Exclusive Interview: Jacqui Verellen Talks Music, Getting Her Start
When it comes to music, I usually lean towards country but love a bit of everything. I always like to get to know a new and up and coming artist. I recently got the chance to interview Jacqui Verellen and get to know all about her. If you haven’t heard, Jacqui make sure you check her out on the video below.
Have you always known that music is what you want to do?
I’ve always known music is what I want to do. Music is in my family, my grandma runs a church choir and plays piano and guitar, my mom and dad play and sing, my uncles and aunts all played instruments and my family loved blasting the radio hits while I grew up. Music was in me before I discovered it. When I was five I would start pretending to be on stage at home and would write songs and my parents over heard me and put me in singing lessons and I loved it. Thats how I became inspired
Tell me a bit about your journey in music so far.
When I was a young girl I had a restless passion for music and songwriting and I have an entire bin back at home of all my hilarious lyrics from childhood. Because I was surrounded by instruments, I started picking up guitar, piano, flute then ukulele. I started performing in plays choirs and contests all over Ontario and it boosted my confidence as a kid a lot. I had felt a bit strange being so creative but the people I met in the arts were always open and unique. My high school should be called an arts school, it was full of opportunity. Amazing teachers helped me continue to explore in musical theatre, voice, acting and instrumentals. I loved being able to express myself and be around so many talented individuals. It taught me a lot. I ended up placing in Canadian competitions and decided to pursue a university degree in opera. During my studies I found myself placing in major pop,/country songwriting contests, writing country songs, and saw where my true passion lied. I eventually won CMTC in my third year university and then found myself travelling to Nashville to record this single. It became obvious to me that country music was my calling.
What genre would you call your music?
My music is definitely country, as I learned so many country greats as a girl and developed a vocal style that way – but with influence in pop, soul, jazz, rock, classical and theatre, it’s kind of funny how much you can hear in this one song. My voice has always been versatile. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Although it brought me initial uncertainty, it also brought me the ability to experiment and find my true self. I find the blend of all of those influences, brings a unique quality to my music that feels like the real me. I love country music; I love that I can be imperfect and it’s all apart of the art. That it’s okay to be yourself and tell a very real story with details.
How many various instruments do you play? Do you write your own music?
I play guitar, piano, flute, ukulele, and my goal is to eventually learn violin or a stringed instrument! 🙂 I love dabbling with sound. I definitely write my own music I have hundreds of country songs from childhood until this point. There are periods when I’ve written more often. But I have too many to count.
What current projects are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a few other songs I’ve written and explored them. I have two in particular I feel strongly about called “nobody’s girl” and “gun song”, and I really hope to create them in the future. It takes a long time when you want to be detailed and I don’t wanna rush creativity. However, I’m excited to get to them next!
Currently I’m also in the international songwriting competition finals for this piece which I am so proud of. It’s so exciting to have appreciation for hard work and listening to all the other contestants songs inspired me. There are so many fantastic country artists out there and it’s an honour to be considered along with them.
I moved to Toronto from my hometown Chatham and I remember being very sad visiting home one day. In the evening when I was alone I went through old pictures and started to cry thinking of how lucky I was to have had such a great family. I missed being with them all the time and I started writing a song. This song became the basis of Home is Home and Jeff Pardo who is fabulously talented helped me to create that vision. I wanted it to be small town feel. The line “like an old oak tree” was inspired by the trees in my yard which led us to “roots run deep.” I want people to be able to remember no matter where they grew up, what it felt like. What it’s made them. Who they are and how they always belong to their home. Family is the most important thing we have and I couldn’t think of a better way to thank mine for their support then to dedicate a song to them.
How can fans best stay in touch with you?
Fans can follow me on any of my accounts as I love meeting new people! I have Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. I post a ton of vlogs on YouTube as well talking to people and would love to meet some new faces and interact 🙂
After you check out Jacqui Verellen, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Jacqui’s “Home is Home” pulls at my heart strings and I tear up listening and watching her video of photos that are my family too; she is so right saying “family is everything”, and my heart cries because I’m so far away from family (kids, siblings, nieces and nephews) with very little to no communication with them, I pray for change.
Thank you Jacqui, I’m so proud of you!