Jackie Evancho. Photo Credit: Jennifer Turino
Multi-platinum-selling vocalist Jackie Evancho chatted about her “Carousel of Time” Joni Mitchell tribute album, which is available on September 9, and her tour dates.
Evancho recorded the album with an all-star band of musicians at the historic Sound Stage Studio in Nashville with producer Fred Mollin with additional recording at Audio Images in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
On her new album, she said, “I am excited, for sure. Honestly, I am very happy with the song selection because she has such beautiful material. For me, it was about finding the ones that spoke to me personally so that I could portray them and do them justice. Joni is all about authenticity and I wanted that.”
She shared that Joni Mitchell returning to live performance this summer was a “happy coincidence.” “It was meant to be,” she said with a sweet laugh.
“Music is such a part of me and who I am,” she said. “From the moment that I can recall anything, music has been my passion and the language that I speak best. If I am basically physically feeling unwell, music makes me feel better.”
Evancho claimed “Rainy Night House” as her personal favorite Joni Mitchell track on this album because it’s such a “beautiful combination of chords” and she loves the way “the melody and the lyrics play together.”
She noted that the music video for “Both Sides Now” was fun to shoot even though she filmed it on a hot day. “It was totally worth it,” she said with a chuckle.
Evancho will start off her tour in New York City at the iconic 54 Below. she will play two shows on September 13 and 14. The rest of the shows will be with City Winery starting in October. “I am so excited for 54 Below,” she said. “I’ve been really wanting this to be the best that it can possibly be. It will be a fun, easygoing night that will have the classic Jackie songs and the Joni songs. I love it so much there because I can see everybody.”
“The City Winery shows are going to be similar to the 54 Below shows but a bit expanded. It will be a similar show and nobody will feel left out and that’s important to me,” she said.
She had great words about being a part of “America’s Got Talent” and “The Masked Singer.” “My experience on ‘America’s Got Talent’ was career-defining for sure. ‘The Masked Singer’ was really fun but a crazy experience. Singing in a giant mask is something I had never done before but it was pushing me out of my comfort zone in the best way. It was fun to be anonymous and wild on stage, and surprise people as Kitty. That was my favorite part,” she said.
“Growing up in this industry, milestones for me are my voice changing on stage and figuring out what to do with that so that’s an interesting experience,” she acknowledged. “It’s weird for some people to see me at 22 instead of 10,” she said.
For young and aspiring artists, Evancho said, “My advice to young artists is to go with it especially if they have something in their gut. Sometimes, following the same path that other people follow doesn’t work anymore, especially in this age of social media. You need to be authentic, that’s what captures people now.”
The digital age
On being an artist in the digital age, Evancho said, “It’s a bit of a challenge. It is great in so many ways but there are cons. The beauty of it is the exposure and if you can work it right, it really does work in your favor and it can be fun, definitely. There is a lot more space for creativity and there are new ideas that are getting out into the world.”
Her dream duet choices in music include Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers of The Killers. “Brandon Flowers has such a beautiful voice, I would love to sing with him,” she said.
She listed The Killers, Muse, Johnny Cash, Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, and even Marilyn Manson as her biggest musical influences. “I used to love listening to orchestral pieces and all those classics,” she said.
On the title of the current chapter of her life, Evancho said, “Authentic Reinvention.”
If she were to have any superpower, she shared that it would be “to fly.” “I would love to see how that feels. I’ve had dreams that feel so vivid where I am flying and I only wish that I could experience that,” she said.
Evancho defined the word success simply as “being happy in life.” “I genuinely mean it. If you are not happy, then even if you achieve the stereotype of success, it is not going to feel like success. There is nothing better once you find your happiness, then everything is an achievement and a success of its own,” she said.
As part of her pre-show rituals, she noted that she prays, and she always gives her “father a kiss on the cheek for good luck.” “Lots of throat coat tea, lots of honey, and lots of water,” she said.
For her fans, Evancho said, “Bless your souls. Thank you so much for sticking through everything with me. Still being there for me means the absolute world. I hope the fans know how much I truly appreciate their love and support because it keeps me going, and strong and happy.”
Evancho concluded about the new album, “I hope the fans get a sense of who I am, but through her music. I want people to have this image of her and I holding hands while listening to this album. Joni has such a beautiful way with words and melodies. I want to be able to express my version of it.”
“Carousel of Time” is available on digital service providers by clicking here.