Music Tech Startups announce strategic alliance for the greater good of the Musician and Performer.

We are delighted to announce the strategic alliance between Jeeni and California-based AmplifyX, the only FINRA and SEC compliant platform that allows investors to build a portfolio by directly funding musicians. The alliance was arranged by Kelli Richards, Jeeni Managing Director USA, who was mentored by Steve Jobs at Apple where she launched and managed the Apple music and entertainment division.

This represents a major advantage for Jeeni in the USA, our most important global territory in terms of artists and revenues. We gain access to more rising stars along with their followers and fanbases, with mutually advantageous joint promotions and publicity. The partnership will officially kick off at the end of August with a global streamed concert, featuring our 10 most popular artists from both sides of the Atlantic, and will be co-branded between Jeeni and AmplifyX.

Co-founder of AmplifyX Bobby Kamaris says, “Our companies run in an adjacent space helping independent artists, and our philosophies and motives are very very close. What you guys at Jeeni have done in putting it together and launching is actually incredible.”

Co-founder of AmplifyX Adam Cowherd adds, “Did you know that artists take home only 12% of the $43 billion spent on music annually, according to Citigroup? [1] The hip-hop artist Russ put it perfectly when he said, ‘The music business isn’t set up for the artists to get rich. It’s set up for everyone else to get rich off the artists.’ [2]

If you start looking deeper into the music industry, one of the first things you’ll discover is how broken it is. Artists are the nucleus of the business, but somehow they’re the individuals left with no ownership of their Intellectual Property (IP), inhibited creative freedom, and only a sliver of the earnings. There are so many entities involved in the value chain of music that it has created a convoluted industry structure that lacks equality and transparency.

When we break down the mechanics of the music industry, we see just how many hands are in the pot: record labels, managers, producers, booking agents, and streaming platforms. A report by Ernst & Young highlighted the post-tax payouts of streaming revenue and identified that record labels are taking nearly 75% of the payout. [3] Why are artists today signing with record labels?”

Jeeni Founding Director Shena Mitchell adds, “This is an exciting opportunity for Jeeni to develop strong relations with USA partners. AmplifyX is focused on building a new framework to fund independent artists with their unique platform for artists to raise capital from nontraditional sources. Our visions are entirely complementary and aligned.”

Jeeni, is the social music platform that brings artists closer to their fans, and shares revenue ethically. Jeeni is presently raising funds on Crowdcube and is 110% overfunded with 4 days to remaining. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Facing the Broken Music Industry.

By Adam Cowherd @ AmplifyX.com

Did you know that artists take home only 12% of the $43 billion spent on music annually, according to Citigroup? [1] The hip-hop artist Russ put it perfectly when he said, “The music business isn’t set up for the artists to get rich. It’s set up for everyone else to get rich off the artists.” [2]

If you start looking deeper into the music industry, one of the first things you’ll discover is how broken it is. Artists are the nucleus of the business, but somehow they’re the individuals left with no ownership of their Intellectual Property (IP), inhibited creative freedom, and only a sliver of the earnings. There are so many entities involved in the value chain of music that it has created a convoluted industry structure that lacks equality and transparency.

When we break down the mechanics of the music industry, we see just how many hands are in the pot: record labels, managers, producers, booking agents, and streaming platforms. A report by Ernst & Young highlighted the post-tax payouts of streaming revenue and identified that record labels are taking nearly 75% of the payout. [3] Why are artists today signing with record labels?

Signed artists have fans. They do not have a majority of royalties, ownership of their masters, or creative freedom.

Artists have historically been enticed to join record labels as a way to grow their popularity, because major labels can provide global brand recognition. But the music industry is in the business of making a profit — not in the business of freebies. The artist’s growth may be guaranteed, but not their wealth.

Take Thirty Seconds to Mars for instance: after multiple platinum records, they were still millions of dollars in debt to their label. [4] This is a result of the artist being forced to pay the label back for cash advances. Although advances may seem extremely alluring, many don’t realize how hard these loans will be to recoup from their small slice of royalties.

