Welcome to All Things Girl, Jillian. Tell us three things we should know about you.
- If I didn’t have music I would die. Literally.
- I’m a crazy girl who loves being goofy and pulling pranks!
- I love being a kid and I think you’re never too old to have fun!
You’re thirteen now. When did you first start singing and writing songs?
I’ve been singing since I could talk but I started professionally when I was ten. I didn’t start writing songs until I was eleven or twelve. I never showed anyone anything I wrote because I thought it was all really bad. Now I can’t wait to show my friends and family new songs! It must get pretty annoying!
When did you know that music was what you were meant to do? When did your family come to the same conclusion and how have they supported your career?
When I was little I used to dream about singing on stage in front of thousands of people. I wanted people to remember me. I told my parents I wanted to seriously pursue my music career at age twelve. My entire family has supported me from day one. They have never pressed me to do anything I didn’t want to do. They are just proud and happy I’m following my dreams.
You’re pursuing your dream career at a very young age, a dream come true for most creative artists. Pursuing work and school must be demanding at times. What are some of the advantages this offers? What makes it challenging?
Last year, I switched schools. I now go to a private homeschool. The school is designed so people who are performers or athletes can pursue their dreams but still get an education and be social. I can go to Nashville and do the work online so I don’t miss anything when I’m gone. My training schedule is pretty intense and I’m training as an artist 6-7 days a week for long hours! Balancing that and staying a straight A student is quite a challenge.
You rock it out with the best of them. I’m in love with your song, “When I Hate You.” We often think of the typical rocker as someone who is hardened and mature with a lifetime of experiences to draw on. Do you find it challenging to write songs that are genre-appropriate yet still appropriate for you at this time in your life?
Not at all! I think being a teenager is a very emotional part of life. I’m a teen that writes stuff for teens. I may be young but I’ve had plenty of experiences that help me write songs. As far as genre-appropriate, it can be a little difficult because some ideas are very pop or very country. I read a lot and this helps me creatively to stretch the limits of my ideas.
Musicians are often influenced by other songwriters and musicians. Which artists have influenced you and why?
Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams from Paramore are my main influences. Katy Perry has inspired me to be myself. She’s shown me it’s a great thing to be different. Katy writes songs that move and inspire people which is what I hope to do. Taylor Swift seems like a genuine, nice person. I think it’s really cool how she’s written every song on her album. The way she connects with people of all ages is genius. Hayley Williams has the most amazing voice I have ever heard. Like Taylor, she writes almost all of her songs. I want to write all or most of my songs on my album because I want it to be MY album, not somebody else’s.
Young fans will be inspired by seeing you live out your dream. Does the idea of being a role model thrill you or do you find it a little intimidating? Why?
I think it’s a little bit of both. I want to be a great role model who people look up to, but I know I’ll have to think about everything I do before I do it. I’m going to have to start saying to myself, “Will this have a good influence or bad influence on people?” If I gave a bad example and people starting doing the same thing, I would hold myself responsible. So definitely a bit of both!
As a new artist who is building her career, you likely find yourself doing lots of travel. How do you like life on the road? What is the one thing you always keep with you? What is the thing you miss about home the most?
I used to hate long car and plane rides. Now I’m used to it. If I have a book or movie I’m set. I always have my phone so that way I can talk to anyone I miss whenever I want. And my pillow. I’ve gotta have my pillow! I miss my family, friends and my dog when I’m away. Normally my mom is the only one who goes with me on trips. I have three siblings so it can get a little lonely without them and my friends. My dog is a Goldendoodle and I love him to death. When I go on tour, he’s coming with me!
Music can be a tough industry for any artist, but especially one so young. How do you keep your focus and stay on track?
Whenever I’m struggling I pray to God. God is always there for me and the reason I am where I am today is because of Him. I couldn’t do this without Him and I believe I’m doing exactly what He wants me to do.
What projects lie ahead for you?
I’m preparing to get back out playing live shows and am writing some new songs. Also I have been working hard in the acting part of my career. I don’t limit myself and I’m open to all opportunities that present themselves.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working on your music?
I love hanging out with my friends. It’s awesome to be able to say I have tons of friends who I love and who love me! All of my friends are so supportive and they are hilarious! All of them are like “Remember me when you’re famous!” and “I’ll be your bodyguard and fight off the boys!”
We’d love to know what you’re listening to when you aren’t working on your own music. Can you give us the top five songs in rotation on your playlist right now?
My top five songs are “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry,“Payphone” by Maroon 5, “Want U Back” by Cher Lloyd, “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber and “Give Your Heart A Break” by Demi Lovato.
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