Jillian Jacqueline made quite an impact on the UK country music fan base during Country Music Week in October last year. Having released her fantastic debut EP Side A last year, Jillian has gone on to have quite the year in 2018 already with a live appearance on Late Night With Seth Myers, up and coming tours with Thomas Rhett, Brett Young and Jordan Davis on the cards and of course a string of shows across C2C Festival weekend in March.
Recently, Jillian released her retro -cinematic styled video for her epic track Reasons which is one of the best country pop songs to emerge in years.
We spoke with Jillian to discuss the retro – cinematic video and to discuss her return to the UK for C2C Festival. It is always such a joy to chat to Jillian as she is one of those people you can’t help but love. Her quirky, infectious personality reflects in her music and her retro pop music reflects in her personality.
Jillian is an artist not to miss at C2C so please make sure you check her out over the weekend.
I hope you enjoy our chat.
Hi Jillian – how are you?
Great, just landed in Pittsburgh, very snowy!
Did you have a good a Christmas and New Year?
I did, it was great and relaxing. I got to see my family in New York and had some downtime, so it was the perfect reset for me.
Last time I spoke to you was during Country Music Week.
I remember; that was so much fun!
How was that week for you?
Hannah, honestly it was unbelievable. I was so happy to be there and everyone was incredibly sweet – and I couldn’t be more excited to come back for C2C
Yes, us too
You have just released the video for Reasons, which is fab. Tell us a bit about the idea behind it; you have said it is inspired by your favourite movies?
Yeah, it was; the whole colouring, the aesthetic, the way we shot it. I just really wanted to capture what I love about a couple of different movies and directors. There is a director called Wes Anderson who has done a bunch of films that I really enjoyed, such as The Royal Tenenbaums. I love how they are a little bit quirky, and how everything is captured, and how the characters are brought to life in a very funny way.
So I explained that to my director for the video who was completely on board. We also pulled in elements of one my favourite ever movies called Amélie; it is a French film with a lot of interesting quirky dialogue, which is why we brought in the sub-titles. The camera movements are very reminiscent of that movie as well. It was kind of a dream come true for me, as we got to recreate things which have always been super inspiring to me as an artist visually. We were able to give the song a whole new life through the video and bring a lot of different shimmer and lightness and visual creative movements.
I think people are enjoying it because there are a lot of funny moments in the video that bring a bit of levity to a very heavy subject. The song itself feels fun, although the lyrics are a little bit heartbreaking at the end of a relationship – but I wanted this to be a fun take on the whole subject, which I think we achieved, so I am really proud how it turned out.
You should be – and Amélie is a favourite of mine, too. Now you mention it, I can see the influence in the video.
You co-directed it; what was that like, directing?
I did yes, with Patrick Tracy. After he and I started digging in and discussing the whole thing he realised that I was going to be pretty forceful about what I wanted. He has always been really great about listening to my ideas, so he texted me and asked if I wanted to be co-director. I was really flattered and, of course, I said yes – because I am all about creative collaboration and he and I have been working together for several years, so it was very cool.
I have to ask about your wardrobe on the video- was that authentic 60’s/70’s clothing?
Haha! Well, you know I love this question because it is one of my favourite things. It was the first time I actually used a stylist. I hired a lady named Steph Thorp; she is great and lives in Nashville and styles a bunch of other artists. She and I started texting about inspiration and ideas and colour schemes – and of course it was very 70’s inspired. We really wanted to home in on that because we had found this really amazing retro house in Nashville called Karens Hollywood House, which is all outfitted with old couches and great wallpaper. It’s very mid century modern, so we wanted the wardrobe to fit that.
We used a kind of mixture; there is some newer designer stuff ad some brands that I have been following for years on Instagram. There’s also a brand called Camp and they make ringer T’s that are reminiscent of the ‘Hate Me’ T shirts. We pulled in stuff like that for the sisters in the video and Steph also found some vintage stuff on places like eBay, to add some curated elements to the video – and she nailed it.
We had such a fun time putting the outfits together and everyone looked timely for a 1975 styled video. I love the boys when they are in their basketball uniforms; it is one of my favourite parts. One guy has a crop top on, which you would never see today but it was normal back then.
How was Late Night With Seth Myers?
Oh, my gosh, it was so crazy! It was a really emotional moment for me; I didn’t think I was going to cry and then I went backstage and the show was starting and I heard them announce my name as the musical guest, and I couldn’t hold back the tears. My dad was there and my sister; then it hit me that this was my first big TV moment and made me realise that it has been a really long road to get there – but amazing. The whole night was special. Seth Myers was so nice and I felt calm out there. The band and I felt settled and excited to be there, as we’d been in the studio all day and had time to get comfortable.
Did you look at any feedback afterwards on social media?
Of course, yeah. I had a bunch of people texting me who stayed up late to watch it in real time. A lot of people were commenting on my outfit, which was cool because I wanted it to be bold for the first live performance and, you know me by now, I love colours – so I was excited. I was really happy to have my family there to experience it with me, it felt very special.
You are playing C2C Festival. Where can we see you play? You will be on the Spotlight Stage and Bluebird sessions?
Yeah, we are still working out all the stuff at the moment, but the Bluebird is happening and I am so excited about the Spotlight Stage, where we have a show with the full band. We want to make the most of it, because previously we had such a great time and we wanted to be able to see more people and meet more people. We are working on some stuff with hopefully more news soon.
On the Spotlight Stage you will have pretty much the whole of the O2 Arena singing back to you, which will no doubt be a special moment.
I spoke to Maren Morris a couple of weeks ago and she said that when she was on the Spotlight Stage the first year, that was the first time any audience had sung My Church back to her – and it was at the O2 Arena.
Oh, my gosh!
You will be surrounded by fans who leave their seats to gather around the Spotlight Stage.
I am so excited – and judging from my visit, I can only imagine how much cooler it will be. I hope it is exactly what you say it will be.
Thank you so much for talking to me today. You have become one of my favourite artists and in fact, Side A (her EP) was listed as our number one album of 2017, even though it was an EP and not a full album.
Huh serious? Oh, my gosh – wow, Hannah thank you! That is a huge honour, I so appreciate it.
You’re welcome, and I look forward to seeing you at C2C
Purchase Side A by Jillian Jacqueline here