Jennifer Masala is a musician and songwriter with a passion for connecting with people through her music. She writes about life: faith, family, motherhood, marriage, identity and the vast expanse between the hurts and highs of life.
A lifelong passion for music and expression, coupled with busy days of raising 3 small children far away from her native Scotland have made for quite the journey for Jennifer, who has found herself excitedly and unexpectedly stepping out into the music industry with her first solo release.
Unsigned and until now undiscovered, Jennifer has been known to those around her to have had music flowing through her veins since she was a little girl. She wrote her first songs back in primary school and thrived in a variety of musical endeavours whilst growing up before studying music at the University of Glasgow and going on to complete a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education in Music at the University of Edinburgh. Her career as a music teacher was paused when she married in 2011 and set off to spend some time living abroad with her husband. Fast-forward 12 years and she’s happily settled in Germany, living the busy life of a full-time mum to 3 small children.
From growing up in a coastal town in the north-east of Scotland to the twists and turns of adjusting to a new culture, a new language, newly-married life and motherhood, Jennifer says songwriting and her faith have remained the two constants in helping her navigate the highs and lows of life: “I wrote my first songs in primary school and continued all through my teenage and student years,” she says. “It was my way of processing the world around me and expressing things in a way that sometimes felt more acceptable and less vulnerable than just saying it out loud. I love music, I love language and there’s inspiration everywhere so it all just flowed from there. Moving abroad was such a huge change for me. I suddenly had nothing familiar around me – no job, no musicians, no gigs, no church… not even a piano. I was incredibly homesick. I did a bit of a Jonah and booked one-way flights back to Scotland but God put it on our hearts to stay the course and that slowly began to make sense as we started building a life here.”
The challenges of the last few years – in particular the pandemic and almost losing her young son to a severe allergic reaction in 2020 – have played a huge part in shaping the path she now finds herself on. “The last few years have been a difficult season for me. I found myself asking big questions about life, about purpose, about identity and about God. Writing songs has always been my way of making sense of the world and processing what’s going on. I was struggling quite a lot with fear and anxiety, especially after what happened with our son. I found myself forced to dig deep down and to confront my experience and my emotions. I had to be honest with myself and seek God and his guidance through it all.”
At the beginning of 2021, after taking part in an online conference aimed at young mums exploring career paths and calling, Jennifer says she had a strong sense that a new season was beginning after having been at home with her children for five years. She was accepted into The Songwriting Academy professional mentoring programme, which she says was like finding her tribe. “I was so ready to channel all these experiences and this creativity into something new after having put my career on hold for what ended up being 10 years. I love being a mummy and I’ve learned so much over the years I’ve been living abroad. When I joined The Songwriting Academy, it was such a special moment. I felt like I was hearing my own heartbeat again for the first time in a long time. People speaking my language. A sort of re-ignition of this flame inside of me that had been dim for a long time. The TSA has been the most incredible journey of learning about songwriting, about the music industry, about people and, unexpectedly, a lot about myself.”
Despite her passion for songwriting and composing, the one thing Jennifer says she didn’t want to do was become an artist. “I had a long list of reasons why that wasn’t right for me. But God kindly placed people around me who encouraged me to reconsider, so I started recording some songs in the hope they would be a starting point for a portfolio as a writer. I had the pleasure of working with a producer called Peter Seider, who I had worked with on a couple of songs for our church songwriting project, the KI Worship Collective. He was so great to work with and he could hear out of the demos what the songs wanted to be and worked with me to craft them into that. It was such an amazing journey for me and somewhere along the line during the production process, I realised I couldn’t separate myself from the songs anymore. That sort of gave me the push I needed to start seeing myself as an artist and to work towards finishing an EP and sharing my story in the hope I can encourage and connect with other people who are going through similar things.”
Parallel to working on the songs for her solo release, Jennifer is active in other songwriting projects and collaborations. This year she won an award at the CREATE! Songwriting Festival for a German worship song she wrote which was released through her local church, where she has headed up the worship team since 2016. Jennifer’s debut single, Hold On, which was released on May 26th, was also a semi-finalist in the 2022 International Songwriting Competition.
In 2023, Jennifer released the follow-up single Blessing Over You. Like her powerful and emotioinal debut single Hold On, Blessing Over You showcases her signature sound and songwriting style by combining accessible yet sophisticated melody and harmony with relatable, carefully crafted lyrics and an authentic performance.
Jennifer worked together with producer Peter Seider on the arrangement and recording of the single at Seider Studio Art in
Bavaria, South Germany, along with five other songs from her upcoming EP. She says of the song: “Blessing Over You was born out of the most difficult time I’ve walked through in my life, written in the days and weeks following an incident in which we almost lost our 18 month old son. I found myself in a place where I was reminded of what’s really important in life and how much I wish that my children will find hope and have faith in every situation they find themselves in on their journey – for health, favour, fulfilment – in the good times and in the trials that life undoubtedly brings. It was also inspired by a tradition from home, in Scotland, where we’d wish people well at New Year and speak good things over them. It’s become sort of my legacy song and I hope it will resonate with and encourage people, whatever kind of situation they find themselves in.”