Jackie Venson

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Interview

Guitarist and vocalist Jackie Venson released the music video for “Back to Earth” in December of 2015. The track is part of a live album (Jackie Venson Live)to be released in fall of 2016.

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Where/what was the start of your musical influences and what additional influences do you have?
“Both of my parents were always kind of guiding me towards instruments, I think it might have been because I tinkered on them from a really young age. My Dad is a professional musician and my Mom is a huge music lover, she signed me up for piano lessons with a great teacher at 8 years old and the rest is history.”

What ultimately guided you to Boston’s Berklee College Of Music?
“What inspired me to audition was Berklee’s reputation. The idea of going to an entire school of musicians was extremely appealing. What made me go was the fact that I was actually accepted.”

What would you like to say about your recording history and the evolution of your songwriting?
“I started writing songs to the point of wanting to record them at age 16. My brother, as well as my father, is a professional musician and he agreed to drive down from Houston and do a session with me and three songs I had written. That was an invaluable experience because it was the first taste of turning a creation into a tangible thing. I have been gravitating around it ever since. When I picked up the guitar at 21 the nature of the instrument inspired me to write an entirely different kind of song. I’m still buzzing on that to this day, I’m addicted to the guitar. I do want to say that I continue to get experimental with my songs so be ready for a sonic ride friends.”

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What instruments and audio products help you get the sound that you want both live and in the studio?
“I like to use distortion and delay with my electric guitar, I also like a good SM7 for my voice. Live I like to use a Seinheiser e935.”

What were your highs while making and performing the music in 2015? What were the lows?
“The highs were spent during a month long tour in Europe, it was exhilarating in so many ways and the crowds were super receptive. The lows were some jobs and people I had to let go because they weren’t down with me chasing my dream. It’s always hard to let people go but sometimes you have to do it.”

Would you like to talk about a newer song and the meaning behind it?
“Next Life is a song I wrote when I was feeling particularly crushed by a crush I had. I felt as though we were meant for each other but we could never be together, I felt so intensely I decided to sing about it.”

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What else do you have going on in the future and what would you like to have going on in the future?
“I’m planning a West Coast tour for the summer and I am also looking into an Eastern European tour in November. I’m also excited for my Live Recording show on February 28th in Austin, TX as well as the album release later this fall.”

Is there anything that has helped you/the band in terms of staying focused, growing personal energy?
“Yes, just playing gigs as much as possible. We enjoy playing with each other so much and bringing that energy live that I make sure to play as much as possible with them.”

What organizations, promoters and people have helped others experience your music?
“My publicist Meijin with EiPR and just the entire EiPR team over the years has worked wonders for my exposure. I also have Belk to thank for sponsoring me in 2014 and beyond, the exposure and experience has been incredible. I also have my friends and family back in Austin, TX to tremendously thank for the support, blood, sweat and tears they’ve put in alongside me. They always have my back.”

What kind of travels, activities and other forms of art do you engage in? Anything recent?
“I recently went to Hawaii for fun and love in December and it was seriously magical. I’ll never forget that trip.”

Are there any values/beliefs that you want to disclose?
“Love is all there is and love is all that matters. Love is the only truth we have.”

Are there any additional thanks you would like to give?
“I’d like to thank New Millennium Music for the interview opportunity. Thanks for listening to my music and checking me out!”

Video: “Back To Earth”

Photo Credits: Catchlight Portraits