Jessica Dawn has been honing her craft as a performing songwriter and polishing her sound for many years. She wrote her first song when she was only eight years old. Jessica then realized her dream of being a singer/songwriter and continued to write on an old Casio keyboard and even recorded her early material on her Mom’s retro tape player. From piano lessons in her pre-teens to voice lessons and then teaching herself guitar at eighteen, Jessica continued to embrace her love for creating music. After high school, she started performing her original songs in Virginia Beach, VA, where she was born and raised. She consistently performed shows, both solo and with bands that she herself put together, for many years. Then with much hometown success and experience under her belt, Jessica packed everything she owned into her Chevy van, with a suitcase full of dreams, and made her way to Nashville, the songwriting capital of the world. Since her move to Music City in 2003, Jessica has fearlessly held onto her dream with determination and persistence, even through such a fickle and tough industry, by constantly writing songs and performing; doing what she loves. After many years of playing shows and releasing a few EP’s along the way, she continues to make a name for herself and finally signed a record deal with indie label Global Maximus Records in 2011. Jessica not only keeps growing as an artist, but her loyal fan base continues to grow as well. Audiences are moved by her unique sound and compelling lyrics and captivated by her passionate performances
Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Jessica can perform solo/acoustic or with a backing band depending on the type of gig.
-Jessica signed with indie label Global Maximus Records in 2011!!! The singles,
are available on iTunes and Amazon!!!
-EP, "Graffito" featuring the songs Shotgun, Most Wanted, and Walkin' Revolution in 2008.
-EP, "Listening Room" in 2004.
-EP, "Jessica Dawn" in 2001.
[+ Show ]
Being the editor of The Music City Muse, I get to attend lots of great shows in and around Nashville...Being the editor of The Music City Muse, I get to attend lots of great shows in and around Nashville. Most every show I attend, however, is so male dominated that I have been wondering, WHERE ARE MY GIRLS AT?! Well, ladies and gentleman, Nashville has a big star on the rise. She’s blonde, beautiful, but she’s not country!
Jessica Dawn’s girl next-door bombshell looks and outgoing personality onstage make her an immediate crowd pleaser. However, it’s her dynamite voice that keeps that crowd coming back time and time again. Jessica Dawn’s voice is as beautiful as she is, raw and in a word: BADASS! This girl has a range that would make Mariah Cary blush and an edginess that would make even Alanis Morissette look tame. She rocked the pants off of 12th and Porter with songs off her new EP Graffito including Most Wanted and Shotgun. She even threw in her own rendition of Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback. Jessica Dawn definitely brought sexy back! But more than that, she brought real, raw rock n roll to Nashville, TN!
Nashville band The Good Side closed the show for their Walk on the Moon album release party. These guys have definitely made my “Bands to Watch” list! Their songs were awesome and their energy was infectious. They sure know how to bring in the fans! Make sure to check out the MySpace sites for Jessica Dawn and The Good Side for information on how to purchase their albums!
"Dawn of Rock 'n Roll"
[+ Show ]
“Jessica Dawn; the Dawn of Rock n' Roll, and we all know that a dawn signifies hope and a new future...“Jessica Dawn; the Dawn of Rock n' Roll, and we all know that a dawn signifies hope and a new future. She'll tune YOU up. So tune in."-Cory Childs w/D.A.M. Magazine
"a breath of fresh air...."
[+ Show ]
"Jessica Dawn is a breath of fresh air to rock and roll, with a soulful sound that breaths life in..."Jessica Dawn is a breath of fresh air to rock and roll, with a soulful
sound that breaths life into her lyrics"
"from the heart and soul"
[+ Show ]
"Jessica Dawn is a powerhouse of raw energy, enormous talent, and positive vibes as she sings from t..."Jessica Dawn is a powerhouse of raw energy, enormous talent, and positive vibes as she sings from the heart and soul"
D.A.M Magazine Interview Article
[+ Show ]
"Get comfortable and relax as we rock out with Nashville’s Jessica Dawn in the midst of her “Graffit..."Get comfortable and relax as we rock out with Nashville’s Jessica Dawn in the midst of her “Graffito” EP release. D.A.M Magazine gets a chance to find more about what makes this artist tick."
**To Read this Interview you can check out the 4-page spread on the official website and go to the Press pg! www.jessicadawn.com
Graffito EP Review by Savannah Hilton
[+ Show ]
Jessica Dawn's rock n' roll sound with her firecracker attitude keeps your foot tappin’ through ever...Jessica Dawn's rock n' roll sound with her firecracker attitude keeps your foot tappin’ through every song on her 3 song EP Graffito.
