Probably one of the nicest, hardest working people you’ll ever meet in the local music scene is Jen “Supa Jen” Leas. In a scene where people are often standoffish, introverted, and too wrapped up in themselves to be approachable after a show, Supa Jen is a breath of fresh air. Her high energy and passion for the music she works with is genuine and inspiring.
I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve been to in North County where good bands took to the stage only to totally deflate any excitement their music gave me by acting like snobs when I approach them afterward. Most people in the local scene are really cool, however, and know the importance of networking and being approachable. Nobody knows this more than Supa Jen, a bubbly, enterprising 25-year-old from Oceanside who started her own promotion company, Supa Jen Promotions, a few years ago. Her company books live shows all throughout Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos and beyond.
I first met Supa Jen at a show at The Jumping Turtle where she got her start apprenticing under the Turtle’s main man, Joe Troutman. He gave her one day a week to put together great shows and 16 shows later, she’s never let him down. Supa Jen’s shows bring something unique to the Turtle, a place classically known as a metal joint, with each of her shows hosting a different genre of music ranging from folk, reggae, electronica and punk.
“What I’m trying to do there as a promoter is prove to people that we can make it (The Jumping Turtle) a house of all types of music, not just metal and hardcore,” Jen said in a phone interview. “I want to see indie rock a permanent resident there as well as more frequent reggae, electronica, and acoustic/coffee house stuff.” She has also been branching out to other venues all over North County hoping to bring her shows to others and expand and build up her promotion company little by little.
She just put together a great show at The Boar Cross’n for their Thursday event, “The Scene,” with crazy electronica band Blood On the Dance Floor, Metroid and Electric Valentine. She also works with The Royal Dive in Oceanside, one of my favorite weekend hangouts, which has great live music every weekend and Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys on hand at all times — a must for any place calling itself a dive. She’s also worked with the Cow Shed in San Marcos and hopes to branch out deeper into San Diego territory soon as well.
Her company has made Supa Jen friends with just about every band that plays in and around North County, as she outlined in a MySpace message to me. “I’ve been so lucky to work with so many great people and bands. I’ve been stoked to work with bands like The Diamonds of Rome, deverb, Heavy Glow, Irieside, Soul Plow, Loose Generation, The Blokes, Keg Without A Tap, The Bleeding Irish, She’s My Cassette, Mean Dinosaur, G.F.I., The Hillstreet Stranglers, Reason to Rebel, and so many others.”
Her love of local music and the compulsion to expose as much of it as possible to new ears has made her a hero in the local scene as well. She has even been a frequent visitor on Palomar College Radio’s Sunday show, The SubNation, which can be heard every Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. on AM 1320 or at www.palomarcollegeradio.com. The radio show has been an instrumental element in promoting her shows and some of the bands she’s been working with.
Supa Jen hopes to one day make this her career, complete with an office to work out of for marketing and making arrangements. She would also like to team up with a weekly music publication to promote shows and music from North County and she’s even considering printing her own weekly newsletter to do so. Another goal of Jen’s is to create a Web site for her promotions which will include blogs, updates and information for bands and fans alike to keep informed of new bands, new shows and other promotions related to the music community. The girl is driven. She’s even lined up sponsors like Vintage Sanctuary, Spin Records and Shameless Productions to help support her work.
If you’ve been lucky enough to work with Supa Jen, then you already know she’s one of the best promoters to work with. No one is more fair, honest, passionate or determined to make your show legendary. She is by far one of the best promoters to work with in San Diego.
If you would like to work with Supa Jen to book a show, or hire Supa Jen Promotions to promote a show, get in contact with someone to get recording time, or to get T-shirts made, or would like to be apart of the Supa Jen Promotions Street Team, she wants to hear from you. You can contact her via e-mail at [email protected] (note: there are three “n’s” in there), at myspace.com/ roots_rock_jen, or by phone at (760) 405-3183.
Filed Under: Scene and Heard