Jillian Jacqueline Talks Songwriting and Performing at ASCAP Music Cafe

We had an opportunity to interview country music artist Jillian Jacqueline at the ASCAP Music Cafe during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Jillian Jacqueline is a music artist who recently performed her debut single “Reasons” on Seth Meyers.

Jillian Jacqueline: “Yes, so CMA and ASCAP team up and just create a really, really cool, eclectic lineup of different singer-songwriters, artists who they think will represent TV, film, Country and all the different genres that ASCAP works with and just kind of bring us all together. Luckily, all of us today, know each other a little bit. You know, in Nashville it is a tight knit community. That definitely lends itself to a really interesting round, because we can all talk about each others music and being fans of each other. So I think CMA and ASCAP wants it to feel like the audience is getting a look into our community and how we write together and where the song inspiration comes from.”

How did you become interested in music and when did you know you wanted to pursue music professionally?

Well, for me it was sort of.. It happened when I was very young, I started singing when I was seven years old and my parents were very supportive, so luckily, I got sort of pulled out of school very soon and started to auditioning for Broadway shows and my parents home schooled my sisters and I and it was like a childhood dream and I kept going with it.

I took four years off for college, but for the most part, I just kind of knew that’s what I wanted to do and I think I have my parents to thank for being so encouraging and supportive and I was always surrounded by people who believed in what I did.

We were in a four sister family band for most of my childhood. And we just grew up, driving around in a minivan playing festivals and fairs and wherever we could, and we came to Nashville a bunch as a kid and thats where I learned harmony and we started writing together very young, so that was my initial experience of being an artist. And then I kicked them out and did my own solo thing (Jillian laughs).

What are some challenges you have faced as a music artist and a songwriter?

“For me, I think, probably the biggest challenge was in the beginning when I was writing songs and I just wanted to write songs 24/7 but not wanting to sign a publishing deal essentially at first. I was waitressing and bartending a lot and that felt super frustrating to not have the time to dive in to writing the way I wanted to. But I think it just came down to finding the right publishing company that really understood who I am and what I do. Once I got to sign with them, all these doors started opening. So, I think the challenge was just having patience to wait for the right fit to come along.”

Tell us more about your debut single “Reasons”

So, my debut single is called “Reasons” and it just went for ads for radio on Monday. Super stoked about that! This song is very autobiographical. I wrote it right before I signed my record deal and it’s really a tell-all about something I went through in my relationship. You know, how sometimes we stay a little too long, when we should leave a relationship.

Tell us more about your producer. Topher Brown

My producer is Topher Brown. He and I have worked together for six years in Nashville now and we are best friends. And I think that relationship, that closeness really lends to us doing what we do together. We can basically say anything together in the studio and not get mad at each other. I appreciate that level of transparency, because I think sometimes you have to be extremely honest to get what you want out of a record.

What is your process for writing a song?

It changes all the time. Mostly, it starts with a title or a seed of an idea and I’ll write it down somewhere in my phone or on a piece of paper. My producer and I are very, very close so usually he and I get in the room first and we will start hatching out melodies and different musical ideas to go with the title and then maybe a third person will come in or maybe not and we usually try to be simultaneously working on the melodies while also working on the lyrics so it’s all a cohesive thing.

Jacqueline Jillian will be on the road, touring throughout the first part of 2018. Be sure to check her performance in your town!

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