Artists thriving off of their album sales are the exception, not the rule. This recognizable gap in income has inspired a large number of artists to start challenging the status quo of record label contracts. Artists today have more tools and resources to build their career — and wealth — independently. Traditional services formerly tied to record labels, like recording, distribution, and promotion, are becoming commodified. Also, modern artists have a wide range of social media platforms to engage listeners on, from Instagram to TikTok to Triller.

Artists can grow their fame and find new fans on their own terms—retaining their rights and independence.

Evaluating the industry today, music spending is at an all-time high. Goldman Sachs predicts we will have over 1.1 billion people on paid streaming platforms by 2030, generating over $130 billion in music industry revenue. [5] By pursuing alternative ways to release music, artists can take a larger cut of the profits while retaining ownership of their IP and a majority of royalties.

The industry is projected to experience massive growth over the next decade. Artists should reap the rewards.

The Pros and Cons of Live Streaming and Webinar Software

Here at Jeeni HQ we have been comparing and testing Live Streaming & Webinar Software to help our Independent Musicians and Performers Community Group. As part of raising money on Crowdcube we have been live-streaming musicians, performers and running live festivals to raise awareness about Jeeni.com and our funding round.

If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Facebook Website is the most obvious and easiest, but we found that it was limited in functionality and features and was extremely high risk in terms of the live stream being turned off completely by Facebook. We experienced this many times during testing and for Jeeni Live we could not take that risk.  

Here at Jeeni HQ, we had to look for an alternative so we tested Wirecast Studio, Open Broadcaster Studio, BeLive TV, Ecamm Live, Streamyard, Zoom and Crowdcast.

Wirecast Studio was really good, easy to use and with some great functions and features. However the cost had jumped up from $495 to $695 during Lockdown, so out of principle we decided not to use them believing they have jumped on the Covid 19 wave and are taking the piss.

Open Broadcaster Studio was absolutely brilliant, but you really need to be technically minded or have a least a week to learn the basics, functionality and features. In our opinion it is superb and would very much suit someone who wants to take up live streaming as a job. 10/10 and all for Free!!

BeLive TV offered three different plans which included Free Standard for $24.99 a month and Pro for $37.50 a month. We opted for the Standard package as the FREE package limits you to 3 shows a month. Absolutely brilliant package so easy to use, upload and stream live or pre-recorded videos in a few minutes. The Be Live Team responded to emails immediately and were super friendly. We highly recommend BeLive TV. 10/10

Ecamm Live also comes highly recommended and many of the reviews listed Ecamm as the very best. However it is Mac Only for $29.99, so we did not test it some team members use a PC, so out of the question. But worth a look if you are a Mac user.

Streamyard  offered three different plans: Free, Basic $20.00 a month and Pro £39.00 a month. It is very similar to BeLive TV, super simple to get started but very quickly you are forced to upgrade. So again we decided to not go with Streamyard on principle as we felt a hostage to fortune.

Zoom is mainly for calls, webinars and seminars – Not Appropriate  for streaming a live event. 0/10.

Crowdcast Live is $1068 so out of the question in terms of value for money. 4/10.

Live Leap is an automated system to share on social media. 

Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

26,426 views of Jeeni Blogs since we launched Crowdcube

With 5 days to go on Crowdcube we are reflecting on what we could have done better and how we could have improved our campaign, as well as on our successes. Even though we “bust a gut” working 7 days a week for 5 months, we always want to reflect and improve where we can. Both Mel and I are academic in terms of looking at all the options and possibilities and like to analyse our work, and most days we take time to look at how things could be improved. We are not critical of each other, just honest and reflective in an open and supportive way. Jeeni, the social music platform that brings artists closer to their fans and shares revenue ethically, has successfully raised over £340K on Crowdcube across three rounds. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

As part of the campaign we launched Jeeni.blog which has been a huge success and we have had over 26,426 active views, and my LinkedIn has over 12,000 followers. LinkedIn has become my preferred social media and we have genuinely started moving away from Twitter and Instagram. I find it much more professional, interesting and informative. So as part of our learning we are going to learn how LinkedIn can best support Jeeni going forward.