The song Shotgun reminds me of a time in my own life. It is a great break up and/or find a new man song. This is one you can put in your cd player, turn it up, and hit the open road."
Give an Ear for Graffito!
[+ Show ]
An honest voice and a passionate soul pack these three songs with a fresh and direct flow. Jessica D...An honest voice and a passionate soul pack these three songs with a fresh and direct flow. Jessica Dawn isn’t afraid to be candid, and she’s not afraid to pour herself into her lyrics and vocals. She’s polished and poised, and her metaphorical prowess will set her apart. If you’re in the mood for an upbeat and interpretive musical experience, you’ve got to check out Graffito. “Walking Revolution” is a wake-up call, and “Shotgun” and “Most Wanted” are artistic but straight to the point at the same time. Check her out, pop it in, and cruise…she’s definitely good enough to ride Shotgun.-# 1 Fan Gregory Attaway
"Voices to Hear: Simply Six with Jessica Dawn"
[+ Show ]
1. For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a s...1. For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was the Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you?
I don’t have one defining moment, but rather a series of moments that eventually progressed into an inner knowing that making music is what I wanted to do for a living. I started writing songs when I was eight years old and I remember the time I wrote my first song. Melodies were always coming to me as a child from then on…it was just fun to be creative and in my own little world. I started making my own tapes for my friends in elementary school. And while everyone was into Madonna, I loved Debbie Gibson because I thought it was so cool that she was only 17 and writing her own songs and played piano. When I hit my pre-teens, right when Mariah Carey came out, I definitely knew I wanted the life she was living. I even tried to sing like her, but of course, it didn’t come out the same way! Ha I was obsessed at an early age…not only was I always singing, recording, writing, and playing piano but also did silly things like pretend I was being interviewed, accepting Grammys awards in my bedroom, and coming up with music video ideas in my garage!
2. When you’re not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?
I’m constantly listening to music and I always gravitate towards artists that move and evoke me in some instinctual way. I’m attracted to artists who I can respect and learn from as a musician and songwriter, usually people who have some longevity or aren’t trying to fit some generic mold…and definitely artists who take chances and are unique because they don’t compromise who they are. If I listed ALL of my favorites, it would be too lengthy, but here’s a good handful:
Led Zeppelin, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alicia Keys, Muse, Fiona Apple, Marc Broussard, Jimi Hendrix, Nikka Costa, Stevie Wonder, Wolfmother, Kanye West, Jonny Lang, Black Keys, Beyonce, Evanescence, Beck, Janis Joplin, Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club, Jet, Ani DiFranco, Black Crowes…shall I go on ?
3. What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?
I played this really fun show at a little club in Bowling Green, KY, a college town where the crowds just really dig original music. They’re receptive to new and upcoming artists there. I was playing with a full band and we were performing the last song…by then, everybody was cheering and dancing. And so because the exchange of energy was so strong at that point, I spontaneously took the song in a different direction and the band just went with it-I stopped playing guitar and got the audience to start clapping with me and singing along. As cheesy as it sounds, there was something magical and beautiful in the air when that happened. It was quite euphoric. And that was when I really understood “crowd participation” and how that fire can start, as well as experiencing that “high” feeling you can have on stage as a performer. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
4. Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How much can music influence current events?
The beauty of music is that it affects people in different ways. Some people like it only in the background, some like to listen carefully, pick it apart and discuss its theory,…some people like to dance to it, sleep to it, cry to it, drive to it,…some people are so inspired it can change their minds or their hearts or they use it as therapy to deal with difficult emotions…there’s such a broad spectrum of inspiration. Some artists like to mix politics with music and that’s because they feel the need to express those thoughts and ideas. There are people out there who will listen to an artist’s interpretation of what’s going on in the world verses a politician sometimes. Maybe that’s because it comes from an authentic, honest, and more relatable source. And plus music adds momentum and power to the words.
Music can change a person’s attitude, demeanor, heart, even perception…and since real change for the world comes from the change that occurs within individuals, then maybe in a sense, it can change the world. One thing’s for sure, music can bring people together, there’s a unity that forms at a concert and music really is the universal language. I also believe it’s the language of our souls and that’s why it can be such a spiritual experience.
