Jackie Venson is the smile of Austin’s new music scene. Jackie has a lot to say and transmits it with that naturalness of those who enjoy making others enjoy themselves. In the middle of Austin City Limits we had a pleasant conversation with her where we laughed a lot and she explained her interesting idea of music committed to the community.
Her angelic voice, unlimited creativity and closeness make her show a caress to the soul. Once you listen to her melodies you have no choice but to lower your defenses and let yourself be seduced by her warm voice. She whispers good vibes and passion for music.
Her career is about to take off, so it’s the right time to guide you through her secrets.
Jackie is one of the best-made products of the new Austin, as we told you in our article about its scene. She connects with the musical roots of the Texas capital through Soul and Blues but anticipates an electronic and urban tomorrow. Her talent was refined in her childhood in the middle of a musical family of which she is the youngest of nine siblings.
Her mother introduced her to piano lessons when she was only 8 years old. From her father, Andrew Venson, a referent of the Austin music scene, she received valuable advice: The best way to succeed in music is to lead your own band.
With a smile on her lips she remembered that first advice of a career that she has watered with flowers on her own. As her song I Will Find A Way says, she has found her own references and a unique style.
Although, as she herself admits: My father was a great influence in the way in which I represent my show and also in the way in which I lead the band. However, in terms of musical influences my list is endless. From Stevie Wonder to the rock bands of the 90s. I like many types of music.
We are in the heat of the ACL and in our interview the sounds of the Miller Lite Stage are sneaked where Blood Orange distributes musical candies arrived from the British streets. Meanwhile, Jackie tells us about her pleasant experience at Berklee College in Boston, where musical promises from all over the country come.
School & Street
Her smile that does not leave her adds a glint in her eyes remembering her student days. However, for Jackie, the talent is innate and there are no big differences between the school musician and the street musician. I do not think there is a better way in the way of educating a musician. It is something very individual. I’ve met some really good musicians who have not been to college. The drummer of my band is one of the best musicians I’ve ever met in my life and has never been to one college.
For Jackie, Going to Berklee does not make me a better musician than other people. People go to school because of their talent. What you learn there is an addition. I already knew how to play the piano before going to Berklee.
The girl with the smile turned into a woman with a Stratocaster on her shoulder able to illuminate the nights of Austin with her fusion of Blues, Soul and Pop. Her virtuosity with the guitar began to be habitual in the bars of the city with just a pair of EPs published until her first and awaited album, The Light in Me., released in 2014. In it, she captured many of the sounds that made her the new jewel of the city.
Jackie Venson, Musical Explorer
Although, Jackie is an explorer and loves to venture into new territories as her second album, Live at Strange Brew. Her new songs have been appearing on YouTube in a series called The Truth Series.
Her dreams betray a free spirit that doesn’t enclose into rhythms or labels. I would love to collaborate with hip hop musicians. My great musical dream is to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar or with that kind of artists. At this moment I do not see myself doing it but I would like it in the future.
The so-called female Gary Clark Jr sees her future with many doors open to different paths. Definitely the sound I want to try in the future is hip hop. Also make remixes and try electronics, maybe not with my project Jackie Venson but in others. Maybe in the future I can have a collaboration as dj remixing.
Jackie Venson’s videos evoke a colorful and happy Austin related to the smile and light emanating from her music. Jackie values her city and its people. She has a concept about music that is very committed to the community. Without a doubt, music should give more to people. It is a necessary synergy. For that reason, it’s why I want to spend more time in the cities where I perform. Involve me more in the communities because that gives more meaning to the work I do.
Jackie sees music as a means to improve the lives of others and offer new opportunities. On May 21, 2014 the City of Austin decided to honor her work by celebrating the Jackie Venson Day in honor of their fundraising to open new music schools in the area. Her work is not only limited to her hometown but it is something she wants to implement in her tours.
The tours of Jackie Venson are increasingly intense. Being on tour is very hard. I don’t hate it but it’s hard. It’s difficult to wake up in a new place every day. I would like to change the way I tour to spend more time in each city. So, I believe that music should contribute more and I would like to get involved with those communities. I want to have some extra day to get closer to the fans and their realities but it’s always a struggle between time and money.
Dreams Come True
Some tours that have taken her across the United States and European countries such as Finland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. The music of Jackie Venson transcends any frontier and she recognizes having felt very well received in Europe although it still hides a last wish: to play in Spain. I have to go to Spain. I want to go, really. My sister’s band loves it. This desire started with the messages of people who live in Spain and they ask me when you come and I always answer them as soon as possible.
The Austin City Limits continues to roar outside the media lounge where we chat with Jackie Venson. We are both sharing our first first experience at the Texan festival. A dream come true. I finally feel what the city means to me and what supports me. It’s the place I can really call home. It is a very nice feeling, very warm. I had never come because I promised myself that the first time would be to play and in the end I get it. Mission accomplished!
Jackie debuted at the festival with a vibrant show and the premiere of a new song. She also spent time enjoying other bands show like Arizona and Metallica.
For Jackie, Austin is her home and it is easy to find her in her favorite places. A place where I really enjoy playing is Antone’s, although probably the place I’ve most enjoyed is at the ACL. My favorite place in the city is 12th and Chicon St. I really love that area of Austin.
So much since her first album was bought, the soundtrack of Evita. Now, Jackie faces a year full of challenges and illusions. I am planning a new album that I hope to finish in April 2019 and launch in the summer of 2019. I will also tour in Europe next June, hopefully in Spain.
Our conversation ends with laughter analyzing the strange allergy of the new jewel of the Austin scene. I’m allergic to marijuana. I get hives and sneeze. I can smoke weed but I´ll just sneez. If you think about it, how many people are allergic but deny it? How many people have you seen smoking a joint and start sneezing? I think there are a lot of people but they do not want to admit it. They do not want to stop (laughs).
We said goodbye with laughter. We will find it in those places in Austin where the night feels more intense thanks to a voice that begins to fly away from Texas, towards the hills of success. Along the way, it will leave tender songs for strange times like the current ones, smiles and a very necessary commitment to the community. Remember her name.