Our Facebook Group Independent Musicians and Performers has also been a huge success with over 2,500 new and active members with organic growth, and over 1,300 posts, comments and reactions with no advertising spend, engaging with over 30,000 unsigned artists with a zero cost of acquisition.

Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

Spotify Billionaire CEO Daniel Ek is out of touch with reality.

Spotify’s economic model has been widely condemned by musicians and songwriters for years, with critics claiming that the service pays out paltry royalties and gives major-label artists an unfair advantage via playlist placement and other promotional avenues. But according to CEO Daniel Ek, the problem is not Spotify, it’s those lazy musicians!

The response among musicians and performers on social media has been extremely negative with many paying subscribers boycotting Spotify because of how badly it treats musicians. In 2020 more than any other year since Spotify launched, there’s been a surge of musicians talking publicly about their streaming royalties not being enough to live on – including a campaign in the UK (#BrokenRecord) that has trained its sights not just on streaming services, but on labels and the wider industry structures. Tom Gray who started #BrokneRecord campaign states: “This has been problematic for such a long time, and that’s why I call it ‘Broken Record’ because there’s nothing new about this. I’m just saying basically the same things that you’ve heard a million times. But the context has completely changed.”

Many artists and fans believe there are no alternatives or options when it comes to music streaming. Being told by a billionaire to work harder and faster, isn’t likely to be the best artistic motivator, either. According to Ek, musicians need to get with the times and keep up a steady stream of content: “There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough. The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.” He concluded, “I feel, really, that the ones that aren’t doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released.”

Jeeni is the newest offering in this, the fastest growing media sector. Created by Mel Coucher, a digital guru who wants the musicians and performers to take 100% of the money they earn – yes, you did read that correctly!

Currently in the last 5 days of its 3rd crowd funding event, Jeeni smashed its £100k target in the first 6 days! Find out more at www.crowdcube.com/jeeni but you’ll need to be quick to invest, only 5 days left!

If you’re an artist or performer, or just a follower of music who is wanting a better system, which offers everyone a service based on ethics, honesty and fairness then come and see how we do it, at www.jeeni.com

Or, you can just stick with what you know and keep filling the pockets of billionaires?

Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

COUNTDOWN IS ON 6 DAYS LEFT TO INVEST

It seems like a long time ago that Jeeni announced that they had reached their funding target in 6 days and were aiming to overfund. Well they did and now they have 6 days remaining and if you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Jeeni, the social music platform that brings artists closer to their fans and shares revenue ethically, has successfully raised over £340K on Crowdcube across three rounds.

With 350million streamed music subscribers and market growth up by 39% this year, Jeeni is likely to ride the wave and be a huge success, not only with unsigned musicians and performers but with their superfans.

“We set a target to raise £100,000 for 2.4% with a pre-market valuation of £4M,” says Jeeni founder Shena Mitchell.  “And while we have the support of several major investors, the beauty of Crowdcube is that artists themselves can actually own a stake in the company for as little as £10.”

Shena continues, “Jeeni’s mission is to support unsigned music and performers, by helping them build a fanbase.  We aim to fast-track careers in the music business, and make sure they take the lion’s share of the revenue that’s raised.

Jeeni is needed more than ever in this Covid-19 New Normal, and we have proved that the demand is high. Currently we can only support 100,000 videos, so we must now move up a gear as we head for global roll-out.  This Round Three investment will be used to scale up again and launch our next-generation platform. It will also be used to develop our iOS and Android apps.

