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SONGWRITING WITH JESSICA LYNNE WHITTY


"Great voice and terrific stage presence" – Seattle Weekly

"Pure country gold" - Independent Music Promotions


Sometimes authentic country music artists do not grow up in what we would consider hotbeds of country music. Sometimes they grow up in Haslev, Denmark, the hometown of Nashville recording artist Jessica Lynne Witty, who currently resides in Tacoma, Washington. Jessica first encountered country music at the age of twelve, when her local TV provider temporarily broadcast the CMT music video channel. “I was home with the flu and just kind of left on that channel,” she says. “Little by little, I fell in love with the genre. It touched my heart in a way that I had never felt before.”


Upon moving to the U.S. in 2010, Jessica’s country music career took off like a shot, buoyed by her vocal and songwriting talents, infectious stage presence, and exceptional work ethic. She has opened for stars like Dustin Lynch, Diamond Rio, Keith Anderson, Trace Adkins, Sawyer Brown, and Jeff Foxworthy, featured at festivals alongside Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, and Little Big Town, and graced legendary stages like the Gorge Amphitheater and Seattle’s Triple Door theater. Her first Nashville album, Catch Me If You Can, was released in 2016; with her follow-up released in June 2019.


The transcontinental move from her lifelong home in Denmark to the U.S. was eased by the fact that her dad and his family were already living near Seattle. Being surrounded by a supportive network of family, she felt, was just the kind of positive energy she would need to adjust to the transition. Once settled, Jessica wasted no time adjusting to Seattle’s musical landscape. With her impressive vocal skill, warm personality, and a rare knack for writing songs that are both catchy and honest, she became an instant favorite with Seattle’s country music promoters, musicians, and fans alike.


Within just a few years, she had taken top honors at the Washington state level of the Texaco Country Showdown--the nation’s largest country music talent search--and released a string of singles. “Calling Me Home,” her 2014 ode to her newfound home in the Pacific Northwest, was added to Play Network's rotation of music used in stores and malls globally, and the song's music video won the “Audience Choice" award at the Seattle Shorts Film Festival in 2016.


Catch Me If You Can (2016) was Jessica’s first album to be recorded in Nashville. Working with Larry Beaird and his crew at Beaird Music Group, Jessica says, was "an incredible experience. These are the top players in Nashville and they know exactly what to do with my music.”


Jessica amped up the rock and gospel influences on her latest Nashville Recording “Warning Label” (2019) once again teaming up with Beaird Music Group. After recently signing with Gregory Talent and Promotion out of Nashville, TN she has extended her reach from a regional to national act. Her 2020 award winning single “Crazy On The Outside” has set the tone for a whole new chapter in Jessica Lynne Witty’s career. Throughout 2021 you can expect a full tour schedule as well as a new single every month.


The result is a fresh, contemporary take on country music with female power at the forefront, at a moment when the industry and the world is sorely ready for it.


Please share a story that includes a happy memory as an artist and has hugely impacted your artistry.


It's interesting that COVID comes up as a happy memory because it sure didn't seem like it at the time. But my story is about how I was able to use the time during COVID to do a "writing getaway" on my own, which I have always wanted to do and never felt I had the time to. I took 3 days away and drove to the ocean with all my instruments and then I just sat and wrote music that whole time. It was incredible. It made me realize how much more I need to prioritize my songwriting and I got so many great songs out of it. I made a pact with myself to make more time for songwriting.

How do you choose to lead a Happy Healthy life as an artist?


I try to take really good care of my mental health. I recently was diagnosed with ADHD, which is late in life, and it fundamentally changed the way I think about mental health. In a good way. I am also a firm believer that you need to enjoy what you do. If it stops being fun, stop doing it. Life is too short to be doing something you don't truly love.


Who did you learn from to instill those values?


I'm sure many people have that one person who taught them certain values. I don't really. My journey of growth has given me many teachers throughout my life, but the growth mindset I have now was not instilled in me as a child. I had to find my beliefs and values later in life on my own. I think the biggest teacher has been learning to truly listen to myself.


Was it hard work to make sure that you focused on your well-being and not only your art?


Yes, and it continues to be hard. I don't feel like I am as healthy as I want to be. All the work I have put into my music career over the last 12 years, has left me with much less time than I would have liked for self-care. However, making music IS a version of self-care. I try to make sure I have plenty of alone (unwind) time and balance it out with family and friends time. Many of my friends and the conversations we have, keep me sane.

Was there a turning point in how you decided to put yourself first?


Yes absolutely. I remember it vividly. I had decided to go to India for 5 weeks to take a teacher's training (200hr) in Yoga. This was in 2010. I had never done anything like this for myself before. I remember sitting at the Ashram on my yoga mat getting ready for my first yoga class and it was almost like I could hear my heart saying "are you really doing this for ME?" The only way to describe that pivotal moment was when the floodgates to my own heart burst open and for the first time I felt like I could trust and my heart trusted me back. It was these 5 weeks in India that eventually led me to follow my music path as well.


How do you like to promote a healthy lifestyle?


I believe true health comes from a multitude of sources. Being happy with your choices, in your relationships, and with yourself. I like running and eating good and healthy food. Whole foods if I can. So I am supposed to promote a holistic approach to a healthy life.


In what ways are you connecting with fans to check in on each other?


I have a group on Facebook called the "REBELS GROUP" - it's meant as a place where like-minded people can hang out and connect. We also go live from this group once a week and encourage conversation rather than just offering a concert setting. I like getting to know my fans.


https://facebook.com/groups/jessicalynnewitty


Who checks in on YOU when you need it most?


My husband. We have a true partnership and a great balance between being there for each other and giving each other space. To me, just knowing that someone is there, whether you are sitting in comfortable silence in front of a fire or even doing your own things in separate rooms - it's enough to know that I have someone doing this life journey thing with me.

Changing habits can be hard. Which was the habit that you had to change and how has it changed your life now?


Drinking enough water. I can get so distracted sometimes and I often forget to drink enough water during the day. Having a dedicated water bottle has helped tremendously as well as adding electrolytes to the water. If I am dehydrated it affects my voice. I also feel more tired and sore. Something as simple as drinking enough water has really made me realize to go back to basics before doing more advanced stuff.


Is there a song, book, movie, show, or anything that always gives you the motivation you need?


I always end up going back to "The Big Leap" by Gay Hendricks. The way he describes how to take 100% responsibility and how we can reach an "upper limit" of feeling good really made an impact. It also inspired my song "Diamond In The Dust", by something he said in that book.

What is the mantra of 2022?!


It may sound a little "12 steps", but "one day at a time". With my new awareness around ADHD, I am learning so much. So this is the best way to describe what my mantra for this year is!

Give all the inside scoop on your latest project!


As I am writing this my new song with Chris Jones and our project "The Redneck Files" has been released! We have two songs out: "Redneck Highway" and "Your Own Damn Party" and more in the works. We are going to Nashville in October to attend the Josie Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry, we are nominated for Duo Group of the Year!


I also have a full summer of shows lined up and a lot of great new songs that I can't wait to put out as a solo artist.


https://redneckfiles.com

https://www.jessicalynnewitty.com

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