Indiy is all about championing the very best go-getters making their way in the independent music industry.
We are really excited to be able to catch up with the immensely talented Jessica Jolia to talk past, present, and future! We are big fans!
Jessica Jolia is a recording artist, songwriter, producer, and humanitarian.
Jessica’s debut single “Sometimes” was independently released and featured in the 2015 film Sister Code, and it quickly attracted the attention of listeners across all platforms. Her critically acclaimed performances on The Ellen Show and the Late Late Show with James Corden have been written about and featured in The Source, This Is RnB, The A&R Report, Rolling Soul Brazil, and countless other publications worldwide.
This year, Jessica was nominated for the coveted SAMMIES award which recognizes the talented bands, songwriters, emcees, DJs and others in the Sacramento music scene and with more than 40,000 votes cast in a number of categories, she was voted the 2020 SAMMIES Best Singer/Songwriter award winner.
Let’s jump right in!
I think my favourite thing about being an independent musician is having so much creative control and freedom. It allows me the space to create music for a broad audience, and it stretches me at times as well. I’m always trying to think outside of the box, looking for new ways to express myself in a format that others can relate and gravitate towards.
In light of the current pandemic, we’re in the midst of, my studio setup has been modified in a manner that allows me to accomplish everything I need to from the comfort of my own home. On my computer desk, you’ll find a MacBook Pro, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, MXL CR-89, Kaotica Eyeball (Fat Boy), Sennheiser HD 280 and HD 300 Pro studio headphones and a pretty awesome desktop mic stand that I created by modifying a guitar amp mic stand. I also have a desktop ring light for nights when I want to visually capture what I’m working on. My DAW of choice is Logic Pro X, a very user-friendly program, and I write and record my music in that nice, efficient space.
I think I enjoy all of it, equally. I’m very hands-on when it comes to the creative aspect of my music, working alongside producers or co-producing, arranging the music, writing the songs, arranging the vocals and engineering the sessions. I work meticulously and pay close attention to detail, and love learning about new techniques that I can implement. But, I do very much enjoy live performance as well. It’s such a beautiful exchange of energy to perform in front of others. I’m grateful to have the experience of both large and intimate level touring, and look forward to being able to perform live again in the future.
“Fresh, fun, and all the vibes”
Generally speaking, I do plan my releases. Curators typically prefer at least 3 weeks’ advance notice for consideration and since playlist placement is such an effective way to get increased exposure for your music, I try to submit to as many opportunities as possible. My previous release, “On A Break”, was sent to my distributor almost a full 4 weeks before its scheduled release date (October 30th). This gave me time to set up pre-save and pre-order options, submit to curators on all major digital platforms, and to run a challenge on a new music app I enjoy called Voisey. In contrast, my newest release “In The Water” was sent to my distributor about 1 week before its scheduled release date because I decided to release it on my Dad’s birthday (November 30th) as a surprise. It’s a song that he really enjoys! I still sent the single out for playlist and promo consideration, though realistically it may take a few weeks before I begin to get responses. For my Dad, though, it’s worth the wait this time.
My team and I have decided to release singles every 4-6 weeks. I think listeners appreciate consistent, regular content, which also helps build the anticipation of the release of a full project. At the moment, we’re considering late Q1 or early Q2 for an album release. In the meantime, it’s just exciting to keep sharing the music I’ve worked on, especially the songs I’ve written this year.
Yes, we definitely have plans for videos and are hoping to be able to film next year. Again, just exercising caution and trying to keep everyone as safe as possible until we’re out of the current pandemic. But do keep a look out! Great things in the works.
All of the work I’ve done up to this point is really special to me. I feel really blessed to have been able to work with such talented people who are equally passionate about the work they do. One of my favorite collaborations was on my debut single “Sometimes”, which was produced by Rhythm Section Entertainment and recently surpassed 1M streams (Spotify). I also really enjoyed working with Joe Archie, who created a beautiful string arrangement for my original holiday tune “StillLin Rountree, an incredible and versatile trumpet playerEric “Boots” Greene, an awesome, energetic drummer and producerDOA, who’s phenomenal on bass, strings, and vocal arrangementsLamar Edwards, Datboi Awwsome, Shaun P. and Ben Bladz, who have each produced a number of songs I’ve written this year.
I think the music is always what inspires me the most. Rather than deciding that I want to write about a certain subject matter or experience, I sit with the music, connect, and let it inspire what I’ll write about. It’s a different process than most, I’m sure, but for me it’s what allows me to write the from the most authentic, genuine space. I think it’s my way of working with the music, rather than trying to force the music work for me.
I’m definitely an old soul, so most of the songs and albums that I love came before my time. Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston are among my absolute favorites, to give you an idea. As for my top three albums, I’d say “Songs In The Key Of Life” by Stevie Wonder, “Diamonds and Pearls” by Prince & The New Power Generation, and “Bobby” by Bobby Brown. Stevie’s album is a classic body of work, filled with exceptional musicianship and songwriting. “Diamond and Pearls” is an album that I fell in love with after hearing the title track, featuring the beautiful voice of Rosie Gaines. “Bobby” is just a really fun and exciting album that features catchy sounds and songs that I think I’ll always enjoy listening to.
As of now, my team consists of myself as the owner of Dekada Records, my management team, legal team, and various producers, musicians, engineers, graphic/visual artists, makeup artists, photographers, marketing and advertising teams. None of what I do would be possible without each person’s commitment, dedication and hard work, and I thank God for placing each person in my life as He has. It’s truly a blessing!
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