Exclusive Interview: Jessica Lynn – Not Your Woman, But a Woman Worth Knowing

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Jessica Lynn is a New York born and raised country girl with a northern flare and a southern charm. Perhaps it is that magnetic dichotomy that immediately drew me to this artist who struck me as someone who could not only win over a wide array of music lovers, but could also become a longtime personal friend.

With such a special light about her and a contagious energy that can radiate through a phone and boost one’s spirits, it came as no surprise that Jessica is a born performer and was raised by others with the same gifts.

Even though my dad’s a retired New York City cop, my mom was always a wedding singer and my dad always played music. He played in bands growing up and then actually turned to composing when he was older and had the Number 2 concert special on PBS. The style of music is kind of like world music, like Yanni, so I just always always grew up with it in the house; and I remember as a little girl watching my mom come home in these beautiful gowns from doing these events and things, and just remember “ah! That’s what I want to do.”

And though she hails from New York, this country girl’s roots are deeply planted, especially considering the music with which her dad flooded her childhood home.

My dad was a really big country music fan, so I grew up with George Strait in the house and Glen Campbell, and I turned to songwriting when I was a young teenager and there’s no songs like songs that are in country music, so I was just really drawn to the genre because of that. And country music touches your heart and soul like nothing else, I think, so I always loved it.

Jessica wasn’t just raised on the country greats; she was raised on music as an overall encompassing genre. The variety of artists her parents played and the amount of exposure she had to different styles and sounds have strongly influenced her personal artistry and musicianship.

I have a very eclectic group of influences. Shania Twain is definitely my Number 1. . . . She’s pop, rock, there’s even these techno synth sounds in her songs. I just thought it was so cool and how versatile she was. I grew up listening to her. The Beach Boys are a huge influence on me, and my music is very harmony heavy now and that’s credited to them. I’m actually a huge Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond fan (laughs). They’re just such good singer-songwriters and I grew up studying them and listening to them. Richard Marx I’m a huge fan of, who is now a big Nashville songwriter. And No Doubt! When I saw Gwen Stefani perform as a young girl, I loved her energy and just how crazy she was on stage and so not inhibited. She was a huge influence on me, as well.

Sidebar: When Jessica said “Neil Diamond“, I am pretty sure angels got their wings and our newfound friendship wholly developed.

Considering the diverse pool of influences Jessica draws from, it seems that it would be somewhat difficult to compartmentalize the styles in order to create her own fusion-type of sound. However, the genetically blessed musician has figured out a way to use the abundance of approaches quite simply.

I kind of hear things totally completed in my head every step of the way through. So, when I’m singing a line for example, I’ll hear these harmonies behind it, and that’s like my inner Beach Boy coming out. So, I’ll like make these demos up for the band right when I’m done writing and I’ll put all these pieces that I’m hearing and send it out, and everybody gets to put their own special sparkle on their parts. It comes out that way and my brain is just kind of one big melting pot and it just spits my music out with all those different influences combined.

Luckily for country music fans, Jessica isn’t just an extremely talented artist; she is an exceptionally hard worker. It is her strong-willed tenacity that has placed her on stages in front of thousands, opening for the likes of Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Sammy Kershaw, Clint Black, Montgomery Gentry, Keith Urban, and Jo Dee Messina.

While Jessica’s music could easily score her spots in impressive lineups, the hilarious and headstrong singer-songwriter credits her relentlessness for these experiences.

I’m probably dedicated and driven to a fault at times. I pretty much will just work around the clock to accomplish whatever I set out to do, and I knew that two years ago I wanted to start, once my first television special hit the air, I said I wanted to do a huge national tour. So, literally, I just started applying to every single thing that I could find across the country and we got calls back. It took a lot of work. How I got answers to some of these e-mails, like a total random cold call thing (laughs), I have no idea to this day. But, we put a lot of pride and effort into the package we put together.

Part of the package Jessica sends out to shows and festivals is a song called “Not Your Woman“, a video for which will be released this Sunday, February 14th. The tune is one that Jessica wrote in about fifteen minutes and has been performing out for awhile, noting that fans approach her in droves to find out where they can get their hands on the ode to female empowerment. Considering the high demand Jessica has been faced with, she decided to make an official single release at a time when country music could use some more girl power.

As a woman listener of country radio . . . I find myself just yearning for something to listen to that spikes that feminine sass in me while I’m driving down the highway. It’s been frustrating for me. I’m like, you know, I have to kind of fill that void right now with this song. So, I’m really excited to release it. It’s a mix of rock, blues, country, everything that I love. It’s a girl power song and it’s my first official music video, which we worked really, really hard on.

With the official release of “Not Your Woman” and its corresponding music video taking place this Valentine’s Day weekend, Jessica will likely have her plate full; but the animal lover isn’t going to miss an opportunity to give back while moving forward. Jessica will be traveling down to Tampa, Florida for the March 19th You Must Love Dogs Festival to open for iconic and, likewise, strong country female Jo Dee Messina. The two have shared the stage in the past and the festival is bringing the northeastern born and raised spitfires to Florida to perform for a great cause.

Benefiting the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Florida, Jessica didn’t skip a beat before signing on to take the stage and reunite with Jo Dee, explaining her lifelong love for our furry friends.

Animals are one of my biggest passions in life. I’ve been a vegetarian nine years now. I grew up, every single weekend, my mom, my sister, and I would volunteer at a local shelter and walk all the dogs. I used to do fundraisers for the animal shelter. I always, always loved animals. . . . It was just right up my alley. I could not wait to do it.

Those who attend the You Must Love Dogs Festival in Tampa can expect a fun, high-energy show from Jessica and her eight-man band — a group she says is like a family. Jessica prides herself on the fact that the close-knit relationships the entire band has with one another are easily translated into the show and obviously present on the stage.

It’s a very rare situation what we have going on and you see that on stage. And we have lots of choreography and crowd interaction, and festivals are just perfect for us because our show is kind of very big and larger than life and festivals have so much energy and there’s always so many people. It’s all the best and such a good cause too. I’m really excited for that.

Aside from the Tampa festival, Jessica has a few dates set in the near future (including opening for Phil Vassar this Friday), but the main focus right now is finishing and releasing her debut studio EP. Once the album is signed, sealed, and delivered, Jessica will then head out on a third national tour and cross the pond for her first international tour.

After speaking with Jessica (and texting/tweeting with her incessantly for days), I can wholeheartedly state that this talented, kind, funny, hard-working artist is one I am cheering for from the stands and one I intend on lending my support to every step of the way. NashvilleGab will be covering the You Must Love Dogs Festival in Tampa on March 19th and will bring our readers LIVE footage of all the artists, including Jessica Lynn — someone who has found a safe haven of coverage right here on this website.

To follow Jessica Lynn and receive updates on her music, video, tour, and more, check out her official website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. And, make sure to keep your eyes here on NashvilleGab this weekend to see Jessica Lynn’s debut music video “Not Your Woman”!

For more information on the You Must Love Dogs Festival, visit the event’s official website and follow along on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets are still available for the full-day party at Raymond James Stadium, and we would love to meet you there. Let YMLDF and NashvilleGab know if you plan to attend so we can say hello and snap some pictures!

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