Hope you are in good spirits despite these troubled times. It has been a while since I posted a feature or interview but I just needed some time to reboot; think about what really motivates me, focus on personal priorities and wait to be in the right headspace for me to be creative again.
Without further ado I proudly present my first Artist Spotlight of 2021: Jessica Lynn. Before you continue reading this blog entry and mini Q&A, I would like you to watch this Youtube video first…
… Are you back? Can you feel the/her fire?
My first thought after scrolling through her profiles on different platforms, watching her videos and listening to her tracks is that she is somewhat of a force of nature.
Not only do I really dig her music, I admire her humility, passion, hard work but also her achievements. She has a massive social media presence, reaching over 14 million (!) people a month on Facebook alone. It’s not just that. It is way more. A couple of key facts – taken from her biography – after which I was in awe straight away:
- The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs made her an elite member of the American Music Abroad program.
- In the wake of Covid-19 her living room concert special titled, “At Home with Jessica Lynn” began airing nationwide on Public Television in the fall of 2020. In addition, due to the pandemic and Jessica turning all of her “touring” online, her concerts have charted every single week on Pollstar‘s livestream chart and landed her a Top 40 spot in their Top 100 list of Livestreamers of 2020.
- Jessica’s powerful voice and fierce stage presence showcase the multi-faceted singer/songwriter’s instrumental talents playing piano, guitar, harmonica, and the drums.
- Sustaining a country music tradition, Jessica is joined on stage by her family, with her dad on bass, mom on background vocals, and husband on lead guitar. Her high-energy and dynamic performances have garnered rave reviews from critics worldwide.
After reading all this one might think that she has become some kind of diva with an attitude, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In the last few days she took the time to comment on my Instagram post the same day I made her single “Love Me That Way” my Record Of The Day. On top of that, she took time from her busy schedule to answer my questions.
I hope that you will be able to see how great Jessica Lynn really is and that this little article will want you to explore more!
Enjoy and take care.
15 January 2021
How did the pandemic / quarantine affect you as an artist? Were there any challenges?
“There have been so many challenges having my world tour cancelled and not being able to perform. Right away, instead of letting this get me down, I used it as fuel for my fire. We purchased new lighting and cameras and gear to help us still make our music at home and focused on livestreaming and creating content. It has been very difficult continuing to be creative and constantly come up with new ideas, but it has also been fun. I like a challenge!”
When you are touring, you are with your family. Does that create any tensions sometimes and / or does that make the ties even stronger?
“It definitely makes the ties stronger. My family has a very special bond that is extremely unique traveling around the world together and experiencing so many adventures. The rest of the band as well has been with me for 9 years so they are just as much family as everyone else.”
In 2020 you were chosen out of hundreds of bands across the United States to be an elite member of the American Music Abroad program. How did that feel and what does it entail?
“I am extremely proud to have been selected by the United States government to represent my country in bringing American music and culture to countries and locations that otherwise would not have had access. I will be traveling around the world performing, not just playing large concerts and festivals, but also doing a lot of community outreach with the American Music Abroad program.”
“New York is where I grew up! I was born in Brooklyn and raised about one hour north of NYC which is where I still reside. I think being from New York has significantly impacted the music I make being that I grew up on such a variety of artists and sounds. My influences range from The Beach Boys to Neil Diamond, Shania Twain, No Doubt, Phil Vassar and The Temptations!”
You have turned into the ‘online’ touring with living room concerts that charted in the Top 100 livestreamers of 2020. That must be such a rewarding and exciting thing to keep doing, bringing people together during these hard times. Were you always comfortable to do these online events?
“I was so shocked and excited to see that! I couldn’t believe I made the Top 40 of the year. It really made me feel like all my hard work and effort had been worth it. I was SO nervous in the beginning to do livestreams! You are so exposed and it is very bizarre not having any audience reaction but I have truly learned to love it and its intimacy!”
According to your bio, you reach 14 million people on Facebook alone every month, what is your secret to that success?
“My secret to success is not such a secret! It is to always work hard and never take no for an answer and to believe in yourself indefinitely while always remaining a nice person.”
Your music is genuine, heartfelt and so brutally beautiful. What is the songwriting process like?
“Thank you so much! I appreciate that so much. My songwriting process is to have no process! I honestly just sit down when it feels right and I let my heart speak for me. I try to think as little as possible during songwriting.”
Your World Tour in supposed to start in May 2021 in the UK – now with Covid I guess you will have to reschedule. Are you thinking of organising a “World Tour At Home” perhaps as an alternative?
“We are hoping to still proceed with the tour but only time will tell. Regardless, I will definitely continue to put out a variety of livestreams and content!“
What message do you want to get to your fans at the moment?
“Thank you all so much for everything you do and for how much you believe in me. Your love has truly kept me going during this very trying time. I appreciate you more than you will ever know. ”