Reich
2012 "On My Way to Finding You" Jacob P. Fergus Jacob P. Fergus
2012 "Stand By Your Man" (feat. Willam Belli) Michael Serrato Chris Vanderwall
2013 "When It Hurts Like That" Blake Faucette Justin Reich
2013 "Scars" Blake Faucette Justin Reich
2013 "Fast Enough For Me" Blake Faucette Justin Reich
2013 "Live Every Day (Like It Was Christmas Day)" Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Official website biography
  2. ^ a b c Joseph Brownwell, Out country artist Drake Jensen releases OUTlaw, Out & About Newspaper, February 28, 2013
  3. ^ Grant, Laura Jean (February 1, 2012). "Jensen finding his way through music". Cape Breton Post. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Stoute, Lenny (August 19, 2011). "Drake Jensen Well On His Way To Finding You". Cashbox Canada. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Stoute, Lenny (November 4, 2011). "Drake Jensen-When You Wish Upon A Train". Cashbox Canada. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Feibel, Adam (December 15, 2011). "A Little Bit Of West, A Little Bit Of East". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  7. ^ Towle, Andy (February 1, 2012). "Canadian Country Singer Drake Jensen Comes Out, Features Husband in His Video". Towleroad. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Dagostino, Scott (February 16, 2012). "Rhinestone Cowboy". Capital Xtra. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Feibel, Adam (February 28, 2012). "Ottawa country singer dedicates video to Jamie Hubley". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "How Drake Jensen sings the anti-bullying blues". CBC. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Stoute, Lenny (January 27, 2012). "Drake Jensen-Across The Gay Divide". Cashbox Canada. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Harr, Dan (November 9, 2012). "Drake Jensen Debuts Stand By Your Man Video Featuring Willam Belli". Music News Nashville. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  13. ^ Towle, Andy (December 17, 2012). "I'm Gay: The 50 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2012". Towleroad. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Pride Week celebrations culminate in live music festival". The Record, May 24, 2013.
  15. ^ Graham, Sandy (December 5, 2013). "Drake Jensen Releases Christmas Songs". Cashbox Canada. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Perry, Randall (April 2012). "Drake Jensen: On His Way To Finding Him". Wayves. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "DRAKE JENSEN TO BE RECOGNIZED BY THE FONDATION EMERGENCE, MONTREAL". Cashbox Canada. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Harr, Dan (February 8, 2012). "Drake Jensen to Receive Coup de Chapeau (Hats Off) Award". Music News Nashville. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Communique". Fondation Emergence. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Prix Lutte Contre l'Homophobie". Etre. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

External links[edit]