Interview: Jessica Lynn

Country-crossover artist Jessica Lynn has just released a special, fan-shot footage music video for her track ‘Love Me That Way’, so now seemed the perfect time to chat with Jessica about the video, what it means to be a native New Yorker and play Madison Square Garden, as well as what regional accent caused the most issues on her last UK tour…

There is only one place where we can start, and that’s with the recent American Presidential election! How are you feeling after the longest count known to man?! Are you feeling hopeful for the future? Or fearful?

I feel hopeful. Regardless of who the winner is, every American should want our country to succeed and approach the topic with positivity. I always say, when people want the President to fail, it’s like hoping a Captain sinks the ship with all of us on it.

There is great debate at the minute about whether or not musicians should use their platform to talk about political issues, some for and some against. Music has always been a form of protest, surely an artist has just as much right as the next person to offer an opinion? Or should they “just stick to the music”?

I think that everyone has a right to do what they feel comfortable with. Me, as a performer, I like to stick to music. I don’t believe that my political opinion has a place in the music I make.

New York played a major role in the election, there really is no place quite like New York is there?! What’s your favorite thing about being a New Yorker? Plus, how much of a kick was it performing the national anthem at Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden was always on my bucket list as a New Yorker and there was such a magical feeling to actually get to do it. I still have a hard time believing it actually happened! My favorite thing about being a New Yorker is my work ethic. I definitely have that go go go New York mentality that gets applied to everything I do and I think it’s really helped me to accomplish my goals.

Onto your musical background, how long have you been performing? How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!

I’ve been performing professionally since I was only 13 years old when I started my first band. I always knew from a very young age that music was what I wanted to do with my life and that feeling got enhanced 10-fold after my very first show. It was amazing. I was totally hooked.

What should people expect when they check you out? How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as unique. People should expect to hear country music but with a heavy twist into rock n’ roll, pop, the blues, and soul. I would describe myself as being honest and genuine in the music I make and not trying to be like anyone else. My live show and music is also very high energy.

The new video ‘Love Me That Way’ seems very personal, where did the idea come from to involve your fans with it?

I was thinking about a concept for a traditional style music video and nothing just felt right to me. I started thinking about why it didn’t feel right and realized that I needed to do something more suited for the times. My fans have been so incredible to me throughout this pandemic and I wanted to give back to them in a really cool way.

When you performed in the UK for the first time you would have had to contend with numerous regional accents, which one caused the most problems?!

Haha This actually made me laugh out loud! Glasgow!! Liverpool is a close second.

How did the show with ZZ Top come about? And, what did you take from the experience?

They reached out to us for the show unexpectedly which really blew me away. I am such a big fan and it was a dream come true. I always learn from watching ZZ Top because what they do on stage is so effortless. They are so cool without even trying. That really resonates with me.

There is a massive crossover appeal between Country, Rock, and Blues in the UK and Europe at the minute, Ramblin’ Man Fair for instance has a Country stage, then there are bands such as The Cadillac Three and The Brothers Osborne playing Download Festival. Why do you think they go so well together?

I think they go so well together because country music really does have a foundation of rock and blues. I think that’s what drew it to me in the first place. Look at artists even like Elvis. A major crossover act within those three genres. They are all intertwined and all are REAL music with REAL instruments and stories.

Country music is a bastion for killer guitar players; Glen Campbell for one, and both Brad Paisley and Keith Urban can shred with the best of them, but who would you class as an underrated player?

That’s hard to say because there are so many amazing instrumentalists out there. I have to say that my favorite “undiscovered” guitarist is Steve Marks from the UK Country Group Gasoline & Matches. He is seriously incredible and can rival the best of the best in terms of tone, passion, and creativity with the instrument.

The burning question: Gibson or Fender? Or Both!?

I have to say Gibson’s have always been very heavy for me as a petite player. My go-to guitar for the last 6 years has been a D’Angelico.

As a multi-instrumentalist, which instrument was the hardest to master?

Lead Guitar. For me, music has always come so easy to me and lead guitar is just such a difficult skill to master that I get so frustrated trying to practice. That’s one of my goals for this year…to get better at lead.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a performer has to stand out from the others trying to build a name? For instance, you yourself are very active on social media, that must be crucial?

You stand out by just being yourself. There are a million copies upon copies or artists out there all trying to chase what is popular in the moment, but the way that you will really get ahead is by being different. In the beginning, I had a lot of doors closed in my face because I was so different, but then as time went on, it became my greatest asset. And yes, being active on your social media is an absolute must because it is the most organic way you can reach and build your fan base!

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

My last concert I attended as a fan was Mika.

What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?

I am really passionate about taking care of our children, animals, and our military.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

Bread – The Greatest Hits

Your plans for the remainder of 2020 seem to involve a great deal of activity around the holiday season, what can you tell us about your Christmas single and your Christmas concert?

I really felt that no matter what 2020 threw at me that I had to just keep going. This holiday season was no different. The last 4 years I have done a massive Christmas concert voted one of the top things to do for the holidays in New York and I couldn’t let that tradition just fade away. Although it will be different this year I am so excited to keep the show alive and also really excited to release my Christmas single that really means a lot to me.

What are your plans for 2021? Apart from crossing everything that COVID vanishes!?

My plans are to continue business as usual. My world tour is already in place for May – October of next year and I am staying positive that all will go as planned. 

The Lone Rider UK Tour Dates 2021
May 4: Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
May 5: The Waterfront, Norwich
May 6: St Pancras Old Church, London
May 7: Bodega, Nottingham
May 8: Patti Pavilion, Swansea
May 9: The Cluny 2, Newcastle
May 11: Drummonds, Aberdeen
May 12: The Glad Café, Glasgow
May 13: The Waterloo, Blackpool
May 14: The Blue Note, Derby
May 15: Gullivers, Manchester
May 16: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
May 18: The 1865, Southampton
May 19: The Dancing Dog, Sittingbourne

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Interview: Dave

Live photo credit – Scott Vincent


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