Following on from a rich and well-received flurry of singles over the last few months, New York-based singer and songwriter Jaclyn has now returned with her brand new self-titled EP.
Featuring the previously unveiled tracks 'Alive', 'Energy' and 'Sold My Soul', the frontwoman looks to channel a wide range of influences throughout her bright and sweeping new collection. Self-described as "Fiona Apple mixed with Camila Cabello, HEART with Elle King", her newest release breathes huge amounts of soul into her progressive pop aesthetic, giving her a distinct and recognisable sound right from the start.
So with her new release now out and about, we sat down with her to find out more about her background and what has inspired her most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The bass would definitely be the first instrument I fell in love with. Most of my childhood when I heard music my focus was more on the lyrics then anything else. It wasn’t until my middle school years when I heard Flea on the bass in a RHCP song that my world for music expanded. The bass was at the forefront and it moved me. I felt it pounding in my chest, and the funk that exhumed from the song made me want to move my body. It was contagious. It was freeing, it was funk!
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Inspiration changes all the time for me, but I’ve always had the same goal that I was trying to achieve. I wanted people to feel, and relate with the lyrics. As if I wrote it just for them. I’ve been always trying to say something meaningful without it being “corny”. Its easy to write a love song or a heartbreak song, those emotions are at the forefront of all our lives, we all feel that. What I want to tap deeper into is who we are as people and why we do the things we do and why we feel the things we do. I want people to come to my live shows and not forget about their problems but try to find the root of them.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
My teenage years...oh boy. I was an emo kid/scene kid. If you know, you are a real one. From 06 to 08 I had a love for Rise Against, Brand New, Say Anything, Blink 182, and of course my chemical romance. I went from listening to z100 top 100 to finding this unique music you would never hear on radio. And if fed my antsy teenage self. When high school came around gears shifted again I fell in love with the 50’s, 60’s and 70s era. Especially bluesy soul. Artist like Etta James, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and of course Billie Holiday. It just sounded real, no phony stuff they were singing with their souls.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
For as a long as I can remember I wrote. It was the one constant thing in my life. I don’t think there was a song per se that made me do that. I remember being like five years old and having an old Barbie notebook and writing songs about friendship, princesses, and still boys. I wish I could find that notebook. It was never a question of if but how.
When you wake up in the morning, what kind of music do you like to listen to?
In the morning it depends on my mood, I finally got a record player and have been collecting records. Sometimes I just close my eyes and let my hands pick. The other day it was meatloaf, and I was listening to Bat out Of Hell at 9 in the morning, definitely woke me right up.
How many of your songs have you written about people in your life?
At least half the songs I have ever written are about other people in my life. Whether it was a direct experience, or something someone close to me experienced. The best songs come from experience, and what better way to relate to people then feelings like you are less alone. Lately my songs aren’t about direct people but us as a whole. Us as people. Trying to move away from my personal tragedies and thinking about the tragedies we all face as people in our everyday life.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I don’t think I have had the most memorable moment in my career yet, and that drives me to keep searching for it. I just am starting out, and I spent my life trying to figure out what the right way is to “make it” but there isn’t a right way. Everyone has a different path to get there, you can take advice from other people but at the end of the day its your own journey and I’m excited to see where it takes me.
Outside of music, what is your biggest passion?
I never really felt like I was good at anything. I think a lot of people feel that way. A lot of people aren’t born with a fiery passion but it finds them along the way. Or sometimes we settle for comfort and that’s okay. Writing and music are hand in hand for me as a passion. Besides that; I wouldn’t call it a passion but something I enjoy doing on weekends is going thrifting. I love finding cool and unique pieces from the past and incorporating them with my modern clothing. When I get my use out of them I like to sell them, and give them new life. I feel like when I put on a jacket (I am obsessed with jackets) from the 60’s or 70’s I feel the energy in the fibers. It makes me feel different. Not good not bad just different.
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
If I didn’t pursue music, I would have definitely tried to be around it as a career. Whether that was working for an indie label, or doing music marketing, or even A&R. I knew I needed the goal to be surrounded by music.
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
Trust your gut, it never will steer you wrong. That feeling in the pit of your stomach is there to guide you. Find a team, one or two people who truly believe in your vision. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and drop the ones that don’t. Don’t give up when things feel like they aren’t happening, stick to it. Do it because you love it, and wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. Find yourself like-minded individuals who will help you feel less crazy. Don’t listen to your parents.
Jaclyn's new self-titled EP is available to stream and download now. Check out the official video for the single 'Alive' in the player below.