Born and raised in New York City, Janey Street found fame in the music industry before most kids graduate from high school. She scored successive record deals in the early 80s from Warner Brothers, Capitol and then Arista, where she was signed by the legendary Clive Davis. Her singles “Under the Clock” and “Say Hello To Ronnie” charted on Billboard, and VH1 had her on heavy rotation. She opened for the biggest stars of the day, from the Bee Gees and Melanie to Richie Havens and Odetta. Then, as quickly as her star had risen, the singer/songwriter suddenly found herself without a label, career on an indeterminate pause, picking up odd jobs to make a living.
Fast forward a few decades, through waitressing and painting houses and even a (largely unsuccessful) stint as a clown, and Street never gave up on her music, collaborating with artists in LA, writing for television and eventually moving to Nashville, where she taught workshops for the Nashville Songwriters Association. All the while, the past was never far behind, and she knew she would one day get the chance to remind people of the gritty, soulful performer she’s always been. That opportunity came in the form of Blue Élan Records, and she jumped at the chance to get back to her life’s passion, writing and recording a new album of material in a matter of weeks. The result, My Side of Paradise, will come out on June 24th, and Street isn’t the only one excited. “Janey’s been my friend and colleague since we were twelve years old, the only girls at camp who listened to the Rolling Stones,” Janis Ian told us about the record. “She was Joan Jett and Chrissy Hynde before either of them hit the market. It’s about time she got to make this record; I’ve been waiting forever!!!”
Today, Elmore is premiering the music video for “I’m Not The Girl I Used To Know.” Street brings out her smokey blues vocals combined with a heavy dose of a true Queens accent on this piano driven ballad. The song, “co-written with Colin Devlin, is a reflection of me looking back on my life,” Street shares. “I think a lot of people, especially women, can relate to it whether they are 20 or 80 years old. Kickin’ around the music biz for all these years has been a double edged sword. On one hand, it keeps you young, on the other hand, industry people make you feel old when you turn 20, y’know?”
The song is a meditative track, one which clearly finds Street wrestling to make sense of her rollercoaster ride in the music industry. “I found a voice at 17, given the world or so it seemed…” she muses. “Can we every truly change our destiny?” In the video, directed by Michael Bateman with cinematography by Graham Futerfas, Street is writing lyrics in a café when she spots a young girl, who sends her into recollections of the past. Images of Street from her early brush with fame flash in black and white across the screen, but though there is a sense of nostalgia for days past, the song finds an ultimately uplifting message of resilience and acceptance, with the wail of guitar sending the track soaring to anthemic heights. “There’s beauty in the scars, I let them show,” she croons, as she confidently takes the stage with her band, every bit as dynamic as the woman she was in decades past.
Preorder My Side Of Paradise here, and watch “I’m Not The Girl I Used To Know” below.