In this interview spotlight, we chat with Jackie Venson about influences, her latest project, navigating the digital age and more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I am from Austin, TX and I create a funky hybrid of blues, r&b, rock, and reggae. It’s all of those and none of those genres at the same time. I think growing up in Austin had a huge influence over me and definitely had a big part in why I genre hop all of the time. I just can’t help myself!
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
My father and brother are both professional musicians and I also grew up playing music (the piano mostly and then I switched to the guitar later in life). I always loved playing music and had so much fun doing it and to see my father and brother support themselves doing it made me get the fire from a young age. Now it’s burning bright and what keeps me going is the fact that I truly don’t want to do anything else. No matter what, in life you have to work hard so you might as well do what you want to do.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
It’s a lot more arranged and composed where as the previous recordings were really free form, especially the live one. My chief principle is to always do something different every time something new is released. I like to keep it exciting and fresh for my fans so I know they will enjoy the variety. I specifically want to cast a wider net when it comes to audience so I focused on making these recordings catchier.
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
It’s challenging because there’s a whole hell of a lot more noise one needs to be heard over. However it’s leveled the playing field quite a bit and therefore I appreciate it mostly and see it more as good than bad. Now it’s a lot of DIY and you don’t need to depend on some big corporation to get you anywhere. I like that. I love that I can book my own gigs and go after my goals myself rather than waiting for my “train to come”, as some would say.
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
My website, www.jackievenson.com, is the hub for everything but I am also on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and pretty much any digital platform.
Anything else before we sign off?
Thanks so much for the feature and the opportunity, I hope to see you on the road!