Jamie Lynn Vessels - 10 Questions Music Interview
Jamie Lynn Vessels has been nominated for numerous awards including “Best Roots Rock Artist” of 2018, “Best Roots Rock Album” of 2018 and “Best Emerging Artist” of 2015. She was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and initially studied Criminal Justice, obtaining both a Bachelors and a Masters degree. During her studies, she yearned to fully pursue her love of music and songwriting and eventually she chose a career in music, over criminal justice. Jamie switched gears after graduating, and today she is a successful singer-songwriter. Jamie Lynn Vessles is one of the artists who will be featured on BWH Music Group’s On Peace Street, a compilation album featuring 19 songs about peace and social justice.
What is the name of the song you have on Peace Street?
The name of my song included on "Peace Street" is called 'Don't Worry.'
What is the inspiration behind your song? Or, what is the song about? I initially wrote this song for myself, as a reminder that not everything is as bad or as big as it may seem at the time. I'm generally an optimistic person, but there are many things that can interfere in our daily lives which may put a damper on the beauty of the world. I knew I needed to write this song for myself, but the idea, as with most of my songs, was also to be able to share with other people in the future (this was before I began my career as a professional singer/songwriter and musician). I'm so happy that it's been a fan favorite so far, and can be a source of hope and comfort. My own hope is that this song can bring some peace to any worried or preoccupied soul who may need it.
How did you write your featured song? Or, can you describe your songwriting process?
Usually my songs come from a random melody or lyric that pops into my head; or, if I'm sitting playing or messing around with the guitar, a melodic line on the instrument can spark a song. Music usually precedes or accompanies lyrics for me with the songwriting process.
Who are your major music influences?
I grew up listening to lots of female rock and pop artists of the time, but the ones who have stuck around for me as my major early influences were Sheryl Crow, Beth Hart, and, more recently, Brandi Carlile. I also grew up listening to artists like The Eagles and Melissa Etheridge from my parents. As I grew into my music career, I started getting more into blues/rock and the like, and fell in love with Joe Bonamassa's and Gary Clark Jr.'s musical stylings, and also gathered inspiration from Led Zeppelin and ZZ Top, of places. I always seem to go back to my childhood/early adulthood for most of my songwriting, though. How did you get started in music?
I've always played instruments and written songs since I was young. My mother had me and my brother start out on piano when he was about five and I was four, just like her mother had her and her five siblings do. Then, when my brother and I turned 10, we could choose another instrument to play; I chose guitar, as I had been pestering my parents for years to get one! Apparently, it was a calling for me, and I felt that it was the best way to express myself. I played off and on for my whole life, even starting a "band" with friends in elementary school and playing with other friends throughout my schooling. Ironically, it wasn't until I graduated with my Master's in Criminal Justice that I really felt a call to write and play music. I had some connections in the New Orleans area, so I came here and started playing and recording. Now I have an incredible band with some great shows, travel dates and festivals, and I've met and collaborated with a number of amazing musicians and people.
Of all the songs you’ve written, what was the most challenging and why? Songs can be challenging for different reasons... some take weeks or years to write, to find the right words that go with the right melody. Others take ten minutes or an hour and they feel practically perfect from the start, but they may have a difficult emotional context that you have to bury yourself in each time. I can't say I have one song in particular that is more difficult than another; 'Shadowboxer' was one of the most complex songs I've written, and it's in a style that I'm not entirely used to, so the lyrics took time, and so did the arrangement. However, 'For Kim' and a new, as yet unreleased, song, 'You Are Not Alone,' are those emotional songs that take over when you're singing and recording them, and sometimes, they're hard, but worth it, to get through.
How do you think music help promote world peace and social justice?
I think that music is a universal language -- it unites people from all backgrounds, beliefs, cultures, socio-economic status, gender... you name it. I've met some of the most diverse set of people through music I never would have in any other realm of my life, and it goes to show that the more understanding and empathy we can have in both our commonalities AND differences, the less we will find to fear or hate in "others" unlike ourselves.
What’s coming up in the future?
More recording... more writing... more performing! I have festivals coming up, I play regularly in New Orleans and surrounding areas. My band and I travel for shows, and we're looking to do more and more of all of this in the near future! A new CD is also in the works, and should be available in 2020.Question 10: Music and other tidbits can be accessed through my website and other major music sites:
Tell us where fans can access your music? Website