Artist Interview | Carly Jo Jackson
By Candice Anne Marshall via Indie Music Monday
May 3rd, 2017
Featured Artist photo by photographer, Ron Navarette
IMM – Hello Carly Jo! Welcome to Indie Music Monday! We are pleased to host you on the front page of our website for the week of May 1st, 2017. Can you tell0 us what you know about IMM and your thoughts on being hosted on our site for an entire week?
Carly – I know that I LOVE YA IMM!!! And I know that I am SO honored to be recognized by such an awesome group, doing such amazing and creative work to support artists trying to be heard, like me! I have been telling all my friends to visit the site so they see it and they’re like “What the heck are you doing up there?!” like they have no idea what I’ve been doing for the past 7-8 yrs. LOL so thank you!!! I’m ecstatic to be noticed by you guys, being that I’m such a fan <3.
IMM – I had the opportunity to review your bio on your website and my head is just reeling: you have so many amazing accomplishments under your belt! Can you tell us which one for you is the most memorable and why?
Carly – Wow thank you so much! Sometimes it’s hard to choose which memory, in my musical journey, means the most to me because they each have provided me with such new and different experiences to learn from. If I had to pick though, the America’s Got Talent bit I did was definitely top 5. Being subject to hair and makeup, rocking out for big audiences, and meeting some lifetime friends in the cast and crew was something I’ll never forget. I wouldn’t mind being a part of a big show like that again!
IMM – I saw that you have also performed at a football game (San Francisco 49ers game) before 60,000+ fans! You played your song ‘Oh Yeah’ from your EP ‘Color Show’, can you tell us what that experience was like?
Carly – Oh, I will never forget that amazing feeling of being at the attention of all those people! I must have looked so excited because I remember my cheeks burning from this huge smile I had plastered on my face the entire time. The best part was that I could see people moving and grooving in the crowd, and I thought, “They’re dancing to my song, MY song!”. It was something I feel like I dreamed about as a girl.
IMM – How did you land that gig? (football game)
Carly – I was granted that gig through my amazing home team. JRNE Artist Management has some sweet NFL connections :)!
IMM – Has anyone ever told you that you have similar vocal style to Grammy Award Winning Artist Colbie Caillat?
Carly – Yes and I am so beyond freakishly honored when I hear it! I have used Colbie’s music as inspiration for my own as well as a mending tool for my emotions. I used to think I could not sing, but when I scored a vocal lesson with a hometown teacher of mine when I was very young, he introduced me to her music and I was forever changed. Colbie’s music taught me how to sing in a style that is not the typical, but is our own. I first picked up a guitar after seeing her in concert at 16 as well, I got a lotta love for the Caillats!
IMM – How old are you and where do you call home these days?
Carly – I’m 23 and 24 in August :D! (I feel so old AH). I am from Orlando but currently reside in Miami, FL. Traveling to new living destinations soon, though!
IMM – What does your 2017 tour schedule look like?
Carly – I don’t have formal tour plans yet, but I hope to release new music this summer and maybe plan a fall tour around that.
IMM – I also saw you played the SXSW Music festival as well! Again, another accomplishment from someone so young! How did you land that gig?
Carly – I got to go to Austin for the first time this was huge for me! And of course, I had to bring family along so my sister came as part of my team and we had such a blast! Austin, TX is really like no other place, so many great artists and songs I was completely overwhelmed by love for music. I got to play Red Gorilla Fest and Texas Indie Music Fest, both were so much fun with a great, down-for-it-all audience. I hope to visit again next year with an even bigger show!
IMM – I am absolutely in LOVE with your EP ‘Color Show’. Can you tell us what the songwriting process was like for you on this album? What instrument did you write most of your songs on?
Carly – Gosh you have no idea how happy it makes me that the EP is getting love from you and your team :)! This songwriting process is one that was long and drawn out but made into a short “Color Show” of emotions. I grabbed that title because each song kind of displayed a different color of feelings than the next. Also, there are a few color references in the titles. I wrote out of love, longing, hopeful & hopelessness, joy, and badassy-ness for this one all on my guitar and ukulele.
IMM – What is your personal favorite song on the ‘Color Show’ album and why?
Carly – These songs are my children, you want me to pick the “favorite child”?!?! (ha-ha) I’d say that I have two, “Red Wine and White Shoes” because it calms me. When I hear it I’m always thrown back into the bittersweet nostalgia of that clumsy love story. “Trouble” is my other favorite because it reminds me that I have had troubles for as long as I can remember, but I’m still doing okay, I’m still doing this. It holds me together at times.
IMM – I see that you have also been endorsed by Samson Technologies for your sound equipment too – how did that come about?
