Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Jolia.
Hi Jessica, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
For me, music is something that’s been a part of what makes me who I am long before I was born. I come from a musical family; my maternal grandparents played various instruments; my paternal grandmother and her siblings were in a gospel music group in Detroit. Both of my parents have always enjoyed listening to a variety of genres of music, so much so that my Dad decided to regularly put headphones on my Mom’s stomach while she was carrying me, exposing me to everything from Classical to Pop music while I was still developing. By the time I was a year old, I was playing with dolls and making them sing to each other in operatic voices (this is my Mom’s favorite story to tell). Since then, my love and passion for music has only grown. I think my first instrument, as is probably the case for many others, was the recorder. You know, the flute-like instrument that comes with sheet music from movies like Frozen. I didn’t really choose the instrument, as it was a requirement in school, but I quickly grew fond of it and soon realized that I could play by ear. This made listening to the radio in the car really fun because I could play along to my favorite songs.
Over the next few years, I went on to add alto and tenor saxophone, bass and contrabass clarinet, keys and percussion to the list of instruments that I played. I competed in Jazz, Pep and Symphonic band in high school and sang Soprano I in Concert Choir and Vocal Ensemble. In my senior year, I auditioned for music scholarships to various colleges and universities and was accepted to Berklee College of Music, Oklahoma Christian University, and Michigan State University. Ultimately, I chose to study Classical Vocal Performance at Oklahoma Christian University where I went on to perform in various productions, including “Oklahoma!” and “Porgy and Bess”. After college, I wasn’t entirely certain of what type of career I wanted to pursue in music. Although I enjoyed singing classical music, I couldn’t quite see myself committing the duration of my career to performing as a member of an opera company. I wanted more freedom and flexibility and certainly didn’t want to be limited to a single genre. So for several years, I tried a bit of everything else I could think of. I performed in various cover bands, taught voice lessons and performance classes, interned at two radio stations, and did occasional session work. And while I could say that I “enjoyed” what I was doing, I just didn’t feel the passion and excitement that I longed for. It was at that point that I decided to move to Los Angeles and explore new opportunities.
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