The Odyssey

An Interview With Singer-Songwriter Roan Yellowthorn

(Don McLean’s daughter), and the new artist you should keep your eyes out for.

In a small, packed concert venue in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jackie a.k.a. Roan Yellowthorn sat in front of her keyboard to play her first Manhattan show. The room was filled with love and excitement for Roan’s live performance of her newly released EP “Roan Yellowthorn.” Her husband Shawn accompanied her by playing the drums.

Though Roan only started last year you would think that she’s been in the business much longer. Roan was an active member in theatre and clearly inherited her father Don McLean’s musical genes. She has created her own unique sound and her music can be described as indie but with each word she sings you can hear all the emotions behind the song. She has found inspiration from poems to even “Teen Mom” couple Catelynn and Tyler.

Roan’s performance was beautifully performed and written. After her show, I had the opportunity to sit down with her and talk.

Q. What does your name come from?

Roan: I never really liked my own name. I never felt like it was really mine. I have always kind of been obsessed with the idea of naming myself — I used to give myself all of these weird, embarrassing nicknames that no one actually ever used for me — and a few years ago when I was, like, 20, I decided to just sit down and come up with my “own” name. I was on the train, and I thought about it for a long time. I knew that I wanted it to be something nature-based and whimsical. And I settled on “Roan Yellowthorn.” It felt right to me. I didn’t actually legally change my name to that because it was kind of daunting to think about having to ask people to call me that, but I knew I wanted to use it somehow. Then, when I started making music, I felt again that my name wasn’t right. Like, it didn’t feel like it was “me.” I tried for a while to think of a stage name and then it was just there in front of me — the perfect opportunity to use Roan Yellowthorn, my chosen name.

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