With only a few weeks left in her Joy to the World tour, Jackie Venson is on the verge of taking the world by storm. Having been previously compared to the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, and Alicia Keys, Venson’s vocals are powerful enough to fill up a room a cappella, yet captivating and soulful enough to move an entire audience to their core.
It’s easy to see why her most recent album, Joy, has received so much critical acclaim and how Venson has been recognized by Forbes for the talent she possesses.
We had the chance to speak with Venson as she talks about her latest album, her dreams moving forward, and what inspires her musically.
Jessica Gavrilovski: So I read on your website that you attended Berklee to practice classical piano, but realized your passion for live performance was founded within the electric guitar. What made you decide to learn the electric guitar?
Jackie Venson: I had been playing the piano for over a decade and just drifted away from it. I knew I still wanted to play music, I just didn’t want to play the piano anymore. This is when I had the bright idea to try another instrument, and from the moment I was lent an electric guitar from a neighbor in my dorm building, that was when I realized how much I had always wanted to play the guitar. The rest is history.
Gavrilovski: Are there any other instruments you haven’t learned yet that you would like to?
Venson: I would love to be a boss at the Hammond organ.
Gavrilovski: What inspires you more musically, lyrics or the composition?
Venson: Composition but only by a tiny bit. Lyrics are extremely important to me and can really make or break a song; however, at the end of the day I’m [a] big music nerd.
Gavrilovski: Your most recent album, “Joy,” was released this past April. Looking back, what’s been the most rewarding part of recording “Joy?”
Venson: The reception of Joy has been the best reception of any project I have ever released, by a mile. It’s been really great to see how positively it’s effected people’s lives, fans or not.
Gavrilovski: Were there any challenges with recording “Joy?” If so, what would you do differently now?
Venson: The biggest challenge was the timing of it, finishing all [of] the songs and making sure they’re exactly how they were in my head, not rushing through them, however, still working with a deadline. I don’t see it as something to do differently in the future because it just be that way sometimes.
Gavrilovski: I see you’re currently on tour, how’s the crowd reception been so far?
Venson: It’s been generally great. It’s up and down when it comes to attendance numbers but whoever has shown up has been stoked about it.
Gavrilovski: Do you have any downtime in each city? If so, what’s been your favorite city to see?
Venson: Usually no but I really truly love Minneapolis and I’m very much looking forward to visiting San Diego again.
Gavrilovski: What’s something you have to have on all of your tour riders?
Venson: Water bottles and towels.
Gavrilovski: Who is someone that you would love to tour with and why?
Venson: Hard to say as I don’t know anyone’s personality and half the challenge of touring with people is the quality of the hang; however, it would be pretty cool to tour with Tash Sultana because our sounds compliment each other.
Gavrilovski: Finally, what is your dream festival to play?
Venson: Honestly headlining any major festival, don’t really care which one, would be super lit.