Q&A with JoAnna Lee on “So Free” and Production Tips

On the title track of her debut album So Free, JoAnna Lee makes a personal declaration about following her own path that will inspire anyone who wants to brush off the naysayers and take bold, massive action towards achieving their dreams. With her soulful, dusky voice sharing the urgency of following our hearts.

JoAnna’s inspiration for “So Free” was the fateful decision she made six years ago that changed her life. She left the small town environs of her longtime home of Bend, Oregon – where she became popular on the coffeehouse and wine bar circuit – and moving to the thriving live music hotbed of Austin to find greater opportunities to share her voice and bare her musical soul to the world.

Hear her latest, “Drinking By Myself” here:

While establishing herself on the Austin club scene, JoAnna connected via a mutual producer friend to Les Cutmore, Founder and President of Cutmore Entertainment, Cutmore encouraged JoAnna’s developing artistry and songwriting and signed her to his triple-A label Cutmore Records, He hooked her up with several producers including platinum selling producer Dwight Baker, who brought JoAnna’s vibe to the next level in the studio. JoAnna went on to completely re-recording and producing songs she had recorded in the past while pursuing earlier endeavors.

I now realize that some of the older recordings were overproduced,” she says. “We re-recorded a lot of the material to make it rawer. Sonically, the tracks on So Free fall somewhere in between my solo acoustic live sound and the previous recordings – with cool rootsy textures in all the right spots.” We asked her about the production behind “So Free” and she said “So Free” was recorded a couple times before they were able to get it to where it is now. “The songs were written all from personal experience and just wanted to sound as natural, least produced as possible…. which would be my tip…. don’t over produce! Let the “rawness” shine through!”

“Let the “rawness” shine through!”

We got to sit down with Joanna Lee for a mini Q&A:

  1. How did you get here? Did you always know you’d be a musician?
    Always believing in myself and not giving up has gotten me to where I am today… it helps that I grew up in a pretty talented and musical family, also there are many people who have supported and believed in me and music that have helped me get to where I am today. I remember I was about 6 years old when I knew that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
  2. What has been your proudest moment so far in life? Music or otherwise?
    Proudest moment was leaving my hometown and moving to a place i had never been before, Austin Texas, to pursue my dream of being a full time musician
  3. What commonly inspires you to write music?
    Relationships and life changes 🙂
  4. Do you have any tips for any women in the industry?
    Stay true to yourself… be inspired to change and always work on a better you but don’t ever do it for someone else.
  5. What’s the most beautiful song in the world?
    Too many songs to answer that, but Any song that gives you goosebumps is a beautiful song to me.
  6. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
    A professional cake maker 🙂

Joanna Lee’s Girl Gang Music Picks

Emily King

Snoh Alegra



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