Carly – I can thank a few people for that one! My team again. Also, my producer/guitar instructor Mike Walker at his studio DreamWalker Prod., and his connection to a mutual musical friend Rene Flores who is close with the company. Rene is the featured bassist on some of my songs on the EP “Color Show” and he has been a great help in connecting me with Samson. I had already been using some of Samson Technologies equipment so he thought of the pairing between us. Me and Samson have been good pals ever since!
IMM – Also, there’s a Luna Guitar endorsement – can you tell us how that came about?
Carly – Luna reached out to me having heard my music somehow in the universe (I’m not sure their exact source, lol). But I cannot explain the utter awe and excitement that came from that email, I was already such a fan of theirs. I got to work with them immediately by going out to their showroom in Tampa, FL, to choose a new Luna and start rocking with it! They have inspired me so greatly by working through love and passion, excluding negativity from the music business. I’ve always admired the tribe, so now I’m enthralled to be a part of it :).
IMM – You have been invitation to perform at the 30A Songwriters Festival this past Jan 13 – 15, 2017. What was that experience like?
Carly – Oh I LOVE me some 30A! Those festivals feed my songwriter side. Every musician there is so intriguingly different and passionate about what they sing. Playing amongst such rock stars was intimidating at times but so inspiring! Being there makes you want to just go write your heart out. I was so honored and blessed to make some forever friends there as well.
IMM – I had a look at your official Carly Jo Jackson Facebook page and saw that you debut a new original ‘Clipped Wings’ at the Florida Music Festival you had attended. Is this a single you will be releasing in the near future?
Carly – Yes, I’m glad you saw that! “Clipped Wings” is a single which is metaphorically named after my luck (lol). The feeling of having the potential to do great things but being held down by something comes upon us too often. And I feel that singing about something that bothers you is therapy, so this song helps me get through those times I’m down and out. I will be releasing it very soon, woohoo! I hope to get it all finished in the studio this summer, so release dates will come after :).
IMM – What do you have coming down the pipe for the next 6-12 months in terms of your music career?
Carly – I have a lot of new sounds and exciting styles coming in the music making so there is the curing and releasing of those songs as well as some music videos to tag along with them which should be pretty entertaining with a personal feel. I also have a lot of exciting shows that cannot be announced yet, but you can expect that my addiction to live stages will promise my fans something big to look out for!
IMM – Can you tell us what your best fan experience was and why?
Carly – I had met a girl once who saw me on AGT. Her mother set up a surprise performance where I would sing with her at her Bat Mitzvah and, oh lordy, was that something special! She knows the words to my songs so sharing a moment of singing those together was like magic. It is such a beautiful connection, music and fans. I’m a fan myself for many artists so it was so cool to see someone fangirling me!
IMM – Which radio stations have been spinning your music?
Carly – I’m mostly indie radio right now so there are a few that are spinning. Also, local radio like WMMO in Orlando has been a longtime supporter of my music and WPRK at Rollins College as well as a few others! Shake 108 in Miami featured me on the release of “Color Show”. SwampMusicPlayers online is a huge friend as well and has been playing me on their indie station. Epicuria Radio out of Greenville, SC has been a longtime supporter also.
IMM – Which media platform has been most supportive of your music career on a continual basis?
Carly – ReverbNation is one platform that I feel I owe so much to. They have so many brilliant opportunities for indie artists putting themselves out there like me. I have been with them for years now and hopefully forever on, so that many more wonderful experiences through their tireless work are to come.
IMM – Can you tell us what success means to you?
Carly – I have been trying to figure that out more and more lately. I think as you start to get older it really becomes a topic of discussion because you feel like as more years pass your success should be building, right? This could be good or bad, however, I see it like this: Success is where you are right now compared to where you started. Most relate success to how much money you have or how beautiful your material things are. But I think it is a matter of strength, not possessions. I have a lot of pressure I carry as a musician with “success”, and each time I start to worry about how far I’ll go or how much hard work I still need to endure I think back to my younger self. If I could tell 6 year old me what was to come along with music, I would have been so happy and proud. And that’s just so far, so I know I have something to call success. But more of that is what I aim for. More strength and going farther and farther from where I’ve come…. that is success to me.
IMM – I also saw an adorable photo you posted on your social media of you and your sisters at Easter…. are your sisters also involved in music or the arts?
Carly – Ha, I love that pic! My sisters are both talented in music, one received a music scholarship to University of Florida, and the other spent many years with different instruments. They both also sing beautifully, but they are a little more reserved than I so they never felt like taking it to the stage. They both share the same love I do for music, plus they always support me on my journey with incredible advice and care.
IMM – What is the family support for your music career like?
Carly – The family support I receive is so wonderful, I know I would be nowhere at all without it. My sisters, mom and dad have been with me thru every smile and tear. My mom and I working hand and hand as artist and management for so long has brought us closer. Also, all of my family shares my music and events with their friends so when I come home they make me feel like a Rockstar :)! They have never once doubted me or let me even think about giving up. Sometimes that family strength is all a girl needs to keep on.
