Writer, Magazine Editor & Content Marketing Specialist
Jennifer Le Roux, aka ‘Jen the Red’, is BA (Hons) Creative and Media Writing graduate with over 6 years experience in digital marketing and 4 years in magazine publishing. She is founder, editor and creative director of music careers magazine, ALT-MU magazine, a digital magazine produced to entertain, engage and educate musos with alternative ideas and careers.
She created this website during university to host a content portfolio of her work which includes articles from her time as a freelance music journalist, SEO content writer and links to her magazine articles in Mayhem! Magazine, Unsigned Muso and ALT-MU. She now continues to share her thoughts and experiences on the blog with a changing emphasis on inspiring and educating her readers.
Jennifer’s has a background in a variety of industries including media, publishing, leisure, events, entertainment, law, property, recruitment, music and the automotive industry. Her life experience in these areas allows her to apply an intelligent and creative perspective as a writer and editor – no matter the subject or purpose. She has written 300 page fleet tenders, countless winning proposals and award submissions, SEO optimised onsite content and is also able to produce light-hearted entertainment features or offsite content for subjects ranging from celebrity fashion, music, events and entertainment to environment, manufacturing and law. This experience alongside her 2013 graduation from a full-time degree has broadened her understanding of audiences and revived her passion for writing. Having been immersed in the university lifestyle for over three years Jennifer has the foresight and experience of a women in her 30’s with the benefit of truly understanding a growing digital sharing generation.
The ‘Jennifer Le Roux’ Full Story
As a music journalist, Jennifer took the long road to gaining a real understanding of what makes ‘good music’ and only learnt how to truly recognise and appreciate original creativity or alternate ways of appreciating culture in the last 9 years or so. She now enjoys any music that challenges the mind and inspires emotion and doesn’t like to be restricted by a genre led ‘boxed and labelled’ music industry. However, under that premise, she would categorise her taste as varied and enjoys anything from the chilled out acoustic tones from the likes of KT Tunstall, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and Norah Jones to the rush of feel good rock from Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World and Sum 41 and more recently Chiodos, Paramore, Less than Jake and Mona.
Jennifer also likes artists who push the boundaries and cross influences in new ways such as her own personal first experience of Muse live at V Festival 2001 when she was blown away by the ochestral piano intro that caused the stage to illuminate and inflatable bubbles of light to disperse into the crowd and The Airborne Toxic Event and A Genuine Freakshow who bring string instruments into rock.
Discovering new music is one of Jennifer’s greatest passions, not hearing about it because its in the charts or someone told her to like them, but accidental discovery of artists and bands that rock her world just by doing what they do best – making music and performing live. For her, music is not just the song, being a band or an artists comes with a responsibility to perform, entertain and influence. Lyrics and meaning behind music is important to her and writing lyrics and songwriting is one of her many passions.
It All Began in the Theatre Darling
But, Jennifer’s story began a far cry from her current influences. She took her first ambitious step into the world of theatre and pantomime at just 7 years old. At her first audition, she stood in line with the rest of the children on the stage of the Kings Theatre in Southsea and waited for Lionel Blair to to arrive in front of her when it was Jennifer’s turn to say the line “She means me”. Her lisp won him over and thus began her first role as ‘naughty fairy 1’ and her starring moment doing a tap duo with Lionel in the 1987 production of Cinderella.
This marked the beginning of a string of shows every year at the theatre as a dancer, singer or actress in Panto’s, Ballets and Musicals alongside well known faces from soap stars and gladiators to TV personalities and front page celebs. If you look closely you can see Jennifer in the picture on the left (next to the cow). This continued until Jennifer suffered a torn hamstring in her last Kings Theatre audition when she was 17 years old.
Jennifer hamstring injury led to an alternative pursuit into singing and musical theatre inspired by the star of her very first pantomime, Stephanie Lawrence. Not many people know that Stephanie starred in Starlight Express and Cats in the West End and while the alternate singer in the roles, Elaine Page, is more widely known, Stephanie was in Jennifer’s eyes a far better singer and a star that shined twice as bright. Later her interests grew in contemporary music, influenced by her vocal admiration for artists at this time such as Pink, Alanis Moirsette, early Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, Alisha’s Attic and Bjork.
As her injuries repaired and her ambitions grew, Jennifer’s drive at this time to be a professional singer, dancer and actress led to studies in a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts at Southdowns College in 1997, a Diploma in Music (singing) at The Academy of Contemporary Music in 1999 and Foundation in Acting through Musical Theatre at Mountview Theatre School in 2000. Through this period she experimented with songwriting, playwriting and gained a hunger for performing with live bands. Sadly, in 2000 Stephanie Lawrence finally made it on the cover of the national papers for all the wrong reasons – she had passed away at just 50 years old shortly after getting married. Reports implied this was down to alcoholism, which was spurred on by her struggles with winding down after a show – but no cause of death was ever confirmed. Having spent the last 13 years following in Stephanie’s footsteps – this caused Jennifer to reevaluate her path.
Time to ROCK!
By the time she finished her course at Mountview, Jennifer realised that covers and musical theatre wasn’t for her and wanted to be original all the way. After sporadic attempts at sensible careers in recruitment, investment banking and whatever else took her fancy, Jennifer picked up her guitar one day and, despite her lacking chord vocabulary, found a new way to express her emotions.
