We’re pretty lucky here at PEV in that we get to say this way more often than we ever expected…but once again, we have found ourselves interviewing a singer/songwriter on the very cusp of super-duper stardom – this time with a country singer hailing from north of the Macy Dixie, all the way up in New York. We’re talking about the one and only Jessica Lynn, who utilizes an eclectic palette of influences to craft her upbeat brand of country rock n’ pop. She began building up her skill set before she was even a teenager, landing her first gig at the age of 13 at the Paramount Theatre Hudson Valley. Oddly enough, she wound up filming her second television special for PBS there 10 years later (Jessica Lynn – Takin’ Over – Live from The Paramount).
Lynn has shared stages with the likes of Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Clint Black, gone on tour with Jo Dee Messina, and even opened for the Queen herself, Mrs. Loretta Lynn. Like we said, this powerhouse vocalist is on the thinnest of cusps to rocketing off to international notoriety. A song that’s helping her get there is the single, “Crazy Idea”, off of her EP, Look at Me That Way. It’s a fantastic introduction to what Jessica brings to the table, and we couldn’t wait to ask her all about it. She told us, “Fans can expect a new flavor and dimension of my music with Look At Me That Way. Being that it was produced and co-written in Belgium, it has a European flair that is mixed with my current sound for an interesting new take on modern country music. We worked so hard on these tracks and I am really proud to share them with everyone. The writing process was surprisingly easy. When I first met the team and wrote the first song with them to see how we liked working together, it was instant chemistry. The songs just flowed out and it was clear right from the start that we were a great fit professionally and personally. It was an incredible experience.” Click to https://jessicalynnmusic.org/ to get into Look At Me That Way, and while you’re visiting, certainly check out Lynn’s upcoming tour schedule – she’ll be kicking off full blast in the New Year, and with three national tours and a tour across five European countries under her belt, it’s a show you just can’t miss. Now, keep reading! There’s still so much more to learn in all the answers to the XXQs below.
XXQs: Jessica Lynn
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?
Jessica Lynn (JL): I think the best way to describe my sound would be a “melting pot.” With so many different and varied musical inspirations growing up, my music is not only country, but rock, blues, pop, soul, etc. I always loved all styles of music and they are all a piece of who I have become as an artist. I think being from New York and not Nashville or down south has made me different for sure within the country music genre. I have a different flair to just my overall style and approach to the music. I think it is always a good thing to be different :).
PEV: Born and raised in New York in a musical family and the daughter of a New Age composer father, what kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
JL: I was always into so many different styles of music. I grew up with my parents playing everything from George Strait to The Beach Boys, to Beethoven. My personal favorites were the great singer songwriters like Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, and Phil Vassar. I was also a very big Shania Twain fan. My first concert was Richard Marx who I still love!
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started? What was your first show like?
JL: It was pretty difficult trying to break in to the music scene when I first started because I was underage! I began performing in my first band at 13 years old so it was not easy getting the venues to allow me to play. My parents were driving me to Manhattan all the time (even on school nights) to perform and were always so supportive. My first show at 13 years old was actually at The Paramount Theatre Hudson Valley in a battle of the bands where I wound up filming my second television special for PBS 10 years later. Full circle :).
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Jessica Lynn show?
JL: They can expect a ton of fun and energy. I am a big believer that a live show should actually be a “show.” If I wanted to just hear music I could sit at home and listen to a CD. We have such a good time on stage and enjoy what we do so much and I think that is really relayed to the audience.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?
JL: Every time when I step on stage I try to just focus on the show and be in the moment. There are so many stressors while touring and I leave that all behind and just enjoy myself and have fun.
PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?
JL: The best part about being on stage in front of an audience is seeing how my music can connect with people all over the world. As a songwriter…that is an amazing thing. When you see people reacting positively to what you have put your heart and soul into, it is very special.
PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music?
JL: My life is the inspiration for the music. I have a story behind every song and when you hear the lyrics, you are truly reading my diary.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
JL: I get very emotional when I think about my journey. I have worked so hard to get where I am now that I am really happy for all of the experiences (good and bad) because they have made me incredibly grateful when success comes. If it was easy I definitely would not appreciate everything like I do.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?
JL: You would probably be surprised to hear that I have a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Adolescent Education and a Master’s degree in Special Education. I love working with kids!
PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?
JL: I am not good at forcing songs to come. I really need to feel inspired by something to write so sometimes I will get writer’s block but then shortly after, I will feel a certain way, or something will happen and a ton of songs will flow out. Patience is key! To help me get over it, I will often listen to music I love for inspiration or call on memories that mean something to me.
PEV: How do you think the industry has changed since you first started out?
JL: The music business has changed A LOT. Everything is digital now: downloads, streaming, etc. It was not this way when I started and now so much of music discovery happens on the internet. It does however make it somewhat easier for indie artists like me to get out there.
PEV: What can fans expect from your three-track EP entitled Look at Me That Way? What was the writing process like for this work?
JL: Fans can expect a new flavor and dimension of my music with Look At Me That Way. Being that it was produced and co-written in Belgium, it has a European flair that is mixed with my current sound for an interesting new take on modern country music. We worked so hard on these tracks and I am really proud to share them with everyone. The writing process was surprisingly easy. When I first met the team and wrote the first song with them to see how we liked working together, it was instant chemistry. The songs just flowed out and it was clear right from the start that we were a great fit professionally and personally. It was an incredible experience.
PEV: With three US national tours and a 19-show tour across five European countries, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play at you have not yet?
JL: I would love to go to Japan! I have a few friends that have traveled there recently and all raved about the food and culture.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?
JL: Well, interestingly enough, my family is in the band. My mother is my background singer, my husband is the lead guitarist, and my dad is the bass player, so it means so much that we get to share all of these experiences together. My friends have been so incredibly supportive, coming to shows, helping me ship out merchandise…it has meant so much.
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
JL: If I’m not playing or writing music, I’m either exercising, or working behind the scenes on the music. It is so important as a growing artist that you constantly keep working and striving to get better to further your career and reach your dreams!
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?
JL: I would LOVE to collaborate with Neil Diamond. He has one of my favorite voices in all of music and I have always been a very big fan. His songwriting and voice are just so honest. Past, Elvis Presley. He made such a massive mark on the music business and is such an iconic figure that it would have been such an honor to work with him.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
JL: I recently discovered online a modern girl group that is so extremely talented, beautiful, and retro in the most awesome way possible. The Womack Sisters. Check them out!
PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what would you do for a career?
JL: I would definitely be a teacher. I love working with kids and teaching is very similar to music in many ways, where you have to captivate an audience. I find that so interesting. And, you can really make a difference in the lives of people with teaching like you can with music.
PEV: So, what is next for Jessica Lynn?
JL: I’m taking a quick break to recharge after months on the road and I also hope to get a record deal soon!
For more information, click to https://jessicalynnmusic.org/.