“People think I’m crazy for chasing dreams to big.” – Jessie Chris, In The Meantime Single
At nineteen years old, Jessie Chris is taking the country music world by storm. She was the youngest performer at the CMA Festival in 2015 and her talent has won her the opening stage for country music icons including Luke Bryan, Chris Young, John Rich, and Billy Ray Cyrus. Not only does she have big dreams when it comes to her music career, she also seems to have the talent, ambition, and drive, to climb to the top of an industry that is all but impossible to crack. Jessie recently came to Boston to play for a sold out crowd of more than 10,000 people as part of her 1963 Tour. She hasn’t quite reached her big goal of a national recording contract, although she’s come close. However, she says that she has no doubt that she will achieve her big dream because she’s come to realize that success is a byproduct of what she’s working on in the meantime…and everything she’s working on is leading this country music star to Nashville. I recently sat down back stage with Jessie Chris to find out exactly what she’s working on In the Meantime as she reaches for her big dreams.
Here is Jessie Chris… In the Meantime:
Find Your Outlet: Sometimes great things are born out of unfortunate situations. Such was the case with Jessie and her love of writing, producing, and singing music. From a young age, Jessie was naturally magnetized to singing, acting, and performing. She loved being part of the chorus and regularly auditioned for roles with her school’s theater group. Chris says that when she was growing up there was a clear division between the so called cool kids, who were the jocks and athletes, and the not-so-cool kids, who were the theater and chorus performers. She says that her love of the arts caused her to get bullied at school and the older she got, the worse it got. Chris says that the bullying often brought her to tears, and to cope with it, at ten years old, her parents bought her a guitar and encouraged her to write about her feelings and to turn them into music. Jessie says that at ten years old, her life was transformed because she found a way to turn the negative feelings of rejection and harassment into art. She became so passionate about her music that she knew then, that singing and songwriting would be the cornerstone of her entire life moving forward. Jessie says that when life or other people get you down, find your happy place, which for her is music, and then figure out a way to stay there every day.
Just Do It: At thirteen years old, Jessie announced to her friends and family that she would pursue a lifelong career as a country music performer. She says that most of the people she told this to told her she was crazy for going after such a big dream. Chris says that she even Googled to find out her chances of success, and Google reported that her chances were worse than one in a million. Yet, Chris says she decided to pursue the dream anyway. That was less than five years ago. Now at nineteen years old, she spends most of her time travelling the country on tour. She has opened for some of the biggest names in country music, like Luke Bryan and Billy Ray Cyrus, has played at historic venues like the Country Music Hall of Fame, has garnered some massive sponsors, and has recently partnered with Radio Disney for a national anti-bullying campaign. Jessie says that her success has resulted from her ability to tune out the naysayers, surround herself with an amazing support network, and to simply get up every day with a focus on doing something to move forward toward her dream. She says that along her journey she’s met others with similar dreams and they are patiently waiting for multi-million dollar recording contracts or a rare chance to perform on The Voice. Jessie says she can’t stand by and let her destiny be determined by fate. She has recorded one full album, Wildfire, as well as a recently released single, In The Meantime, which are available on iTunes, and she constantly books gigs around the country. Jessie says many country music singers wait for a national label to find them and make them famous, while Jessie says she’s making herself famous with her music and her message, so that when the national labels come knocking, which they already have, she can decide then if she even needs them.
Embrace Your Differences: Today Jessie Chris is nineteen years old and her dreams are coming true. She says that she now realizes that her success has been a byproduct of her ability to find comfort in being different than everyone else. Chris says that it is unfortunate that so many people feel compelled to conform to what everyone else is doing and that they let it dictate their lives. Although it was hard, Chris says she’s grateful that she pursued music and theater when there was so much pressure to choose sports like the so called cool kids in her school. She says that what makes her different than most is her passion for spreading a message through music. She says that for her own life, she’s been constantly presented with two paths; the one well warn because most take it, and the one less traveled, and that she has become quite comfortable venturing along the one less traveled because it’s the one that gives her fulfillment. Jessie’s advice for others who are finding their own way to their dreams, is to stop looking outside of yourself to see where others are going, and instead search within you to determine the best direction for you. As well, she says if you want to really shine, stop trying to look like, act like, and do like everyone else, and instead embrace what makes you different.
She’s now an official Radio Disney Country Artist and is an ambassador for the Disney Radio Choose Kindness campaign to stomp out bullying across the country. But more than that, she’s an example to each and every one of us, that you can be, do, and have anything in the world you want if you simply find your outlet, just do it, and embrace your differences. She’s proof that big dreams have everything to do with how you handle your life in the meantime.