5. How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?
Technology has affected the music industry in the sense that it’s more accessible now…it’s very consumer-friendly. A person can go online and if they only like two songs off of the 12-song album, they can just buy those two songs. They have the luxury of finding almost any song or artist online they’re looking for, get what they want, and never have to leave their computer and set foot into a record store again. It’s immediate, it’s faster, it’s easier, it’s cheaper…the consumer feels more in control with getting what they want. As an artist, I believe in not fighting change and accepting this new digital wave. In retrospect, it’s always been changing…we’ve come a long way from the gramophone! Change is inevitable. I believe the music business will always be alive and thriving because no matter what, people are always going to want music. So the only thing that’ s changing is HOW people are getting the music,…in different formats which will affect the “record” industry because of compact discs, but not the “music” industry itself. There will have to be new ways, new approaches to how music is sold. In my personal experience, technology has helped me. I can reach a wider audience online, and appeal to friends and fans who want to purchase the songs on iTunes, etc. The internet has shifted the way the whole game runs now and it actually caters to the independent artists who can do so much on their own now without relying on the big dogs in the suits (who are currently sweating bullets trying to come up with how to survive in such a do-it-yourself music market). Artists have more leverage now because they don’t have to be as dependent. The best thing about the internet for a band is all of the networking and being accessible to the public and therefore, you can have a fan in Germany because he found you on Myspace.:)
6. Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?
The first kind that popped in my mind was a pair of boots. Maybe because I hope my music will make people feel warm. Maybe because most boots are comfortable but can also be stylish…my music, in my opinion, is somewhat familiar and sonically comfy, but yet also unique with a lot of personality. So if music is a reflection of the self, then these are some of my characteristics. Boots can be fun or practical, adventurous or sexy, girly and sophisticated, cozy or tough….perhaps these boots are ready to walk over a Man for causing her pain or walking up to a Man to give him a kiss.
"Jessica Dawn Takes Next Step on Musical Journey"
[+ Show ]
Most singer-songwriters would be quite content establishing themselves as a hometown heroine. But J...Most singer-songwriters would be quite content establishing themselves as a hometown heroine.
But Jessica Dawn isn't like most singer-songwriters. Which is why she traded her cushy status in her hometown, Virginia Beach, VA, for the cutthroat music world of Nashville. So far, her efforts have paid off as she steadily makes a name for herself in Music City.
"I put everything I own in a big ol' Chevy van along with a suitcase full of dreams and moved to Nashville," Dawn told The Daily Times. "I had been doing research on what city would be the right place for me to relocate and purse music. Everyone I talked to steered me away from New York and Los Angeles, because in addition to the high cost of living, both cities are overly saturated, they told me, and I definitely didn't want to get lost in the crowd."
And Nashville isn't saturated?
"I think one of the advantages of living in Nashville is that there’s a sense of community here. There’s competition, but for the most part, it’s a positive experience for everyone. You're immediately challenged," she added. "The city has high expectations if you’re a singer, songwriter, or musician, but there’s a silent understanding and respect, like we’re all in the same boat together kind of vibe. I think as an artist, there’s always room for growth, so being challenged can only help improve and push yourself.
It’s motivating to me to be around other people doing the same thing. And there's just something about this city that's very inspiring. Maybe it’s because it’s somewhat of a melting pot of musicians and so it’s got a lot of heart and soul."
"I feel more at home here than I ever did in Virginia Beach. As far as the music scene goes there, you can play club after club, but the tourist town is just a dead end if you’re trying to pursue music seriously. It was definitely a great developing time for me though and I’m glad I had the experiences under my belt before I headed to Nashville. There’s certainly a lot of talent here, but there’s enough space to find your own niche".
Apparently, moving to Nashville has been good for nurturing her talent, which is prodigious. Her unique, dynamic voice resonates with power and passion, and it's easy to see why her sound has been described as "Tori Amos meets Led Zeppelin". She takes elements of rock, funk, soul, and blues, and adds her own brash touch, all the while maintaining a feminine balance of tenderness and hope.
She didn't learn how to play guitar until she was 18, but once she discovered the instrument's power as a songwriting tool, she was hooked. She started booking her own shows and performed solo at first, eventually putting a band together to perform at area clubs, festivals and benefits. She even received moderate airplay for her song, “Love Poison”, but despite the success it wasn't enough to fuel her ambitions and reach her goals. Hence the move to Nashville, where she put together a new band within three weeks and promptly invaded the city's various watering holes and musical haunts -- places like 3rd & Lindsey, Radio Café, The Sutler, The 5 Spot, Windows on the Cumberland, and Wolfy's. She's released a five-song live EP, "Listening Room," which, compared to her Virginia Beach demo, shows growth and maturity as a songwriter, singer, and musician.
