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Acoustic Pop Rock
Born in Newfoundland and currently residing in Toronto, Jennifer Sheppard is an accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and poet. When she writes, all the wrongs in her life come spilling out onto the page, making her rawest, most personal feelings public for the world to judge. Honest, heartbreaking and most of all, revealing, her music is instantly relatable to all walks of life.
The product of a broken home and rough upbringing, Jennifer used music as her escape and emotional outlet. "Without music I would have had no escape," she says. "Singing became my sanity." Raised primarily by her mother (with whom she has a close relationship), she maintained a good relationship with her father until his death in 1998. "It was hard on me, of course, but knowing he was no longer suffering lessened the pain somewhat."
Following the death of her father, Jennifer relocated to Uxbridge, Ontario with her mother and sister in search of a better life. The change was rough on her and she threw herself into music, often skipping classes to come home and play her mother's guitar. "She had an acoustic given to her by a friend," Jen recalls. "She taught me three chords and I worked out the rest using a printed chord chart." Not long after she picked up the guitar she penned her first complete song "China Doll", which she entered into a local singing competition, earning her second place. Performances at local coffeehouses and at school followed and she worked hard at writing new material.
At 18, Jennifer scraped together enough money to record a six-song EP at Scott Bynoe's home studio in Markham, ON. "It was unlike anything I had experienced," Jen says. "I had no idea recording was such hard work until those few days!" Ultimately, real life and financial troubles got in the way and the EP was never officially released although the songs are available on MySpace for the world to hear.
The next five years of Jennifer's life were spent growing up. She fell in and out of love, got a full time job, and moved to Toronto with her younger sister. The first couple of years were spent carefree in the big city. All the while Jennifer worked to improve her music, briefly collaborating with other musicians and hitting the odd open mic night. "Most of the time I was just trying to deal with growing up and how much my life was changing. I knew my weight was a problem too, so I was focussed on trying to change that." Over the years Jennifer's childhood obesity had gotten out of control so she vowed to change and joined a gym, ultimately shedding 140lbs.
With a new body, new attitude, and new outlook on life, Jennifer is finally ready to embrace her talent and put herself on the Toronto scene. Armed with her trusty guitar and a slew of new songs, look for this promising young talent at a club or coffeehouse near you.
"I'm finally ready to get out there and share my music with whoever is willing to listen."
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