“My songs stem from my fears, insecurities, doubts, and also my joys,” reveals singer-songwriter-pianist Jodie Levinson. Her elegant musicality and empowering emotionality blend soulfully on the upcoming EP, Strong Enough, announcing a masterful songwriter unafraid to be boldly confessional and uplifting.
Levinson has been favorably compared to Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles for her ability to channel both the intimacy of soul and the broad resonance of pop. She honed her musicality working alongside such industry greats as producer Matt Pendergast (Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears, and Ciara) and composer-producer Lisa Ratner (Barbra Streisand, Vanessa Williams, and Dolly Parton).
“My journey in music is unique in that I’ve spent a lot of time doing other things not related to music that have shaped my songwriting,” Levinson says, contextualizing her creativity. Early on, she focused on dance and theater before committing fully to music. Levinson spent high school studying the revelatory piano pop of Carole King, building her piano chops and nurturing her songwriting. Parallel to this, she developed her vocals with coach, Beth Schwartz. During her time at Skidmore College, her artistry came together through studying jazz, classical, and her work fronting the pop rock band Grace Over Glass. Upon graduating college, she issued a full-length solo album of up-tempo blues-and-jazz influenced pop.
Her latest, Strong Enough, glows from within with warmth, confidence, and introspective honesty. “This is a ‘falling in love’ album and being loved is very empowering,” she says. “The heart of my music has this vulnerability. I’ve always been fascinated with relationships and emotions.”
The EP opens with the title track’s gracefully vulnerable tandem of piano and vocals, before blossoming with shimmering guitars and a gorgeously anthemic chorus. The patient verse-to-chorus build conveys that feeling of tiptoeing toward love and then just bravely letting go, and embracing the emotions. “”Strong Enough’ is a love song,” she affirms. “But it’s also about overcoming obstacles, like being very close to someone who, in many ways, is very different from you.” Overall, the EP is a quiet fire collection that effortlessly evokes the classic sophisticated restraint of R&B balladeers and the soaring hooks of modern chart-topping singer-songwriters.
Levinson gigs regularly in NYC’s finest singer-songwriter establishments. Her engaging live show has earned her a devoted following. “I incorporate choreography into my set,” she says of her vibrant performance presentation. “People love to watch bands dance and to be nudged into dancing themselves.” Through her supportive fanbase she has been able raise over $5,000 via a Kickstarter campaign to fund her EP.
Offstage, Jodie Levinson channels her talents into music education. “I’ve had some very proud and teary moments teaching and learning from my students,” she says.