Find the courage to speak your truth.
New Jersey singer-songwriter Jackie June channels this guiding principle into her 2019 EP ‘Wildflower’. Truth has remained a challenging force for the indie-pop songstress, having spent life suppressing her undying passion for music. Now secure in her footing and firm in her voice, she shares her story of apprehension with the world while instructing those both young and old that it’s never too late to leap forward into your truth. Finally harnessing her voice and speaking as the narrator of her own story, she accesses the most authentic version of herself.
Q: What is the origin story of Jackie June? How did you come to be a singer-songwriter?
A: I’ve always loved singing. I think I came out of the womb singing songs. However, it wasn’t until the past couple of years that I made an attempt at writing my own songs. I had taken a break for a while and wanted to get back into singing so I started voice lessons with the amazing singer-songwriter, Jes Hudak. She is the one who inspired me to start writing and now I’ve written most of my songs with her!
Q: You recently released your debut single “Chasing Nightmares”. How exciting is that?
A: Oh my gosh, it’s incredible. I really loved the song and hoped others would too! I even just released a music video for it. How crazy is that? Sometimes I need to pinch myself.
Q: What is the story behind the single? What was your inspiration?
A: The song is actually about self-sabotage. I spent a lot of my life dealing with that. Not allowing myself to chase my dreams even though I knew there was a chance they were accessible. I was always afraid of failure. The song is about how I refuse to do that to myself anymore and I hope it inspires others to be less afraid and to actually chase their dreams.
Q: Do you have any favorite lyrics from “Chasing Nightmares”?
A: I think it’s the chorus. “I’m chasing all my nightmares, cuz my daydreams haunt me. I see them standing right there. Come on try to find me.” Almost like I’m enticing my dreams to keep coming at me. That even though I fight them off because of fear, I still want them to keep trying. There’s still that gleam of hope inside me that things are possible.
Q: The debut single is only the beginning because you are releasing your EP ‘Wildflower’ soon. What can you tell me about it? Where will it be available for purchase?
A: Yes! I am so excited! It will be a 5 song EP. It is available for pre-order now across all streaming platforms and will be released on 3/8. I will also have it available on CD for purchase!
Q: What was your writing process for the EP? Was it different than writing you have done in the past?
A: I wrote all 5 songs with Jes Hudak. The process was pretty similar for most of the songs. I generally come up with some sort of melody in my head and then match it to a concept of what I want the song to be about. I write lyrics to it or even lyrics that may not go with the melody, but fit the concept, and then bring it to Jes. She is amazing at helping me build out the concepts, add to the lyrics and melody, and create amazing chord progressions and music to connect the dots. She is really incredible.
Q: If you had to choose, what is your favorite song from the EP?
A: This is such a difficult question to answer! Each one of the 5 songs is deeply personal to me. I write about feelings and/or experiences that I’ve had. I tell stories about real life. So it’s like being asked to pick your favorite child. I think I like the storyline of “Find a Way” the best, the driving force behind “Wildflower”, and the melody of “Chasing Nightmares” a lot. Ugh, whatever, I really can’t pick.
Q: Do you have any upcoming shows you can tell me about?
A: Yes, so many!
3/03 – 1 PM – Dragonfly Music & Coffee Café – Somerville, NJ
3/09 – 7 PM – Roxy & Duke’s Roadhouse – Dunellen, NJ
3/16 – 7 PM – Saige Coffee House – Jackson, NJ
3/19 – 8 PM – Van Gogh’s Ear Café – Union, NJ
3/20 – 7 PM – Northern Lights Espresso Bar – Scranton, PA
3/21 – 8 PM – Starry Nites Café – Rochester, NY
3/22 – 10 PM – House show at SUNY Potsdam – Potsdam, NY
3/23 – 7 PM – Cafeteria Coffee House – New Paltz, NY
3/24 – 1 PM – J. Rene Coffee Roasters – West Hartford, CT
3/30 – 8 PM – The Pharmacy – Philadelphia, PA
4/07 – 1 PM – EP Release Party at General Store – Lavallette, NJ
4/13 – 7:30 PM – Map Room at the Bowery Electric – New York, NY
4/23 – 7 PM – Café Artiste at the Jersey Shore Arts Center – Ocean Grove, NJ
5/01 – 7 PM – Debonair Music Hall – Teaneck, NJ
6/21 – 9 PM – The Asbury – Asbury Park, NJ
Q: How would you describe your local music scene in New Jersey? What is your favorite thing about it?
A: It’s actually an incredibly welcoming community. I’ve met so many wonderful, talented musicians and it’s incredible how supportive we are of each other. We tell each other about events, attend each other’s shows, play music or sing for each other, and even collaborate in writing. It’s just a great scene and I’m proud to have joined and become a part of it!
Q: What do you hope listeners gain from your music?
A: I hope they can enjoy the melodies and have fun with the songs but that they can also connect to the lyrics. I am still on a journey, as we all are, but if my experiences or words can connect to someone and maybe make them feel less alone, then I know I’ve done something right. I know that’s what music does for me. It helps me feel connected.