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Rising Stars: Meet Jessie Lark

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessie Lark.

Hi Jessie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My journey in music started when I was a child. I attended Allen Elementary in Bonita and this school had an awesome arts program with dance, acting, choir, and talent shows. I think this really influenced me and gave me so many great opportunities to explore my creative side. As I got older, I sang the National Anthem around San Diego for anyone who would have me, including the Padres and Chargers and private events. My Mom and Dad helped me put together a one-woman (girl) show that I toured yearly at the San Diego County Fair (then called the Del Mar Fair), Horton Plaza, Fashion Valley, Mission Valley, and Plaza Bonita malls.

I started writing my own music around the age of 14, composing on piano and guitar. I was initially inspired by strong female vocalists like Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Housten, and Celine Dion. I have been blessed to find a lot of work as a gigging musician in San Diego. I’ve played just about every bar, restaurant, Mom’s birthday, wedding from here to LA in the past few years and have really enjoyed myself. In 2018 San Diego Citybeat awarded my EP “After Hours,” the coveted EXTRASPECIALGOOD nod and I was nominated Best Singer/songwriter at the San Diego Music Awards. I currently play music with my husband Kevin Viner, who also just happens to be an incredible mentalist (like a magician, but a mind reader)!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Hmmm… how much should I tell them? ;p It’s been pretty smooth, considering that making a living as a musician is one of the hardest industries to break into. Okay, not really that smooth, lol. The truth is that every day is a tug of war between events that pay money (often cover gigs) and events that push me creatively and allow me to perform my originals. I’m incredibly grateful to make a living this way, but I’m really hoping to keep making more of that living with my originals. There are struggles around every corner. For example, your songs aren’t good enough, so you work on that, then you don’t like the way you look on camera, so you get in better shape, then your voice starts to struggle and strain, so you find a voice teacher, then you need a lyric video but can’t afford to hire someone to do it, so you have to take an online course to teach yourself how so you can do it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a blast, it’s super fun, and the highs are beyond worth the struggles. But you’ve got to be tough. Tough enough to cry and then get back up.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Of all the aspects that go into making music, my specialty is in the crafting of the song. I think it’s my strongest suit solely because I’ve always been obsessed with how when the music swells in your favorite song, you can feel your heart drop. Why does it do that? How can music be sometimes so impactful that it fills you with emotion. It can bring you to tears. I love creating a song and doing that for myself. Then when I look up from the piano and see I did it for the person sitting in the front row… there’s nothing cooler. That to me, is real magic.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I have no idea. Some people like the idea that luck is responsible for almost everything. Some people think luck is a bogus idea meant for fairytales. I can say this, I suppose I was really lucky that all the schools I went to encouraged music and provided education and platforms for the students (Allen Elementary, Bonita Vista Middle, Coronado School of the Arts). Also, my Mom and Dad saw my strengths and gave me hundreds of opportunities to grow in the way I have. Without all that tremendous support, who knows what I’d be doing today? Possibly a vet or cat sitter. And on that thought…

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Alan Hess, Emilio Azevedo, Saradpon Photography

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