Jake Walden, who grew up in Sonoma County and is now a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, is coming back here Oct. 1 to shoot a music video. And he’s inviting young and old to seek a part in it.
Walden, who grew up in Cotati and has been building a career on the LA cafe circuit, will be filming the video for his recent single, “Even in Your Doubt.” The video will be shot in his hometown and at Armstrong Redwoods State Park near Guerneville.
The filming follows the release this summer of his second album, “Same Something Different.” The album’s production was made possible after 189 fans pledged more than $24,000 through a social media campaign hosted by Kickstarter.com.
You can hear his music at www.jakewalden.com. Walden says the album explores themes of love, loss and struggle.
“I am a person who very openly struggles – a true introvert living an extroverted life,” he said in a press release. “But I am also a happy, loved, loving person, and it was important for me to explore that, too.”
Walden has invited children, teenagers, and adults to seek a role in the filming. Those interested are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
My colleague, entertainment report Dan Taylor, wrote on his blog about the singer:
Walden, 33, whose name was originally Waldinger, attended Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park and spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student. Then he went on to Santa Rosa Junior College before receiving his bachelor’s degree in drama from UC Irvine in 2000. (For the rest of the blog, click here.)
Walden was kind enough to send me a few more details about himself and why he wanted to film the video in Sonoma County.
What were some of your favorite hangouts in Sonoma County?
When I think of Cotati, I think of my parents and the house I grew up in. I think of the little league fields down the street (behind the police station and the building I went to Kindergarten in). I think of sitting night after night drinking coffee and philosophizing about the meaning of life at the Redwood Cafe. I think of the long walks I took with my friends down the train tracks. I think of Gravity Hill where you can roll a ball uphill. I always go back to the river, to the most beautiful trees in the world … in fact, the redwood trees of Sonoma County are a big influence in my work, in who I am as a person, and who I long to be: the color, the feel and smell, the roots and the pure epic imagination it forces you to feel even on your worst day. Sonoma County will always be my home.
Where did you go to high school and what did you do in the years between high school and your move to L.A?
I went to Rancho Cotate, but only until I was 16 in the late 90’s. I went off to Denmark as a foreign exchange student and then came back to go to the JC before heading down south to pursue my dreams. This time, from 17 to 20, was the time I feel I found the message and story of my art, and really, of my life. It was when I discovered music and the extremes of love and longing. It was the time in my life, living in my first apartment (down the street from the house I grew up in, but a million miles away to me) where I feel I was the most free and EVERYTHING was possible.
Where will the video be filmed?
The majority of the video will be filmed in Armstrong Woods. Even sitting here thinking about it makes my heart jump. I have so many memories of those woods and think it will look beautiful on screen. We will be filming a bit of the video at my folk’s house and on the piano where I wrote my first songs. The piano is the one in which I composed most of “Even In Your Doubt” (the video’s song). Last summer, I spent a month home just “breathing” after more than a year traveling and touring.
What has been key for you in your efforts to build your fan base and establish your career?
The key to any success and growth I have had in my career comes from an effort to always tell the truth … my truth. I write as often as possible and share those thoughts unedited on my blog, Facebook page, and sometimes Youtube. I have found some of the most devoted and open-minded Dreamers (loyal fans) online who have taken this ride with me. When I sing, I sing with all my pain and all my hope, and I believe people connect with that. They long for authenticity. When people write me, cry to me or tell me their secret dreams, I try and respond with an open heart and an empathetic mind. I am honored that this record, “Same Something Different,” was funded – and in many ways inspired – by those who found something that spoke to them in my debut record, “Alive and Screaming.”
I grew up the child of hippie parents who came to Sonoma County to have babies and build a life. Of this, I am most proud; to come from them, to come from that place that has and always will be “home.”