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article imageInterview with singer and comedienne Jenny Talia Special

By Adrian Peel     Oct 31, 2014 in Entertainment
The multi-talented Australian, a U.S. resident since 1999, speaks to Digital Journal about her last album, her new album and her upcoming Australasian tour.
Although a highly accomplished comic and satirist, who it's difficult to imagine doing anything else, Jenny Talia actually began her career in Nashville as a country singer (after three albums rooted in the genre, she decided her destiny lay elsewhere).
Still, as the daughter of the legendary Kevin Bloody Wilson - one of Australia's most outrageous comedians - it now seems inevitable that comedy would eventually find a way through.
Chatting to me from her home in Chicago, the very talented mother-of-two, whose success as a composer of beautiful ditties such as "Camel Toe" and "Bastard," has completely dwarfed any success she ever enjoyed as a country singer, filled me in on her current activities.
"I head to Queensland next week, actually," reveals 'Australia's Funniest Sheila', gearing up to release her first ever Christmas album next month, "and then I've got five shows in Queensland before I go to New Zealand. So I'm gonna get to do the Christmas songs for the first time, as well as songs off my album F.O.C.U.S..
"I've been very busy, in the studio and writing. The fans on this tour are gonna get to hear all new stuff, which is great."
"I've actually just finished it," says Jenny of her Christmas record. "I'm expecting delivery of it on Monday next week. A 15-track Christmas album and I'm really excited because it's an album that I've wanted to do for a long time. Finally got the songs finished and I like to road test them when I'm out touring.
"Went into the studio in Nashville a couple of weeks ago and it's done. It's called Christmashits - one word. I do a thing on my You Tube channel called F**k it up Friday and it's where I put my parodies of other people's songs. So I decided to do pretty much an entire album of F**k it up Friday's Christmas songs and I've done them my way. It's not an album for the kids, put it that way!"
What does the playfully in-your-face performer enjoy most about being on stage?
"I like being on the road... There are certain times when I tour that I'm able to take my family with me, so that's about as good as it gets in any job. I love the rhythm of the road. I like the way every day has a purpose - everything you do every day gets you to the show that night and you end every night on a massive high."
Jenny's previous long-playing release F.O.C.U.S. came out a couple of years ago and, in keeping with her strong desire not to disappoint her many loyal fans around the world, it stands for "F**k Off 'Cause You're Stupid." Where did this memorable title come from?
"That was an acronym that I'd been using for a few years and I realised that it needed to be put into a song to make it a sing-a-long thing. I love nothing more than to say to someone that's driving me nuts, ' You need to focus' and they kind of look at me weirdly. Most of the time they say thank you - they think I'm giving them a compliment!
"It's such a great sing-a-long song and everybody's got something or someone that pisses them off on a regular basis, so it's a good one for that."
On the subject of other favourites on the album, Jenny pauses for a moment. "The '50 Shades' song which is probably gonna get trashed a lot more once the movie comes out, which is funny. That's my ode to the books and the hysteria surrounding it, mainly by women and housewives."
Some of Jenny's songs carry an 'explicit content' warning, but the lady herself insists that she doesn't try to shock people just for the sake of it. "I would never say I was a 'shock' comedian - that's never been my intent...
"I think maybe other people, celebrities and people in the media, try real hard to use the shock value for attention, for the likes on their Facebook page or for the followers on their Twitter page, that sort of stuff.
"If something I say shocks someone, that's certainly not my intent. Every now and then you might get someone a bit hot and bothered about what I said, but it's usually some politically correct do-gooder, and they're not someone who's gonna buy my album or a ticket to my show. That's not who I write my stuff for."
"You can get away with it if it's said right," she continues. "I'm not a fan of the angry comedy or the abusive comedy where people go to just get burned by the guy up on stage. There's something for everyone and that's the good thing about comedy - it's so subjective.
"For someone like me that doesn't like that type of comedy, there's a million people out there that do. My comedy is certainly not everybody's cup of tea, but it's enough people's cup of tea! I've been doing it for more than 10 years now and it's still going really well."
As the daughter of the aforementioned Kevin Bloody Wilson (the pair often tour together, despite the fact that Wilson still lives in Australia), I wondered whether Jenny runs her material past her old man before putting it down on tape?
"It's funny you should say that because with this Christmas album, I did actually quite a lot. We're on tour and we meet up all over the place at least a few times a year and I hadn't been on the road with him since I started working on this Christmas album.
"We had some SKYPE sessions. I'm a bit of an insomniac, so it'd be four in the morning here and five in the afternoon over there. He'd be cracking a beer and I'd have a cup of tea and I'd play my songs. If I can get him to laugh at the songs, I think 'That one's definitely going on the album'.
"But if he looks at me with a blank stare... He's got no problem saying, 'Well that's not funny at all!' Honesty's never been a problem in this family..."
Christmashits is available now on iTunes.
For more information, visit Jenny's official website.
More about jenny talia, Comedy, Country music, kevin bloody wilson, Australia
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