With the financial backing secured, we’ll be creating new jobs in the area, which is great for the local economy.  When you consider the wealth of music talent in Portsmouth – hosting over 2,000 music events a year with Victorious, The Guildhall, Band Stand, Wedgewood Rooms, and all the Portsmouth Festivities and pubs – we’re alive to the opportunities of our local music culture, creativity and talent. But with live venues locked down for now, the online opportunity of Jeeni is greatly increased.

It’s so cool to think someone reading this might choose to invest in Jeeni now with just £10, and then use Jeeni to build their own fanbase for fame and success!  We’re going to try hard to make sure that happens.”

JEENI is currently inviting investment on Crowdcube.  To find out how to get involved please join our mailing list for updates or check out our fundraising pitch. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

10 Reasons why the world needs Jeeni

My name is Mel Croucher. I’m a record producer and computer nerd. Over the years I’ve worked with a whole bunch of superstars like Prince, Frank Zappa and Eminem. In other words, I’ve been around successful musicians all my working life.

A few years back I was hearing from more and more artists how unhappy they were with the big streaming services. So I polled 4,200 of them about their Top-Ten Problems with Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, and the rest. The poll result was a shocker, and I asked a bunch of the best brains in the music business to help me create an ethical alternative. It’s taken us two years, and we call our alternative JEENI.

Here’s what the artists we polled told us, and here’s our Jeeni solution to their problems.

1 – Money. Artists get paid a pittance. Platforms like YouTube pay $0.00069 per view, so even 10,000 views earns us less than the cost of a pizza per month.
Jeeni solution. OK, we get it. You do all the hard work, so you deserve all the rewards. How about a Jeeni deal where you to keep 100% of all music sales, ticketing, and merchandise sold through our platform.

2 – Recognition. We try really hard, but streaming platforms just don’t get us more fans or recognition.
Jeeni solution. Right. Let’s make Jeeni an artist development platform. Our founder invented viral marketing in 1994. Then he achieved the world’s first million-user viral campaign. Now he’s designed all the tools you need to grow your fanbase and get recognition: all part of the Jeeni service.

3 – Communication. We don’t know the identity of who’s streaming our stuff, so we can’t get in direct contact with anyone who wants to know more about us.
Jeeni solution. OK. Here’s the deal. With Jeeni you get a built-in fan database to contact everyone who votes for you or likes your work, and you communicate direct with them as often as you like. Safely, legally and all opt-in.

4 – B*llsh*t. The big streaming platforms are full of it. We hate the adverts, we hate the artificial likes, we hate the paid-for recommendations, we hate the hype.
Jeeni solution. The answer to this is an ethical alternative. We guarantee Jeeni will stay advert-free. We pledge our charts are the result of democratic votes by real people. And we promise that all Jeeni content comes from genuine unpaid sources. Oh yeah, we’ll also pay our taxes in full, because we believe we should make a positive contribution to the society we live in.

5 – Rip Offs. We just can’t break through, and even when we think we’re making progress as artists we get ripped off.
Jeeni solution. Yep. The entertainment business has always been full of shysters. Let’s be honest here, the people behind Jeeni have all made it to the top somehow, and between us we’ve made every mistake in the book. Our mission is to help you achieve success and avoid the rip-offs. That’s why our Jeeni Mentors, Ambassadors and Masterclasses have joined forces to do exactly that.

6 – Choice. The big streaming services all offer similar content, dominated by the same big star names.
Jeeni solution. Agreed, so let’s ignore the content everyone else uses and leave our competitors to fight it out! Jeeni is designed for undiscovered artists to break through, based on talent alone, not ad-spend.

7 – Channels. My work doesn’t fit into mainstream channels. For example, what about channels for spoken-word?
Jeeni solution. No problem. Jeeni already has dedicated spoken-word channels for poetry, comedy, and voice actors, plus channels for entertainments ranging from dance to videogame soundtracks. And if we don’t already have a channel that suits your need … we’ll sit down and create it!

