Jessica Mack
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Jessica Mack

Nashville, TN | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Nashville, TN | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
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"Jessica Mack Is Pop Country’s New Sweetheart, And We Just Became Best Friends"

Jessica Mack Is Pop Country’s New Sweetheart, And We Just Became Best Friends
Posted On April 25, 2016
Jessica Mack is an absolute gem. We stumbled upon her video for “Drive” one afternoon and it was so catchy that we couldn’t stop playing it! Lucky for us, she had some downtime recently to Skype and speak with us about her new single (the aforementioned), what it’s like to live in Nashville, the Razorbacks, and superheroes. (Yup. Superheroes.) Even though she had been in a wreck that totaled her car just days before we spoke, she was still super bubbly and extremely thankful for her lot in life. She’s more than just a pretty face (although there’s that too), and she’s getting ready to take over the pop/country music scene. (Trust us. She’s super talented and extremely likable.)
Without further ado, we give you Jessica Mack.
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Jessica Mack
via @jessicamackmusic
MOSHERY: If you could introduce yourself to our readers in any way, how would you do it?
Jessica Mack: I would probably ride in on a donkey. Like Jesus did! I’m kidding. I think it’d be cool to be an opener for a major act and have it be a very fun production. Something where I’m able to introduce myself, my songs, my message and have it be heard by a ton of people.
M: Who would you pick to open for?
Jessica: One of the obvious answers could be Taylor Swift just because she has such a wide following. I’m so torn between pop and country…
M: Well, I think you should be the headliner. I think it should be a giant music festival, and all of these amazing musicians are opening for you. People would show up and wonder why Taylor Swift or Sam Hunt or Reba are opening for you, and then they get their first BIG dose of Jessica Mack!
Jessica: I like that answer. It can be both of our answers! I really like Carrie Underwood, I have a lot of respect for her. Let’s have her on there. I think she’s done a very good job of being in a secular world but displaying her faith and being a positive role model. She’d be somebody I’d want to open for me, I guess.
M: You are from Little Rock, Arkansas and you LOVE the Razorbacks! I feel like everyone I know who has lived there does. What’s the big deal?
Jessica: Have you ever watched the Razorbacks? It’s not even like they’re the best team out there. When I think of Arkansas, I think of family because that’s where I’m from. My whole family is still there, cousins and all. The whole thing behind the Razorbacks is that Arkansas is just one big family, and so that’s the thing that we all have decided to get behind and be excited about. The games are a blast because you’re calling the Hogs and everyone gets their team colors on and tailgates. It’s such a fun event. The camaraderie is amazing.
M: How do you think being from Little Rock that has helped influence your life?
Jessica: I don’t know if it’s so much Arkansas or just my family, but I’ve been taught how to be a person of respect with moral standards. I was taught that you don’t have to follow the crowd in order to be somebody that matters, in fact it’s better not to follow the crowd. A lot of it has to do with the Christian background that I come from. The Southern culture is just great, I love it. It taught me how to respect and consider others, which I can always do a better job at. When I go home, I love that people say “Yes ma’am” and “no sir” and “thank you.” Just that culture of people loving each other and respecting one another.
M: I totally agree with that. When did you start getting into music, and what inspired you to pursue it?
Jessica: My mom said ever since I could talk I would put on shows for her and my dad. I do kind of remember that. There was one specific instance that I remember being in my parents’ room. I was acting like a television. I had given them an imaginary remote control and every time they would flip the channel, I would change my accent, change the scene. I think I’ve always been a performer. They also put me in church doing choir, solos, and kids’ performances. I always enjoyed being in front of people and sharing my singing voice, and I’ve always been encouraged in that way too. So it’s really kind of kept me on the path.
M: What was the transition like when you moved to Tennessee a couple of years ago?
Jessica: I had gone to college and started as a music major. Then I was told by everyone that I needed a real backup plan. I listened to them, so I changed my major from music to Human Relations. I was going to be a counselor because I love people. So I graduated, got a job as a receptionist in the “real world” and I loved it because I got to talk to people every day. But that company had a corporate band, which I thought was interesting. When I heard about it, I just thought, “Lord, help me be a part of that.” Six months later the lead singer left and they had an audition. I tried out, and I got the lead singer position! It re-sparked everything for me. I think I sang with them for about a year before I quit my job and moved to Tennessee to pursue music. That year was probably the hardest for me. Although I was around family–which was great and I loved that–it was one of those times in my life where I knew I had to be somewhere else in order to grow. That whole year I was nannying and wanting to do music, but didn’t have the means or resources to do so. So I moved to Nashville to give it all I’ve got.
M: That sounds like quite the road! You have opened for some pretty stellar acts. What have those experiences been like?
Jessica: Sheryl Crow was my first big opening. It was with that company I was at when I was singing with the corporate band. We had done this United Way Benefit and they told me we were opening for her. It was shortly after that performance that I quit my job to do music because I just thought, “This is where it’s at. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” So that was an amazing, pivotal moment.
Opening for Kris Allen? He and I went to the same high school and he played baseball with my brother. So we reached out to him letting him know we could open when he was playing local. He was all about it. That was another big event because it seems like the Lord has been very good to me and given me opportunities throughout the journey as affirmation that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Those were really cool experiences.
M: We fell in love with you because we saw your music video for “Drive.” Where did the idea for the video come from, and what was it like filming?
Jessica: Obviously the song is about a long distance relationship. We had a few different ideas for how we should swing it. We thought about some artistic things that would make people think more. At the end of the day, we thought the literal route would be best. Shawn Warlow was actually the director. My manager Paul Wright knew him and was able to make that connection for me. We created that video in one day. I had never made a video before, but it seems like it all happened really fast. It was a shoestring budget, Shawn cut us a deal. And yet the product turned out really great! I’m very pleased with it.

It was my first video, though. I had to act like I was in almost-love with this guy. He is pretty cute, but I was actually very awkward. I wasn’t prepared for that. Shawn was giving me a hard time about it, asking me things like, “Have you ever been on a date before?” Well, of course I have! But we had never met and he was dancing with me and stuff! I’m usually pretty OK with guys and interacting with them, but that setting was so new to me. Of course the longer the day went on, the more comfortable I was. It turned out so great! I’m looking forward to the next one!
M: Do you have any plans for the next one, or what you’re considering at least?
Jessica: I think so. I have a friend creating the animated lyric video for “Sonic Boom.” I don’t think that will be our next single. I want “Mix Tape” to be the next one, which is another love song. I’m not sure when we will be working on that, but soon hopefully.
M: Who would you consider as your biggest influences in music?
Jessica: Growing up, my mom listened to Christian music and country music. So I got a lot of Amy Grant, Johnny Cash, Shania, Garth Brooks, and George Strait in my library. All those country greats. Honestly, I think that stylistically I started to be influenced by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston in my teens. I remember being in my room and playing their videos on repeat trying to mimic what they were doing. Practice certainly helped. I think I’ve become more pop influenced, but I still have the country influence in that I appreciate the storytelling and the family culture of the music.
M: I can see how people could bring you into pop and into country. The beginning of “Drive” sounds a lot like Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” and the guitar totally hooked us.
Jessica: I love Jason Mraz too! He and Colby Caillat influence me a lot too.
M: Now that you’ve been in Nashville for a couple of years, what do you like to do there?
Jessica: Something that a lot of people probably don’t know is that I live with a married couple. I have lived with them for two and a half years. They’re around my age and I met them at church. I love hanging out with them. The wife is my best friend and her husband is like a brother. A lot of my time is spent hanging out with them and my “framily” here. It’s them, a couple down the street, and a couple of other guys that we are friends with. We enjoy getting Jeni’s Ice Cream and antiquing. There’s Nashville Pickers which is off Sidco Dr., kind of off the beaten path. They have records in the back and I go to the back and listen and act a fool in there. There is so much to do in Nashville. You could never be bored unless you just choose to be!
M: What’s your writing process like?
Jessica: I write quite a bit. Ever since I moved to Nashville, I have become more invested in writing my own stuff. Before I moved here, it was hard for me to write an entire song by myself when it was such a new thing. When I got here, I started co-writing quite a bit and it helped me to develop this passion for it. So I have co-written every song on this album, which is really cool. I write every day, whether it be with somebody or by myself. It’s hard for me now to sing just covers when I perform. There is nothing wrong with singing covers, but there is a certain pride in performing your own songs.
M: You’re putting your entire heart into that. That’s so awesome! What’s on your personal playlist right now?
Jessica: I work several part-time jobs here and there. Two days ago I was doing data entry at a car dealership and I was listening to worship music. At that point, I needed some Jesus time. But if I’m working out, I’ll listen to Ariana Grande. I listen to Sam Hunt. I like to get on Pandora. Meghan Trainor is great and her stuff is super catchy. Those are the ones I gravitate towards these days.
M: We like it! What’s your favorite movie, and why?
Jessica: This may sound silly, but have you seen Zootopia? It’s really good. I saw it a week ago. Not only is it just corny funny–which, I LOVE corny jokes–but it had a really deep message to it. I don’t know if kids would fully grasp the entire lesson, but I love movies that do that. Especially cartoons because there is the playful part and then adults can appreciate the deeper side to it. Like Inside Out. It’s a cartoon and it still really gets to you.
Drive Final Cover for ITUNESM: You had mentioned that you’re working on piecing together your album. Do you have more info on that?
Jessica: We’re going to see how well “Drive” does. If it takes off, then we will release the album this summer. We may release another single in the next month or two, and really try to push the album by this summer.
M: That’s awesome. Do you have plans to play anytime soon?
Jessica: I’m always trying to play out. I try to play at least once a week, if not more often. I am looking to try to jump on a tour or create a tour, especially with the album coming out. I want to have that set up for this summer. So that process and the booking starts now. When you’re independent, you’ve got to work more because it’s your money and it’s your energy. It’s so good.
M: Do you have any advice for people that are struggling, perhaps?
Jessica: Honestly, I think attitude and perspective are choices. No matter what the situation, you can always be thankful. You always have something to be thankful about. Rather than focusing on the negative, if you can pick the positive out of the situation and focus on that, life is just more joyful. It’s better, and you will get farther with that attitude than a self-pity mentality or discouragement. There are tough things that people go through, but you have to always remember that life’s a gift. Thankfulness has been a theme in my life as of late. That’s my main message. There’s a lot of bad, but try to focus on that positive.
M: Who is your favorite superhero, and why? Be careful with this, because I will judge you.
Jessica: Oh no! And Disney princesses don’t count?
M: Actually, you can go for that too. My favorite is Belle, in case you’re wondering!
Jessica: That’s good to know. MINE has always been Ariel, duh! I do have a joke about her. Do you want to hear it? You’re going to like it. Do you know why the little mermaid wore seashells? Because B shells were too small and D shells were too big!
M: Haha! Why have I never heard that before?
Jessica: I don’t know. But you’re welcome.
Superhero? Batman. Because he’s a real dude and yet he is super awesome and saves the helpless. He wears a cool getup that people get excited about. I can relate to him. I’m a night owl, he’s a bat. Same thing.
M: Well, he’s my favorite too. DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?
Jess: I think we did! - http://www.moshery.com/


"Jessica Mack: Driving Through Southern Illinois and Toward Country Stardom"

One Nashville singer and songwriter is getting ready to unleash her sunny disposition on the world.

One Nashville singer and songwriter is getting ready to unleash her sunny disposition on the world.

“If I had a personal mission statement,” Jessica Mack said, “it’d be that I really do want my music to stir up a joy in people and affect them in a truly positive way.”

Self-described as a “sweet-tea-loving, Razorback-calling” artist, Mack brings her bubbly country Saturday, April 16 to Blue Sky Vineyards. The gig comes as the up-and-coming artist drops her first album later this summer.

Nightlife caught up with Mack to talk about her new releases, finding stories to tell, and the future of women in country.

Growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mack said she first started singing when she was four years old. She sang in church choirs and listened to country and pop music before she took off for Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue a professional singing career in 2013.

Mack said her musical influences include a list of top country and pop artists: Johnny Cash (a fellow Arkansan!), Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, and Reba McEntire.

Mack has been featured in the Country Deep Rising Stars contest, which led to a one-of-a-kind performance at the Country Music Association Fest in 2015. That, in turn, led to being named one of the Women in Country to Watch in 2016.

Mack said she cowrote all of the songs off her album Jessica Mack, which will come out later this year. The bright, pop-infused single “Drive” will be released the day before her Blue Sky show. Mack described the new song as the kind of traveling song someone would play on the way to surprise a spouse.

“It’s from personal experience with a long-distance relationship,” Mack said. “It can be difficult, and that’s not always fun being that far apart. I wanted to write about that exciting feeling you feel when you are on your way to see them. That giddiness, that happy feeling, you know?”

Mack said her self-titled record includes a wide range of songs, including several about love and her Arkansas roots. She said one track, “Soon,” explores the nuances in show business, including life on the road and seeking fame with a hometown and a home base rooting for your success.

“The verses deal with family asking when you are coming home and people you know asking when they are getting to hear you on the radio,” Mack said. “And the answer is, soon.”

Another song from the album, “Ragdoll,” deals with the darker side of relationships. Mack has approached the topic before; her song “Let Jesus” also tells the story of domestic violence. She said she wanted to shine light on a social problem that has been historically kept private.

“I have known some [violence survivors] personally,” she said. “It’s hard, because you don’t know how to help them, so you write a song about it.”

Despite a current focus in the industry on bro country, Mack said she is seeing a resurgence in female country artists who are finding their own chart successes.

“As a woman trying to get involved in the music business, I find it encouraging,” Mack said. “Over time we should see more. We are already starting to see more opportunities with artists like Kelsea Ballerini and Jana Kramer. And I’m hoping Jessica Mack will be one of those too.”

Hopefully so. - Carbondale Rocks Nightlife


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