Who is Jessica Willis Fisher? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about her journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Jessica Willis Fisher
Birthday – April 13th
Hometown – Chicago, Illinois
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Alis0n Krauss, Nickel Creek, The Corrs, Enya, Solas
Label – Bard Craft Records
Current Project- “Tennessee Christmas” (*as of date of article: 12/12/22)
In our weekly spotlight series, we carefully choose artists for this segment that we believe have all the talent and a story to tell. Today’s artist, Jessica Willis Fisher definitely has both. While you may recognize her name by her television notoriety, Fisher is more than meets the eye. The talented singer-songwriter and author opened up to us about her journey thus far and where she is headed.
“Music was a huge part of my childhood. I was born in Chicago, the Southside of Chicago and first music was introduced through church,” began the songstress. “I was about 7, 8, 9, when my parents got me into Irish dance […] We were home-schooled, so we were looking for something that was artistic. […] We fell in love with that, and as an extension of that, we found music.”
As the oldest of twelve kids, Fisher always looked for ways to connect through music. “I started playing the fiddle when I was about eight,” she shared, adding later, “Music was a therapy and a way to connect with others and the things I was going through.”
After a tragedy in her life, her family moved to Nashville; however, it was not necessarily to perform music. “We moved to the Nashville area, and because we were homeschooled, a lot of our dreaming and hoping came off the radar of music city.” The city helped transform her love of Irish music into a love for Bluegrass music too. She recalls loving artists like The Corrs and Alis0n Krauss.
The Turning Point:
Despite what the media might have presented, Fisher grew up in an abusive home, which she later wrote about in her book, Unspeakable: Surviving My Childhood and Finding My Voice.
“It was some of the best times in my life and also the hardest. I was 24 years old when I tried to get out of the only environment I had ever known. I walked away from music, from my family, all of those things.”
In 2019, Fisher began to take her life back, one piece at a time. According to the artist “Starting in 2019, but really this year , I started reclaiming my voice and asserting my story.”
Back in April 2022, Fisher released her debut album called Brand New Day. The ten song project marked the first time that the singer-songwriter had stepped out into the limelight as her own artist. Writing all but two songs on the record, it was important to Fisher that she share her truth with the world, no matter who heard it.
“‘Brand New Day’ is the name of my album and my understanding of that is that every day gets to be a brand new day. […] We get to navigate life through hope and possibility, the energy that can be in every day while navigating sometimes, quite a complex road.”
Similarly, her memoir was the first time she truly got to shed her trauma and let the world see her for who she really is. “I feel both the music and the book if no one ever heard them, it is still a victory for me […] These are songs that I needed to hear and/or write. The book was born directly out of doing the actual work of trying to make sense as a human being of what I went through,” she shared.
While her book and debut album are recent accomplishments, Fisher shows no signs of slowing down. The singer-songwriter has released a few Christmas songs to celebrate the holidays with fans. Most recently, her cover of “Tennessee Christmas” showcases her beautiful vocals.
“‘Tennessee Christmas’ is a very special meaning, loving this as my home state. […] I’ve explored so much of Tennessee with my husband and we went to a Christmas Tree farm and we took some pictures, which was so fun.”
She added later, “I’m returning to music […] I’m doing Christmas music differently than I would have growing up. […] I have always loved “Don’t’ Save It All For Christmas Day,” and if you’re going to put a song out this far ahead of Christmas, it felt like the right one.”
For Fisher, there is so much more to come and clarity is also coming. She hopes to write more books, but she knows that there will be more music. “I feel like I’m only an artist and a performer because I write […] I want to be saying something with my music.” She ended our interview eloquently sharing, “clarity is coming from what my next endeavors may be,” hinting that we will be hearing much more from Fisher sooner rather than later.
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