So last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely, eighteen year old, country star new-comer, Jessie Chris, who just finished performing at the CMA Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, just four days after graduating from high school. I learned that she’s a hard-working, self-motived young lady who is on her way to having a lasting impact in the country music industry amongst young fans. I was so impressed by her work ethic and motivation for her future!
Q: How did it feel to perform at the CMAs for the first time?
JC: “It was a lot of fun, especially because it was my first time performing in Nashville!”
Q: And you sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park not too long ago. Do you ever get nervous in front of large crowds like that?
JC: “I did perform there! I feel like with bigger crowds, it’s less nerve wracking than performing for smaller crowds because then you’re less focused on a particular person or how one individual is going to react rather than when you’re performing for bigger crowds, where you don’t start to focus on the people individually, but a collected group. So, it makes me less nervous because you know that not everyone is going to like you, so it’s nice not being able to focus on them.”
Q: I haven’t seen a date yet, so can you tell us what date your album, Wildfire, will be out this summer?
JC: “I actually haven’t released a date yet, but we are thinking it may be out early July, so I’m really excited for that!”
Q: Do you think you’ll be filming another music video anytime soon?
JC: “If I had the time and production to, I would definitely film another one in a heartbeat, but right now, I’m really satisfied with my last one [for Chameleon]. I think it’s amazing how my entire high school supported me in making that music video happen and I couldn’t thank them enough for being so supportive.”
Q: You just turned 18 and you graduated high school, two really important things that a lot of young artists don’t get the chance to do in a normal setting surrounded by friends from high school, how was that?
JC: “It’s amazing! I graduated from high school just four days before performing at the CMA fest so that was thrilling!” I interrupted her to ask her, “Didn’t your cap read, ‘4 Days Before CMA Fest’?” “IT DID! I was so excited. It felt nice to have been able to graduate with everyone I knew from high school and everyone being so supportive. Before my senior year, I was taking days off from school and unsure of how I would go about handling a professional music career and a normal high school life, but I was so glad that [my high school] allowed me to do my senior year online, so that really helped. I’m self motivated because I knew I never wanted to be that kid taking an online class where everything was due by a certain date, and then waiting until the last possible week to tackle everything. I would make sure that I would make a schedule and tackle on the work ahead of time. I wanted to take my musical life seriously, so in order to do that, I also had to take my educational life seriously.”
Q: What do you think you would be doing or consider going into as a career if you weren’t a musician right now?
JC: “I honestly think I would’ve been a pre-school teacher if I weren’t a musician right now because my high school had this club where we could teach at a pre-school two to three times a week, and I found myself enjoying that so much, so I would have definitely considered that.”
Q: Is college in your mind in consideration for the future or is that something you think you won’t be doing?
JC: “Actually, yes, I’m going to be taking online classes for college so I can continue my education while I’m on the road. [College] is something that I want to be a part of my life.”
Q: Have you officially moved to Nashville, or are you going to stay in Boston for now? (Follow up) Where would you rather be and why?
JC: “I don’t think I want to move to Nashville right away. Everyone is like, ‘Get up and move to LA!’ or, ‘Get up and move to Nashville!’, but I’m not ready to get up and move to either of those places just yet because a part of me feels that I’m one of the few young artists taking on country music in a city such as Boston, where you don’t see a lot of that everyday. I stick out here and I’ve built this dedicated base in Boston. If I move to a city like Nashville, I feel like that’s where I’ll begin to blend in too much before everything and I won’t be as unqiue as I’ve become in Boston.”
Q: As young artist, you’ve accomplished so much already that at this point, you’re on your way to creating new history, do you have any goals you wish to accomplish yourself for the future?
JC: “Ooooh, goals for the future?! There’s a lot of them! What kind of goals are you talking about?” Like headlining your own tour! “OH DEFINITELY! That’s one of my dreams, but obviously not right now, but definitely for the future. I would love for that to happen.”
Q: Lastly, who are you touring with this summer?
JC: “Luke Bryan and Rascall Flatts!” Congrats! Such big names, how do you feel about that? “I’m so excited! Rascal Flatts has always been my favorite country band so I think the first thing that’s going to happen when I meet them is that I’ll fangirl or cry and thank them for being such a huge inspiration for me. I’m just so excited in general for all of this to be happening right now and I can’t wait.”
Best of luck, Jessie Chris! Congrats on touring with Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts this summer, plus your new album, Wildfire, coming out soon! You’re on your way to big adventures and we are rooting for you all the way!