Live from Anne’s Backyard: Jensen McRae | Anne’s Backyard

Speaking of iconic LA places, you recently performed at the Greek Theatre. How was that?

It was so surreal because it was my first show since February 2020. … Then I emerged and was opening for Rufus Wainwright and Aimee Mann. It was completely baffling me. I’ve been performing around LA for a while now, and for the longest time I was playing to literally a bartender and my mom. So building a following during the pandemic and then getting to play such an iconic LA venue opening for such iconic songwriters completely felt like a dream come true.

The last year or two have been a period of tremendous growth for you. What stands out that you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before?

I’ve definitely learned that I am capable of sticking up for myself when I need to. I’ve always self-identified as a feminist and a very opinionated person. But when it came down to it, there weren’t a lot of occasions where I really had to stand up for myself, or when [I did]I sort of let them pass.

I realized that I have a very strong vision for who I am and the things that I stand for. I had plenty of opportunities to reassert that and clarify my own identity and the things that I want in my personal and professional life. I don’t know how much of that would have happened if I hadn’t had the big opportunities for career growth or meeting some of the people that I met.

A lot of my music talks about growing up and coming of age, and I realized the biggest part of that is really knowing who you are and consistently asserting it, even if other people don’t want to hear it.

More: Live from Anne’s Backyard: Gabriels

Looking forward, what are you excited about?

I’m really excited to put out the music I have that’s in the can, ready to go. And I’m excited to write more music. It’s been so great getting back to in-person sessions and making music with people that way.

I’m opening for Amos Lee in April on the East Coast, and then I’m going overseas to play some festivals, which is going to be amazing. I have not had a lot of experience playing shows outside of California, so I’m really excited about getting the opportunity to play there. And I’m just excited to keep growing up.

I feel like I’m finally coming into myself. My mom tells me that I’ve had the personality of a 40-year-old since I was four years old, so it’s nice to feel like my emotions are meeting up with the rest of me. I’m ready to continue to go out into the world, and to use my platform for good. I’m ready to connect with more teenage girls that make their way into the pit at my shows.

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