8 – Visibility. People either don’t know about our work, or can’t find it even if they do.
Jeeni solution. We’ve designed the smartest user interface we can. On Jeeni, you can search by name, type of channel, instrumentation, latest uploads, popularity, even by influences and heroes. But above all, our artists have complete control over publicising their own announcements to their specific Jeeni audience.

9 – Fakes. What’s the difference between the Jeeni Awards and the fake results dominated by celebrity voting?
Jeeni solution. Simple. Jeeni doesn’t have celebrity voting. Our Awards will always be based on one member – one vote. No ifs, no buts.

10 – Live performance. I’d like to stream an event, and charge people to watch it. Can Jeeni do that?
Jeeni solution. Um, not yet, but we’re working on it! Come on now, we’re not perfect, so we need your help.

Jeeni has returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. Jeeni founding director Mel Croucher says, “We’re ahead of our original schedule, but there’s still so much more to do. We need to scale our online platform globally now and build our mass artist showcases. Jeeni raised £100K in 6 days and we’re working hard to get more investors on board. Then we can hit all our targets, and give our new artists the recognition they deserve.” If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Nextfin independently rates Jeeni 77% investment opportunity.

This morning Jeeni were independently rated by Nextfin and our pitch was rated 77% overall. Management rated 68%, Product 76% and Investment Opportunity 88% with 80% being their gold and highest rating. If you would like to see full report check out our pitch rating here:

https://lnkd.in/ecq6xG3

Jeeni, the social music platform that brings artists closer to their fans – and shares revenue ethically – is poised to become the first Portsmouth-based start-up to go on Crowdcube for its third round. Jeeni overfunded in 6 days. If you want to see our pitch click HERE. We have 11 days left to invest.

With 350million streamed music subscribers and market growth up by 39% this year, Jeeni is likely to ride the wave and be a huge success, not only with unsigned musicians and performers but with their superfans.

“We’re standing by to raise £100,000 for 2.4% with a pre-market valuation£4M,” says Jeeni founder Shena Mitchell.  “And while we are already negotiating with several major investors, the beauty of Crowdcube is that the artists themselves can actually own a stake in the company for as little as £10.”

Shena continues, “Jeeni’s mission is to support unsigned music and performers, by helping them build a fanbase.  We aim to fast-track careers in the music business, and make sure they take the lion’s share of the revenue that’s raised.

Jeeni is needed more now than ever and we have proved that the demand is high. Currently we can only support 100,000 videos, so we must now move up a gear as we head for global roll-out.  This Round Three investment will be used to scale up again and launch our next-generation platform. It will also be used to develop our IoS and Android apps.” 

When the financial backing has been secured and we go live, we’ll be creating new jobs in the area, which is great for the local economy.  When you consider the wealth of music talent in Portsmouth – hosting over 2,000 music events a year with Victorious, The Guildhall, Band Stand, Wedgewood Rooms, and all the Portsmouth Festivities and pubs – we’re alive to the opportunities of our local music culture, creativity and talent. But with live venues locked down for now, the online opportunity of Jeeni is needed more than ever.

It’s so cool to think someone reading this might choose to invest in Jeeni now with just £10, and then use Jeeni to build their own fanbase for fame and success!  We’re going to try hard to make sure that happens.”

JEENI is currently inviting investment on Crowdcube.  To find out how to get involved please join our mailing list for updates or check out our fundraising pitch. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

The Death of Letitia

Jeeni has returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. Jeeni founding director Mel Croucher says, “We’re ahead of our original schedule, but there’s still so much more to do. We need to scale our online platform globally now and build our mass artist showcases. Jeeni raised £100K in 6 days and we’re working hard to get more investors on board. Then we can hit all our targets, and give our new artists the recognition they deserve.” If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Mel has been writing the best-loved column in top-selling tech magazines for over 30 years. Now he’s agreed to share his work with all our members. He’s a video games pioneer and musician, and to to find out more about Mel check out his Wikipedia page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Croucher. Here’s one of Mel’s latest!