In 2004, she moved into a houseshare with a talented guitarist and songwriter, Roelof Le Roux. He had rock and alternative influences that awoke Jennifer’s senses into the real world of music that she now revels and celebrates with her writing and content in ALT-MU Magazine.
Jennifer and Roelof formed a duo ‘Jay & le Roux’ and performed their acoustic original songs in various venues, which accompanied a whirlwind romance and led to their marriage in January 2005. After moving from London to the her seaside hometown of Portsmouth, they then formed an alternative hard rock band called ‘Life with Max‘. The band wrote in the region of 30 songs and thanks to Jennifer’s music promoting skills, they performed at local venues including; The Wedgewood Rooms, The Joiners, Drift Bar and Black Bar, won runner up Best Band in Portsmouth at The Live and Unsigned Awards in 2009 and eventually released their single ‘No Compromise’ on iTunes later that year. Jennifer also gained a reputation as a music promoter in Portsmouth, arranging gigs throughout the city during this time. Unfortunately life got in the way for these mature musicians and the band is no longer running, which shortly led to the end of their marriage.
Jennifer draws massive inspiration from her time in the band, performing original music live, having fun with her image and experimenting with fashion influences. The selfish enjoyment of letting out emotion through her music, lyrics and practical experience collaborating with the band has led to a greater appreciation and respect for the bands she now reviews and admires.
Stepping into the Digital World
Around this time Jennifer also had to earn the pennies and having tried her hand at a recruitment for several years, she finally took her first step into the digital world to begin a career in Marketing with multimedia agency One2create in 2008.
During her time at One2Create Jennifer frequently ran high profile awards and charity events on behalf of their key client, arranging annual awards ceremony with a wedding type setup. Helping their staff to run activity and fundraising days, which led to raising significant funds for leading charities such as The Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Jennifer was also responsible for countless successful award submissions, proposals and tenders for their key client.
Her professional development in this role as a media and bid writer, event coordinator, design editor and involvement with writing newsletters and PR led to an intrigue into a future as a writer.
Starting University on her 30th Birthday
With her 30th birthday nearing and being surrounded by degree graduates at work, Jennifer decided that it was time to become a master at something. After years of leaping mushrooms like a confused caterpillar on crack, she was going to do a full-time degree!
Jennifer began her degree in Journalism and Media at The University of Portsmouth on the day of her 30th birthday and following interviews landed the role of Online Editor for the University Magazine, Pugwash (www.pugwashmagazine.com).
The university newspaper and magazine, Pugwash had fantastic links with local venues and event organisers, which facilitated Jennifer’s attendance at several gigs and festivals. Her first round of reviews including the band ‘A Genuine Freakshow’, local awards event ‘The Guide Awards’ and review of the album ‘Halcyon Digest’ by Deer Hunter.
In particular, it was at The Cellars ‘A Genuine Freakshow’ gig on November 9th 2010 that Jennifer realised her calling as a music writer. Perched on a bar stall with her glass of wine in a darkened intimate venue, watching a band she would never have seen or heard of otherwise – Jennifer was overtaken by the music and in awe of the talent before her. Writing that review wasn’t a job, it was a pleasure and she knew that if she could capture just one person, encourage one person to listen to this band with her writing, then it was a job well done.
She then went on to receive press passes for key events such as Hevy Fest and Isle of Wight Festival interviewing bands like Funeral for a Friend, Zebrahead and Sonic Boom Six. She also particular enjoyed interviewing Noah and the Whale at her local venue, The Wedgewood Rooms in 2011.
Mayhem!, Pugwash, ALT-MU & Being all Judge Like
In the last year there has been less activity on the website due to Jennifer’s busy schedule as a third year student and her contributing roles with various magazines. Jennifer has been the Digital Marketing Manager and contributing music writer for Mayhem! Magazine since July 2011 and was recently given the role of Online Editor.
She is also now the Editor of the University of Portsmouth magazine, Pugwash and was responsible for the launch of a new national music magazine called Unsigned Muso this year. In addition, Jennifer is currently working on a brand new digital magazine to be released in 2013. The magazine is called ALT-MU and will offer advice and entertaining content for musos with alternative careers & ideas.
Freelance Writer & Content Marketing Specialist
Based in sunny Brighton, Jennifer is now a freelance writer and content marketing specialist and runs creative network ALT-MU Creative.
Unfortunately, her recent content portfolio is not available to view on this website as a lot of her work over the last year has been ghost written. However, it is available on request. Jennifer offers a range of services including:
- Content marketing consultancy
- Article and Blog writing
- Natural SEO (keyword research / site mapping)
- WordPress theme customisation
- Branding and design
- Magazine editorial and design
- Social media strategy and management
- PowerPoint design and content
Her digital music magazine ALT-MU, is still going strong and Jennifer still runs a growing team of volunteers worldwide and has a core team of 7 that help her to produce the magazine.
You can view all of the issues of ALT-MU at www.issuu.com/altmumagazine.
Got Any Questions?
Please don’t hesitate to contact me using the form below or send me a tweet @jenniferthered: