Singer/songwriter Jessie Sparks' interest in music started at an early age of four
when she started playing the piano. Learning to play
guitar, violin, flute and percussion soon followed. She has
been performing professionally since the age of fifteen in a variety of
locations including Canada,
the United States, New Zealand as well as Australia.
Jessie's musical background includes both
grandparents appreciating music. She takes note of
the advice she has been given by her grandfather, “who is a
brilliant pianist and guitarist and who is self taught and
still is jamming at 82”. Jessie remarks how both
grandparents can often be spotted at her gigs.
Jessie’s latest album –
combines the effects of
various instrumentation. The album focuses on ensuring that
the music does not become dated and can be enjoyed in years
to come. “Specific music can date a tune and a track very
quickly,” Jessie explains. “At the end of the day, something
that is very acoustic and organic like a real piano or bass
and guitar is timeless…. So I wanted to make sure whatever
I made was timeless and someone could fit it in or enjoy it
in years to come.”
Jessie is proud of the fact that her music can be performed
on various levels from solo or with a six piece band. All of
12 tracks on the album have been performed with just piano,
just guitar, her trio as well as with a full band. "I
change my delivery sometimes," Jessie explains. "It can be
very much soft and sweet and emotional, and other times it
is more gutsy and energetic and loud and upbeat. It's
awesome to know that if I needed to do a performance or
re-recording, the songs are versatile. It was really cool to
discover they can all be pulled off with different
self title track relates to the
busyness of life. “Things in every regard can become quite
heavy or busy,” says Jessie. “It is just a little reminder
that ‘note to self’ to take it easy, and focus on the things
and what is important. So I can remind myself to do that,
and suggest it to others….
Breathe Easy is a very
important idea for all of us, especially big city folk and
the commercial world ….”
You and Me
was inspired by the passing of
Jessie’s mother a few years ago. You
and Me highlights the emotions
that Jessie was experiencing at that particular time and she
feels this song has the strongest connection with her
is pretty special, pretty raw, to
write it and to record it, then to perform it as well, in
relation to my mum,” says Jessie. “My mother was a
very phenomenal parent and person who probably has
influenced me in all the music… I was dealing with a lot
when writing, particularly that song, so she’s in there."
One of Jessie’s favourite tracks to
perform live is Walk a Mile.
“When performing in NZ [New Zealand] just recently, I jammed
out all tunes with a full five or six piece band. One of
the tunes that was a real hit was
Walk a Mile.
The mid-section of this track takes on an ‘alter hip-hop’ feel producing lots
of energy and you can really give it your all…. And live,
that goes down incredibly well”.
Another feature that the
album has is a versatile style.
“That’s something I kept in mind,” she says. “There are
some styles and tunes that you can only dance to or only can
exercise to or you could only cry to, but to have something
a little bit versatile or a little bit neutral was my
is original and comes across very real. “It has nothing
portentous from my end, in relation to any of my words or
delivery, it couldn’t get anymore raw, I haven’t put on a
show for anybody,” Jessie reveals. “The album was enjoyable
because it was a pleasure to do and it’s even a pleasure to
writing is often a big release for Jessie, being helpful in
situations where something is not going right in her life,
or when something is completely overwhelming, whether
concerning family, life or a burst of energy.
other hand [song writing] can be really inspired and
motivated and excited by something that’s gone down,”
remarks Jessie. “Or sometimes if you’ve got a quiet moment, and some
time to kill I’ll just jam out on the keyboard, or piano,
there is no consistency in my method at all”. Jessie
generally writes music and song words together and she is
most inspired when at a piano or keyboard.
plans to stay true to herself and plans to write and play
the music that she is compassionate about rather than just
endeavouring to be famous.
gigs include a large showcase in January/February 08 and
Jessie also plans to do public and private performances
throughout the year. There are also possibilities of Jessie
performing in Los Angles pending how this coincides with what is
happening with her schedules on the home front.
We look forward in hearing more from this multi-talented
Melbourne based artist in the upcoming months.
Article written by Chrissy
Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative 7/1/08