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On The Loop: Jackie McLean

We had the opportunity to interview with singer, Jackie McLean (JM) as she shared her story of what spark her attention to pursue music and and finding her own sound.

Who or what first inspired you to pursue a career in music?

JM – I’ve been musical my whole life and I’ve secretly always wanted music to be my career, but it took some time for me to be able to acknowledge that. It was a big part of my identity growing up, and I think that for a long time I put too much pressure on myself and was worried that I wouldn’t measure up somehow. So at some point I turned away from the idea, even though it was painful. I really ran from music throughout college, trying to figure myself out and trying to see what else was out there. And then I reached a point after college where I felt an emptiness inside. And enough time had passed that I felt like there wasn’t the same kind of pressure on me to do anything. I had kind of resigned myself by that point to the idea of not doing anything, musically. And as soon as I let go of the dream, it started happening really quickly. I learned piano, not because I thought I should, but because I felt hungry for music, and because I needed it. And then the songs came flowing out. Something loosened up for me, creatively, once there was no more pressure to do anything. It was incredibly liberating. All of a sudden, I was doing it because of the way it made me feel to be doing it. I felt like I had discovered something for the first time, the way everything just clicked together. All of the things that I loved to do were finally in one place. It was an epiphany when I wrote my first song, and it still feels like an epiphany every time.

Read full interview