Nashville based up and coming artist Jessie Clement is a musician of the heart, valuing the realness and vulnerability of her music. Growing up with artistic inspirations such as James Taylor and the Doobie Brothers, Clement tailored her musical style toward jazz, folk, and R&B. After catching the attention of vocalist Russell Terrell, who has worked with Johnny Mathias and Kenny Rogers, and having him become her mentor, Jessie was able to establish her sound and receive over 100,000 streams on Spotify by the age 19.
Her most recent album, Slow Motion Philosophies, captures Jessie’s essence and true spirit where she is unapologetically herself. This album was captured live with an all-star band at Nashville’s Sound Emporium studio, which gives the album its unique flare.
Jessie has been spotlighted in The WiMN’s She Rocks Spotlight Series with Parade magazine. You can view that performance here.
We spoke with Jessie about the creation of her latest album, advice for women in the music industry, and more.
To learn more about Jessie Clement, you can check out https://www.jessieclement.com/.
The WiMN: You mentioned that you grew up with a large musical influence in your life. How was it growing up with music all around you and how did this affect your musical style?
JC: I did. And it was the best way to grow up. Both of my parents are lovers of all things music. They filled the house with all sorts of instruments, so I was always experimenting with them. I was also homeschooled, which grew in me the gift of being a self-learner. So between the drive to learn and figure things out and having access to all of those instruments, I began to learn and create music. Not only that, they both have fantastic taste in music. My upbringing was quite the mixtape. From Doobie Brothers to Chopin… from James Taylor to West Side Story. It gave me an appreciation for good music. Period. I enjoy finding golden moments in each genre that I can learn from, so being around music from a young age ABSOLUTELY affected my musical style, and I am forever grateful for it.
The WiMN: You emphasize the importance of expressing how you feel. Your battle cry is ‘Feel Things!’ What was your journey to get to this place in your music and in your life?
JC: I’ve just always believed that there is so much “fluff” in the world. People use sex, drugs, alcohol, and any number of other things to numb themselves while dealing with their humanity, but there is so much to be learned on the mountain tops of life, and even more to be learned in the valleys. I just don’t believe that music should be amongst the list of things that people use to numb themselves. It should encourage thought, provoke growth, help the healing process, and bring sense to the situation. But the only way that can happen, is by being real, vulnerable, and authentic. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
The WiMN: You have been backed up by some amazing band members such as guitarist Mark Trussell (Maren Morris, Blake Shelton), bassist Rich Brinsfield (Brothers Osborne, Drew Holcomb), and drummer Evan Hutchings (Kelsea Ballerini, Rascal Flatts). How does working with your band influence your music?
JC: Working with people who play instruments is one thing, working with musicians is another. The guys I played alongside on my last couple records are some of the most creative minds I’ve ever met. They inspire me from measure to measure: beat to beat. After tracking days, it’s always so fun for me to go back and listen to the way I initially played things, because it’s seldom the same. They always breathe new life into my ideas, and it just makes it so special to me.
The WiMN: For your latest album, Slow Motion Philosophies, you were able to help on the production side of things. How did this affect the process of album creation and feel for you? Do you think you will want to become more involved in this in the future?
JC: I am falling more and more deeply in love with production with every song I write. Absolutely, I want to be more involved in this area. I just love helping each song discover itself. It’s addicting.
The WiMN: You were selected to perform at the 2020 She Rocks ASCAP Experience showcase and then, sadly, the event was cancelled. What influenced you to apply and how are you coping with what’s going on in the world now?
JC: I’ve never been very good at self promotions, so in all honesty, it was my producer, Russell, who submitted me for that showcase. When he told me I was chosen, I about flipped my lid. Getting accepted for the showcase really set in motion several bookings and appearances for me in the month of April (shows, a podcast I was really excited about and I even got invited to go meet the staff at Fender Guitars and do a little performance for them). Unfortunately, this crazy virus had a little something to say about all that and it all ended up getting canceled. As for coping with the aftermath, I pretty much haven’t left my little home studio at my parents house since this all began, and it has been wonderful. I’ve been writing and producing like a crazy person. Then again, we may all be becoming crazy people, so maybe I finally fit right in. 🙂
The WiMN: How do you feel about the opportunities for women in the music industry? How has this affected you?
JC: I am so incredibly grateful that I am a gal in the industry right now, and I’m so proud of my women that are conquering the field. Finding female musicians who inspire me and that I can relate to has been life-changing for me. It’s the most supportive, creative, and hilarious CD community, and I couldn’t be happier to be a part.
The WiMN: What advice would you give to women looking to find their way in the music industry?
JC: Spend time on your craft. Learn your voice and what you have to say. And, if I may extend that thought a bit, personally, I think it’s in the best interest of female artists to keep their clothes on. One thing I hate so much is that gals are so often told that they’ll only be successful if they “wear less” and just “give the people what they want”. Whether they’re told that by themselves, somebody else, or the culture at large, I don’t know, but I DO know that we should never be pressured into believing that we have to take our clothes off to mean something to someone. Maybe that’s an unpopular opinion, but I just figure that if we try to put out great music that says things we care about, that should be enough. I won’t cater my art to perverts who don’t care about my voice anyway. I believe we are worth more than that.
The WiMN: What do you have in store for the rest of 2020?
JC: We’ll see. I’d really love to reschedule my April trip out west before the end of the year. I was really looking forward to performing out there, meeting people, and tapping into that LA energy. Regardless, I plan on falling even deeper in love with the art of production, and continuing to write as much, and about as much as humanly possible.