IMM – I saw that you have been at this since a very young age – can you tell us what it was like growing up with your career and how your peers responded to your successes? Were they supportive?
Carly – Well I started this thing at around 14 yrs. so you can imagine that being a vulnerable time to put yourself out there in such a way to your peers. But even with all the pressure of being judged abnormal or being judged PERIOD by my friends, I was still able to put myself out there. Some supported, some made fun, but in the end my real friends showed true by holding me to my music dreams and always being there for me. As I continued on my peers have become very accustomed to my music and my friends continue following and showing up at my shows which means so much! It is always exciting running into someone who knew my music from the very start so I’m very happy I began this music thing when I did!
IMM – I saw on your bio that you went to college. That’s excellent! Can you tell us the nature of your studies there?
Carly – Aw thank you! School by the beach was an awesome experience! Distracting at times (you can imagine) and I plan on going back. I studied some cool subjects like a major in Literature under Creative Writing and a minor in Music.
IMM – What does the music scene mainly focus on in your native Florida?
Carly – Music in FL is mainly designed around the “feel-good” emotion. If you can get people moving or emoting with you, then you’ll have everyone there to stay. I think it’s the happy-go-lucky personality of my state that makes people so attached to feeling good.
IMM – What are your thoughts on the Music Industry in general?
Carly – I think there is so much that makes the music industry a beautifully complex animal. It can be petting you on the head one minute and the next biting you in the tail, sometimes I wonder “Why did I ever put myself into this industry.” But that question is easily answered by unforgettable memories and experiences that only come from diving into it. I think, though, the industry could use a little more love/open-mindedness. I see a lot of people going to extra lengths to watch their own back when moving through the music machine when I wish we could trust to be taken care of as we take care of others.
IMM – Can you tell us what a day in the life of ‘Carly Jo Jackson’ might be like? Fans always like to know this….
Carly – A day in the life of me includes at least 3 clumsy moments (a trip, fall, broken plate…it’s always something) a BUNCH of yummy food (because I eat like a whale) a trip to the water at some point to get the mind and body synchronized. I also love spending time at home writing and singing (with my kitten there to accompany me). And hanging out on crazy spontaneous adventures with my friends, we love anything that involves laughing, outdoors or partying so we have too much fun!
IMM – Finish the sentence: If I wasn’t a Musician, I would have been a…….
Carly – Veterinarian. I love animals so much that I could easily be one and I just don’t know it yet, lol. That or I have always had a weird fascination with Egyptology so something like researching or field work on Egypt’s ancient history would be spell bounding to me.
IMM – Can you name five things about yourself that no one knows anything about?
- Every time I travel to a new city on my journey I am like obsessed with finding the spooky stories and urban legends of the area before I go. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated with the ghost and goblin stories in the area, but I think it’s because my dad always read and told really fun scary stories when I was a kid. I have been given the chance to visit some really old cities too so those were some fun trips, getting to know the town through its dark side ;).
- I’m really good at bowling, pins all day baby.
- Despite my interest in spookiness (as mentioned in #1) I am 100% completely and utterly terrified of being alone in the dark.
- I have ADHD which makes it really hard in school and in studies. So, I constantly have to challenge myself to get things done every day. But it’s something I’m always working on :).
- I once fell through the ceiling…but I was okay. I was in the attic in my garage at home looking for Halloween decorations when I stepped thru the drywall and somehow caught myself so I was hanging like a monkey from the ceiling. My friends were there thankfully but could not help me due to the fact they couldn’t breathe because they were dying of laughter. I got down but my parents made me feel the regret!
IMM – Are you looking at doing a collaboration with other Artists in the future?
Carly – Definitely! I have met some new friends here in Miami who I will be writing and releasing new music with in the near future with a new pop acoustic sound. Also, some old friends from Orlando want to get some songs together so I can’t wait to release some hometown cookings!
IMM – Can you tell us if we can be looking forward to a new album in the near future?
Carly – I can tell you that there is one in the making. I was looking to release in the summer, but it has already been pushed back a month, so the actual release date is TBA. But I know I will be sending it your way for sure :D!
IMM – Okay, final question: given what you know and have experienced in the music industry, what advice would you give to someone starting a music career?
Carly – Oh, I love this question! Things will be good and things will be bad. But you must make sure you don’t become spoiled by good and discouraged by any bad. Being able to bounce back better from something means more than just about anything in this industry so be strong with an open mind. The ONLY thing that differentiates a person who believes they achieved their dreams and a person who didn’t is that the one who achieved never gave up. So, you can never give up. Your words are powerful and your mind can change others so go forward in being you!
IMM – Thank you Carly Jo!
Carly Jo Jacksons Social Media Links (click to view)