Black lives matter. Unless black lives feature in a videogame, in which case they don’t matter a toss. I still remember the feeling of hope and despair when I played Daley Thompson’s Decathlon for the first time. That was way back in the Olympic year of 1984, and it was a primitive sports simulation from Ocean software for a little home computer called the 48k Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Daley Thompson was an Olympic gold medal winner from Notting Hill. He had a fine body, and a great moustache, and according to his skin he was the son of his assassinated Nigerian dad. Anyway, I fired up the game and there on my glowing colour monitor was the pixilated figure of Daley, the great black athlete, running along a red cinder track. The thing was, the programmers had made him white. No, I couldn’t believe it either. A huge crowd of spectators also appeared in the gameplay, and every one of them was as white as a Ku Klux Klan convention in a chalk pit.

It’s not as if no black characters ever appeared in videogames. Almost all the assassins, hoodlums, terrorists, monsters and mobsters were black, and their purpose was to be killed off willy nilly. Apart from Michael Jackson. He was the hero in a Sega videogame called Moonwalker and his role was to rescue kidnapped children and take them home. So there was nothing creepy about that, was there. Mind you, wee Michael was mostly as white in the game as he was in real life.

For a real black and white issue from the early twenty-first century, I have revisited Ethnic Cleansing, developed by Resistance Records for PC desktop machines. That’s the one where the white player gets sent off on a quest to murder blacks. It is equal opportunity racism, because you also score points for killing Latinos and Jews. And speaking of equal opportunities let’s hear it for the computer character Letitia who appears in an update of Deus Ex, which is set in a cyberpunk future. Letitia lives on a rubbish dump, she is as horny as she is simple, and she speaks minstrel drivel in the sort of deep-South accent last heard in a Mel Brooks parody. You couldn’t make it up. Except that’s exactly what they did. And shame on you Mary DeMarle for writing it, Amanda Strawn for acting it, and Square Enix for publishing it.

In the USA, over 70% of all African Americans play video games, but they make up less than 3% of game developers, which tells me quite a lot about the state of the play over there. This side of the pond, things are much better, where we have over 10% of people working in game development of a BAME demographic. That’s a higher percentage than their number in the national working population, and way higher than in UK publishing, tv and music. This is good news, but it’s where the good news ends. Last time I visited a major gaming studio in pre-lockdown, I did see several black faces. One was on security at street level, one was behind the reception desk, two were behind the counter in the canteen, and one was swilling out the bogs. The number of black and minority ethnic decision-makers in the UK computer gaming industry is shockingly low. As a result, race has lagged way behind gender and sexuality when it comes to stereotypes in gaming.

Mainstream game designers tend not to question a norm, and they rarely rock the boat by refusing to carry out a questionable storyboard handed down to them by predominantly white hands from above. Most game designers I come across have less creative imagination than Rufus my Irish Setter, not to mention a much poorer sense of loyalty and the inability to lick their own genitalia. Video games have always followed movies in characterisation, and they are painfully stiff with stereotypes. Historically, lazy, myopic creatives have allocated blacks four roles – the violent black, the servile black, the sidekick black and the comedy black. I am removing sports games and music games from my list, since they exhibit no imagination whatsoever, but simply copy real people from the real world, unless you happen to be Daley Thompson or Michael Jackson, of course.

The blame for all this lies squarely with the course leaders who purport to teach video game creation in universities and colleges. I have never met a creative course leader who is darker skinned than me, and I’m a sort of mottled puce. They may well instruct their students to bung in a character of the negro persuasion as if to fill some sort of racial minority quota, a bit like when those tv adverts suddenly started to feature blacks doing non-traditional things. Like working in building societies, and driving new cars.

The change is coming through the independent video game creators, the so-called home-brew developers, and the change had begun in the UK way before the Black Lives Matter movement gathered such momentum. Creative change always comes from the mavericks and rarely from the corporates. As for the people who play the games, next time you come across a racial stereotype you know what to do. Take a knee. To the groin of the writer, programmer and publisher.

