Meet Jocelyn Arndt – Harvard University Student and Singer/Songwriter

Singer Jocelyn Arndt and her brother/co-writer Christian prove that artists can be just as comfortable in the classroom as in the recording studio.

In addition to touring and promoting their brand new EP Strangers in Fairlyland,both are also busy pursuing their educations at the world-famous Harvard University.

Jocelyn and Chris are collectively known as Jocelyn Arndt and they started making music when they were barely teens, inspired in part by their parents’ huge music collection. Their sound has both classic rock and indie/alternative vibes, with Jocelyn’s unique and powerful voice tinged with a bit of Janis Joplin.

We got the chance to ask Jocelyn a few questions, and of course, get a never-before-published selfie. Read her answers below!

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Hi Jocelyn, nice to meet you. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m a singer, a songwriter, a skier, a casual knitter, an ex-Twihard (we all go through middle school), and a terrible video game player.

You recently released your new EP, Strangers in Fairyland. How would you describe its sound to someone unfamiliar with you?

We’ve actually had a bit of trouble trying to classify our sound. We try to write songs that compliment my voice and Chris’s guitar style, but every song sort of comes out as its own thing, and they can be pretty eclectic. They’ve all got an undercurrent of Indie-Blues Rock, though.

What was the most special part about the recording process?

Chris and I are both raging perfectionists, so our favorite aspect of the recording process is probably the precision with which it allows us to hone in on our tunes. It’s really important to us to keep the music real, so we try to avoid things we can’t replicate in a live performance, but the studio gives us a level of control over our songs that is just the best!

What’s it like working on music with your brother, Chris? Do you guys butt heads or is it a pretty smooth collaboration?

This is sort of a tough one. Being siblings, there are definitely some times when we are at each other’s throats. But most of the time we actually work together pretty well, and we make a great team!

Basically all of our arguments stem from creative differences, in terms of what direction we want to go with a certain song. But the arguments really make the song a lot better. The combined force of us as individual songwriters is definitely way more than either of us could ever achieve on our own.

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Who or what inspires you musically?

My biggest inspirations are the big voices. The genres can differ vastly, but the prominence of a strong, powerful voice has always attracted me.

Janis Joplin, Grace Slick, Christina Aguilera, Grace Potter, and Adele are probably my go-tos. My brother Chris loves that 70s guitar sound; you can catch him rocking out Joe Walsh, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Mark Knopfler.

And which artist(s) would you absolutely LOVE to collaborate with on a future recording?

Well, we’re actually already recording with a few awesome ones!

Danny Louis from the band Gov’t Mule plays the Hammond on a few of our tracks, we have Tony Miceli on vibes for a few upcoming releases, and we’re even working on a song written by Nolan Neal from Hinder! But we definitely have some people we’d love to work with in the future, too. Ever since his latest release, my brother and I would love to have a track or two produced by Mark Ronson, and I think it’d be totally awesome to sing a duet with Mick Jagger.

Maybe someday, in our wildest dreams!

What has been your craziest fan/audience member interaction so far?

There is no doubt that our parents have been our biggest and most supportive fans. We even named our high school band “the Dependents” in their honor. But, being parents, I’m not sure they count for this question.

I’d say that our craziest audience member interaction has probably been with Mark Herndon. He saw us back in October, the first time we played in Chattanooga, TN, and ever since then he’s been one of our biggest supporters. He runs a program called Chattanooga Live Music, and he just decided after seeing one show to become the equivalent of a professional promoter. He plugs us at every opportunity, just because he likes our music! Mark Herndon is the reason we had a packed-full gig in Chattanooga when we went on our most recent tour of the south. We can’t thank him enough.

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

At this exact moment, I would probably be sitting in a cabin in the Adirondacks, watching a ski movie with my parents and telling them about how hectic and ridiculous my workday had been. My brother and I used to be snowboard and ski instructors (respectively) at Gore Mountain. We’ve been so busy with music, this weekend was our first chance to get out on the slopes this year! Seeing the ski school in operation again made us think about how much fun that job was, and how crazy the lessons could get sometimes.

You are a student at Harvard (along with your brother), which means you are obviously pretty smart. A lot of smart kids get picked on…did you have any issues with this growing up, and if so, how did you handle it?

I guess I’ve always felt a little like an odd duck, but I never did any worse because of it. We made a lot of really great friends growing up. When it came to extracurriculars, everyone at school just accepted that we were always going to do our own thing, but we were still included in movie nights and other social events.

But on the rare occasion that someone hurt my feelings about being a nerd, I always had my music to turn to for support.

What do you have coming up next?

We have a lot of really awesome stuff coming up.

The most immediate is our performance at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. We were invited to play there about a month ago, and we’ve been looking forward to it ever since. Music, movies, and Utah ski resorts are a winning combination.

Beyond that, we’re releasing a song on Valentines Day. Then, we’re headed back down south for a tour in March, and we have a full length album slated to come out late summer. It’s going to be a pretty awesome year!

Anything else we should know?

Remember to check out our album, Strangers in Fairyland. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

Other than that, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook. We do at least a post a day-expect music, fuzzy hat selfies, and general silliness. And thanks for reading, we’d love to see you at a show sometime!

Could you send us a quick selfie of whatever it is you are doing right now (hugging your dog, eating, chillaxing….whatever)

Jocelyn Chris Arndt-1
Awww…bro, sis & the family puppy! : )

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