Top Country Spotlight: Jillian Jacqueline

If you haven’t heard of Jillian Jacqueline until now, you can thank us later. From her raw and honest music to her down to earth personality, Jillian is on track to take country music by storm. While she was on tour with Dwight Yoakam in Toronto, we had the chance to sit down with the future country star. Jillian Jacqueline shared her favourite thing about Canada, talked about her new singe ‘God Bless This Mess’ and more.

TC: What was your first reaction when you were told that you would be opening for Dwight Yoakam?

JJ: Surreal, I was kinda freakin’ out cause he’s such a legend and he has this very mysterious quality. I grew up listening to him so I was like what’s it gonna be like, you know? The shows have been so much fun, his audiences are huge Dwight Yoakam, like die hard, fans…He’s so authentic, he’s never changed, he wears the same jeans, the same hat, he sounds the same. It’s really cool to watch his show live, so it’s been a blast.

TC: I’m sure it’s been super inspiring being on the road with him.

JJ: Oh my gosh so inspiring, anybody that’s had a career for that long you have to think they’re doing something right.

TC: Let’s talk about your new single, ‘God Bless This Mess’.

JJ: It’s been really special. This song was one that I wasn’t even sure was gonna be on my record. So the fact that we got to put it out as song number four is really special because the song is honestly the most universal sort of perspective that I have.

I wrote it with my producer and one of my favourite songwriters, Lori McKenna. I just feel like we captured a really cool anthemic way of saying…whatever you’re going through, it will get better, just hang in there… Those kind of songs are sometimes hard, they can be preachy. I feel like Lorri helped us really find the right perspective to say what we needed to say.

I know that when I play the song now it’s very emotional for me because I wasn’t gonna put it on the record. I didn’t identify with it…but now when I play it live, it’s the most honest thing and I can feel it resonating with people in the crowd.

TC: What’s one thing that people just discovering your music would be surprised to know about you?

JJ: Well, I’m not from the south and I’m not country at all, so probably that I lived in New York City for several years and I was in a four sister family band. I have three sisters and we all grew up playing instruments, writing songs and travelling the country [while] we were homeschooled, so that’s a little bit unusual. I think homeschoolers get a bad rep but it was a really cool childhood…if we were learning about the Grand Canyon, we would drive to the Grand Canyon and see it. Whatever it was, it was very hands-on-learning and it allowed me, as a kid, to really delve into music full time. I’ve always been doing this. It wasn’t just a split second decision, from the minute I was seven, I was doing it.

TC: Your dreams would come true if…

JJ: My dreams would come true if I win a Grammy. I mean, you can’t deny that that’s one of the best things to have as an artist.

TC: Had you ever been to Canada before?

JJ: I had been to [Montreal] because I toured with Kenny Rogers for five years as a kid doing Christmas shows… We came [to Canada] and played a show in Quebec, Montreal but we never came to Toronto and never came to London, which is where we were last night. [Toronto] feels like New York to me or LA… I was just really curious, there’s a lot of songwriters from Canada that moved to Nashville and they’ve talked a little bit about it. You know, the environment here and how people consume music. I definitely felt [that] in the show last night [with] the listeners. There were people in the crowd that knew some of the words to my songs… In Nashville, it’s a music industry town so you don’t get a lot of that. People were singing the words [in London, ON].

Top Country Favourites with Jillian Jacquline

You can listen to Jillian Jacqueline’s new single ‘God Bless This Mess’ on the  Top Country Discovery Songs Playlist‘.