The Death of Letitia, from Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

A Kiss from a Rose – Why the Rose is such a powerful symbol in the arts. By Sammie Venn.

Here at Jeeni.com we celebrate and support all musicians and performers, and poetry has its own dedicated channel for artists and performers to showcase their work and earn 100% of their sales, ticketing, merchandise and donations.

Last week Jeeni returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. We have been very encouraged with the positive response as we reached our target in just 6 days and now overfunding If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Today we showcase Sammie Venn as a very talented and creative writer.

The Rose has long been considered a symbol of the divine feminine; when my daughter and I moved to our home in East Sussex a few years ago we bought a “Coeur Rose”, a “Love Rose”, in hope that it would manifest exactly that. Consequently it has never flowered when it should, in fact it has blossomed during the oddest of times, throughout harsh frosty winters as well as scorching hot summers. I even found two perfectly formed flowers one New Year’s eve under a dusting of snow. Suffice to say I see it as a strong and firmly rooted plant that can spring to life in the most adverse conditions, In Tarot a rose is seen as a symbol of balance, it expresses new beginnings, hope and promise. I see our magical plant as something that has stood the test of time. It is full of boundless wisdom and copious richness, whilst her petals answer my prayers the thorns protect the splendour it bestows.

So why is the rose such a powerful motif in the arts? It appears as a mark of love, beauty and virtue within every creative genre. It is a recurring theme in ancient literature and features in the greatest love poems of our time. Christina Rossetti, William Blake, J.B. Yeats, Dorothy Parker, Rumi, Charles Bukowski all herald the rose in their prose as nature’s metaphorical flower of Love. Roses have symbolised God at work, the scent has been aligned to that of an angel and the Virgin Mary has also been called the “mystic rose”, “the rose without thorns”. Clearly its power as a plant is multifarious, from religious connotations to passionate exchanges, sincere friendship and spiritual holiness, the rose can mirror any human sentiment.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, the Goddess of Love. However they have also been used to communicate messages without words. It is not just Love that the rose represents but also confidentiality. The Latin term “sub rosa” translates as “under the rose” referring to the notion that something is told in secret. When a confidential matter was debated behind closed doors in Rome, the wild flower was placed outside to indicate that a private matter was being discussed.

It is not just literature that celebrates the rose, singer-song writers have immortalised the exquisite flower in their lyrics for centuries. Without doubt it is an iconic plant and holds a plethora of meanings depending on its colour. A crimson flower is for lovers, it signifies enduring and life-long passion. The velvety petals of a lilac bloom represent enchantment and love at first sight. A white rose reflects humility and innocence whilst a yellow bud expresses friendship and joy. Stems with pink flowers can be given to express gratitude, appreciation and admiration whilst those with an orange hue can portray enthusiasm and desire. Every mortal emotion can be aligned to this beautiful woody perennial. There are over 300 species and tens of thousands of cultivars, whether they are trailing, climbing or standing tall as shrubs, the rose comes armed with prickles and thorns making them strangely more beautiful in many ways. Leigh Bardugo in “The Language of Thorns” wrote that “Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns”. This seems like a perfect metaphor for the life we live.

From Bette Midler to Janis Joplin, form Poison to Westlife, the rose has featured as a powerful overture in many songs and genres. It has been idolised for both its natural beauty as well as its harsher, darker side.  Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”  was released in 1994 and again in 1995 when it appeared in the film “Batman Forever”. 25 years later it’s still a song that sends shivers down my spine, I can even hear it loud and clear in my head as I’m writing this article. But it’s the lyrics of Bette Midler that resonate like a thunder bolt to the heart. Harmony is not always achieved when everyone sings the same note. It is what lies between these musical tones that produces accord. The rhythm and rhyme that they ensue creates a melody that dances to its own beat and this verse from Midler’s “The Rose” does exactly that. The lyrics are haunting, rich, joyful, romantic, wild and intoxicating, just like the rose itself.

“When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose”
.

Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com