"Since, I've been in Nashville, I have defined my sound more," she said. "I’m excited about that personal accomplishment. I’ve realized what I’m striving for, musically speaking. I’ve allowed the songs to express to me how they want to develop. The band has also inspired me to find my sonic direction; they’ve definitely played a role in the initiation for my growth as a songwriter and musician.
Lyrically, I would say that I've always been somewhat metaphorical and like using a lot of imagery, as well as incorporating sarcasm, in my songwriting, but I think that's been emphasized even more now. I’m honest with myself, being bolder and taking risks and harnessing my originality rather than feeling out of place and writing so formulaic. I’m more confident with who I am and so I’ve become more confident with writing what comes natural and intuitively flows while still maintaining a pleasing structure. I’ve also discovered a more defined purpose. Having a sense of purpose in life as well as in songwriting inspires me to live and compose with passion."
She's not at the level where she can perform full-time -- she works as a nanny during the day, she said, a dream job because she loves kids and allows her to "play Hide and Seek, jump on trampolines and watch Spongebob"-- but she's slowly making her way toward that goal. She says she would love to tour someday, and soon.
"I've been at it for eight years now, and I still believe that some day all of the hard work is going to pay off. I know it’s all about persistence." She then adds, "and taking a good dose of faith each morning."
"Female Vocalist of the Year: Jessica Dawn"
[+ Show ]
When Jessica Dawn visited Nashville, she went calling every record executive, knocking on every door...When Jessica Dawn visited Nashville, she went calling every record executive, knocking on every door, and singing at every open mic she could. She sure enjoyed herself, but the trip was hard. And the hardest part was that she came back disillusioned and jaded that it's going to take a lot of financial backing to get this thing over the hump. That is....until the producers of the local Nashville show, The Sound Room called to give her a television debut. In September, she'll be flown down to perform live on the show with an interview to follow. Also, plans are set for her to perform New York City this fall. Amazing difference that a few days can make between the time that Jessica and I met for our interview and a simple phone call. A call that she could've missed, like when Kathy Moore (The Moore Music Group) called her to play a side stage at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater and Jessica happened to have just stepped out: the gig went to someone else.
When we met, Jessica was beaten, humbled, and weary. "I just need a break" she says. "I've been doing everything on my own and it's just hard to create when you're taking care of calling people, making press kits, and doing everything but concentrating on making music. I just got stuck and I'm not sure where I'm going to take the next step. "But I got some positive feedback and several meetings in Nashville, but it all comes down to money. So that's what I'm looking for now, an investor. I need management. I don't have time to create and focus on music if I'm handling all the business aspects of it all." she explains. It isn't that Jessica can't hanlde her business. She has a proven track record and established herself locally in just a few short years, which to her has been an eternity because she has been ready for stardom since she was eight. She made her way onto local radio stations strictly by lobbying herself and making a barrage of phone calls and emails. She manages and updates her own website as well: jessicadawnband.com
She does her own marketing and promotions. She's a woman of the new millenium, but it has taken a toll on her."This is what I love to do. I can't imagine doing anything else," Dawn says, "so I'm not complaining. It's just, why divide your energies? If you know what you want, focus all your time and energy to that one thing and then the more likely you'll acheive it". There is no doubt that Jessica is determined, dediciated and focused on her musical career.
Her live performances and CD stand as a testament that she is abundantly talented. And finally, she is rambunctiously itiching to get on the road to see what else the world has to offer. "See, a big problem is that I'm impatient. I want it all right now-I want VH1 to do a "Driven" episode on me! I want to make videos, go on tours, wake up everyday and record in the studio,...everything that comes with it." And I like to challenge myself. So when you combine all of that, I'm like Ahhhh!" she laughs with gesturing frustration. Well, Jessica Dawn may not have to wait long. In fact, by the looks of it, the wait cold be over and she could be on her way. Though some things are still up in the air for her, she resigned her lease for the next 6 months, so at least that will serve as a home base for a little while longer before she plans to venture out. Otherwise, Dawn is in a great position. She has youth on her side; she's great looking' she's personable' and she sings with a range that any singer would envy. She's a terrific songwriter and Splash Magazine readers recognized her as the Best Female Vocalist of the area. People are noticing. At least, all the right people are noticing.
Jessica Dawn usually performs a minimum of 30 minutes or an hour and can play up to almost 2 hours of all original songs. Here's an Example Set List that is an hour long:
1. Try Me On
3. Post-it Note
4. Love in Motion
7. Catching Air
8. Bad News
9. Travel Light