A Conversation with Jessica Lynn

(Photo courtesy of HyPR Media)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome Jessica Lynn to Jake’s Take.

Born and raised in New York City, Jessica Lynn was raised in a musical family who encouraged her passion for music.  At 13-years-old, Jessica Lynn started writing songs and formed bands.  Eight years later, Ms. Lynn decided to pursue a career in as a solo country music artist.   Her career skyrocketed in 2014 after PBS aired her full-length television special: This Much Fun-Live from the Winery at Saint George.

After the PBS special, Jessica Lynn shared the stage with country music heavyweights such as Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Clint Black, Montgomery Gentry, and Jo Dee Messina.  Also, Jessica Lynn just got back from a massive European tour that included stops in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. Also, while Jessica Lynn was in Europe, she opened up for several concerts for rock icons ZZ Top.

Earlier this summer, Ms. Lynn released her latest single, “Crazy Idea,” which was a teaser for her upcoming EP, Look At Me That Way, which is scheduled to drop on September 1. Jessica Lynn will also return to the road for her fourth US tour later this fall.

In this edition of A Conversation, Jessica Lynn talked about overcoming the obstacles breaking into the music industry, shared her dream collaborators, and opening for the legendary Loretta Lynn.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in country music? How did that passion evolve into a desire to work in the music industry?

Jessica Lynn: When I was a child, my dad always had country music playing in the house. I vividly remember singing and dancing to Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” and always hearing George Strait on our home stereo. I became genuinely interested in country music when I started writing my songs. The stories told by country music are so unlike any other genre, and that was intriguing to me as I began to put my music and lyrics together.  I just always had such a passion for music that I could never picture doing anything else, so I guess I can’t say that my love evolved into an interest to work in the music business, but rather it just seemed to be the natural course and path.

JE: Could you describe your songwriting to my readers?  

JL: When I write my songs, I hear the entire thing completed in my head as I go. So usually a particular phrase or melody will pop into my head, and then the song pretty much writes itself from there. All I need is that single spark of inspiration to set the whole chain in motion and everything comes to me at once: music, lyrics, melody, et cetera.  I go into a very focused state, and usually, I write relatively quickly because of it.  My songs are also always about my life and my experiences, and I often say that listening to my music is like reading my diary!

 

(Photo courtesy of HyPR Media)

JE: Recently, you returned from your European tour. What were some of your favorite highlights from the tour? 

JL: This is a tough question to answer because I’ve had such an incredible time at every single stop and have met such wonderful people along the way.  Opening for ZZ Top in France was very memorable because I am such a big fan, The Ramblin’ Man Fair in the UK was an entertaining festival filled with a ton of great bands and a vivacious crowd, and I would truly have to say that each performance brought something unique and special to my trip and I did love them all equally.

JE: What are some of the challenges that you have faced throughout your career? How did you overcome them?

JL: I have faced many more challenges than not, trying to navigate this business, but I do feel like all of those challenges are what made me who I am today and appreciate my accomplishments because I have worked so hard for them.  I have faced challenges like trusting people and having people take advantage of me, not being taken seriously in country music because I’m from New York and not Nashville or the South, self-doubt, and insecurities in regards to making music, and also dealing with all of the challenges of touring, funding all of my own ventures, and keeping my career moving as an entirely independent artist.

I overcame these challenges by simply having faith and belief in myself and my abilities.  If you love what you do and you are truly passionate, you will always find the courage to muster up the strength to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going. It is also very important to use any negativity as fuel for your fire. Whenever someone tries to put a dark cloud over my sunny day, I use it to make myself work even harder rather than get discouraged.

JE: You have had the opportunity to open for the legendary Loretta Lynn. What were some of the lessons that you learned from the Queen of Country Music?

JL: That day was an honor for me. I have learned so much about performing and life by being lucky enough to share stages with so many great acts. I do find that you learn more about what “not” to do than what to do if that makes sense. When you see a star being kind and generous (like Loretta) and see how appreciative everyone around them and the fans are of it, it makes such a positive and inspiring impression on you. The same goes for the other way around. When you see certain behaviors or attitudes and see how horrible it looks and how saddening it can be for so many people that look up to them, it teaches you a valuable lesson in humility and graciousness.  One that I am very thankful for.

JE: Which singers, songwriters, and producers are on your short list of dream collaborators? 

JL: Being a huge Shania Twain fan, Mutt Lange would be a dream collaboration. He is just such a genius in the studio.  I would love to write some music with Phil Vassar and Richard Marx, who are two of my songwriting idols, and I would love the opportunity to sing with Neil Diamond! He is one of my favorite singer-songwriters of all time.

JE: If you had the chance to meet with aspiring musicians who want to work in the music industry, what advice would you share with them?

JL: I would tell them to always follow their heart and their gut. Navigating the music business can be a terrifying and depressing journey, but if you believe in yourself and always do the RIGHT thing by other people and do what you feel is right for you, you will be successful. There are so many nay-sayers and harmful energies that will try to bring you down and make you feel less about yourself and your abilities, but you must always keep your head high and push on.  If you are passionate about what you do and stay determined to chase your dreams, you can accomplish whatever you want in life.

You can follow Jessica Lynn’s adventures on social media. Visit her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube channels.  

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar