Jessie G was the talk of Millport Festival this past summer. With an indescribably powerful voice, Jessie stunned the audience as she belted out country classics such as ‘Fancy’. She built a rapport with the crowd as she came down off the stage and mingled with the audience whilst performing. Coming from a long line of fishermen, being a military wife and a mother to her baby daughter as well as being a working musician, Jessie knows about hard work. As she gears up to release her album early next year, we sit down to talk about her career so far.
Jessie has been singing and performing for as long as she can remember. “They said I was singing before I could talk,” she begins. “I would hold talent shows in my parents living room, I just loved being the entertainer. I was ten when I did my first proper talent show, I sang ‘Let ’er Rip’ by the Dixie Chicks and I won it!” After that first show, Jessie caught the bug and began to take it more seriously. Instead of it just being a hobby she started to compete regularly in talent contests.
After gaining a place in the elite choir at Middle school, Jessie found herself a mentor in the form of choir master Jerry Moffitt. He was a good piano player and great Jazz musician himself and had a big influence on Jessie’s life. “He took me under his wing and entered me in a bunch of jazz competitions. I didn’t realise the gravity of that experience going forward in my career.”
Her passion and talent for music would take her to college, allowing her to be one of the first in her family the opportunity to pursue further education. After forming a country-rock band and joining the school jazz band, Jessie G had the opportunity to play a show with Mic Gillette, during which she got a video singing Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’, which was the video she submitted as she applied for a scholarship. “Getting a scholarship for music was just unheard of. I was the first one to really go to college in my family, so it was something that we were really proud of. I majored in political science and music. I thought there was no way you can make a good living with music and support a family so I was thinking I’d become a lawyer in the entertainment industry and then maybe if I get my shot… so I worked as a paralegal for a while.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF MAVERICK AVAILABLE HERE!
Zoe Hodges, Editor