Grammy-nominated recording artist Jewel chatted with Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about her Livestream concert that took place on March 21, as well as Inspiring Children Foundation and “No More Tears.”
On her song “No More Tears,” she said, “I was helping produce a documentary on youth homeless and I was very inspired by the stories that I was hearing and going through my own things at the time, and remembering how frightening it was during the period in my life when I was homeless.”
“Now, during this time with the Coronavirus, the song ‘No More Tears’ feels really powerful and potent,” she admitted. “I sang it on guitar last night for the first time and it almost made me cry because I feel that song so deeply for all of us right now,” she said.
She recently had to cancel her non-profit fundraiser, which funds 80 percent of her foundation’s budget to help at-risk youth with housing, food, clothing, necessities, and mentoring, as well as physical, emotional, mental, and health tools.
Due to this Coronavirus pandemic, she wanted to do a “Live From San Quarantine: A Livestream” concert with music and conversation about rising above our adversity to become our best selves in the face of adversity. “I have a youth foundation called Inspiring Children, and we help them heal. We lost our funding since we are unable to do our fundraising concerts, so we scrambled and came up with a plan to do something live online. We thought of that idea three or four days ago and we are overwhelmed with the response,” she said.
Her “Live From San Quarantine: A Livestream” concert will take place on Jewel’s Instagram and Facebook page on Saturday, March 21, at 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST. This concert will benefit Jewel’s Never Broken program, which is powered by the Inspiring Children Foundation. “99 percent of our kids earned college scholarships this year, and 90 percent of them were Ivy League colleges, so we know it works. I want to expose these tools to the whole world and start caring for ourselves at this time,” she said.
She noted that it’s highly publicized that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, but Jewel wants to highlight the other symptoms include anxiety, fear, worry, and financial distress that so many young adults are going through. “The symptoms may lead to debilitating anxiety and possibly depression,” she said.
Through Jewel’s efforts with the “Lost in America” documentary, she wants to shine a light on youth homelessness, which is something she went through as a teenage girl.
With the help of her foundation, Jewel is trying to build a bridge to help children not only survive but thrive so that they have physical tools and necessities, as well as emotional and mental necessities. She understands that mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health.
On her daily motivations, Jewel said, “I have suffered a lot in my life. I moved out when I was 15 years old, and I was homeless when I was 18 years old. I had a lot of setbacks after that too, so I had to learn resilience. I refuse to let people think that their entire’s lives will feel bad. We can do better and we can feel better. It has been my life’s mission to help adults, children, and public schools,” she said.
“My music has been my second job. My first job was figuring out how to be a happy and whole person. That’s my No. 1 focus and I never stopped having that focus,” she explained. “My music wound up being a soundtrack to my life and it ended up comforting other people, which has been a tremendous blessing.”
“I love writing songs. That has always been a gift in my life,” she added.
The “Foolish Games” songstress also opened up about the passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which protects songwriters and creators in this digital age. “I am glad. I still think that more needs to be done,” she remarked. “I still can’t believe that our songs get taken away after 100 years. I should be able to give that to my grandchildren and their children as my property, however, I will take any progress that we can get.”
On the title of the current chapter of her life, Jewel responded, “I am actually writing a book right now and I have no title. Isn’t that awful? I think it’s a book about change. It’s about how do we change.”
She continued, “I would challenge all media to realize the incredible role that we play in humanity. Every radio station programmer and content provider needs to realize that what we put in our mouths affects our health and what we put in our eyes and our ears affects our healths. People are desperate and they are struggling and I would love all radio and all media to start putting out content that inspires us, in an effort to realize how much music can uplift us. I would love to see everybody getting behind that.”
Jewel’s Never Broken website also offers free mental health tools. Her new online networking community, Inspire House will be offering daily Livestream programming on Twitch, including yoga, meditation, fitness, nutrition, and leadership talks to help people get through this time. “Suicide has increased 60 percent since 2006 and during recessions, those rates double. I am worried that we will lose more lives to suicide than the virus, and nobody is talking about it yet. My job is to help people cope with anxiety. I developed a series of exercises that were proven to help and they are on the Jewel Never Broken website,” she concluded.