So tell us, just who is Jacqueline Smith?
My story from the beginning right up until now is one that I’d say is both typical and unique. I was born in Lindsay, ON and grew up in a home where family was always a source of strength and it still is to this day. I didn’t take up music until I was ten when I began to study both piano and speech level singing. I actually appeared on a compilation album put out by Polygram Records as a soloist when I was twelve. Later on I had the chance to study at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and I achieved honors in both voice and theory. When I was sixteen I was recording dance music for Attic Records in Japan. I also had the amazing opportunity as a teen to work with Anne Murray’s musical director Brian Gateau and his touring band. I also had the chance to work as a lead singer at Paramount Parks and Stage Kids. During my teens it became obvious to me and to everyone around me that music was my passion and what I wanted to build a career around. I took every opportunity I could to better myself, develop my skills and develop a name for myself. Over the past few years I’ve been working hard and have recorded on multiple occasions in Nashville as well as in Europe and the Middle East. My goal is to break into the US as well as internationally and I believe much of my past has prepared me for what lies ahead in the future.
How would you describe yourself and how you approach being a singer/songwriter?
I guess I’ve always been that girl in the coffee shop who sits in the corner by herself with my notebook and my thoughts. Some people see that as being somewhat mysterious or even aloof but I wouldn’t agree. While I may be somewhat private and reserved, I also love to be among people. Being alone in the corner of a coffee shop is actually a great place to observe both people and life in general, and it’s a place where I’ve found many song ideas from.
I see song writing as an extension of both my personal experiences as well as my views on the world around me. I write songs that tell stories of who I am, where I came from and how I see things. They aren’t designed to be political or activist, but simply real and genuine. I’ve always tried to present myself as someone who is true to my core beliefs. In the music industry today it’s easy to be told that in order to be a success, you need to change one thing or another and become someone that you are truly not. I can’t be that way. To me being a true success is more than looking at how many records you’ve sold or concerts you’ve performed. Success is also about being able to look at myself in the mirror and see someone who has achieved great things while being true to who I am and what I believe in. It may prove to be a harder route to long term success, but one that will be more satisfying in the end.
How do you see the next few years evolving for you?
My goal is to continue finding opportunities to work with and learn from people who I admire and have achieved success. Having recently had the opportunity to co-write and record with Tyler Cain in Nashville was an incredible experience. I learned more in two weeks than perhaps I’d learned in two years! Opportunities like this will continue to make me stronger and I will keep looking for chances like this going forward. At some point I would love the opportunity to collaborate with people like Dido as an example. It’s hard to predict where I’ll be say in 3 or 5 years. I know where my goals are and I believe that a major record deal is within my reach. However I also know that any opportunity for me has to be one that allows me to keep true to myself. If I can become someone who achieves great success through music that I’m proud of, while still being able to find ideas and inspiration as I sit in a coffee shop somewhere with just my notebook and my thoughts, then I’d likely have very little to complain about.