Carly Jo Jackson
Carly Jo Jackson is a Florida-based singer songwriter who performs as a soloist, duo or with a band. She is a 2015 Belk Southern Musician Showcase winner and will be appearing at Belk sponsored events and music festivals all year. She appeared on Season 9 of America's Got Talent.
She's really a trip in person: very authentic, outspoken, and enthusiastic. We enjoyed meeting her.
You started playing when you were 13 when did you write your first song and what was it about?
Technically, I wrote my first song when I was 10 years old. Before falling into my course with music at 13, I had already been writing as a hobby, keeping a journal, really ever since I could write. So, from the many little tunes that I would make up and sing along to in my head as a child, the chorus of one made it into my songlist today. The song is called "Lessons to Learn" and when I wrote it, I was so young that I didn't understand I was writing a song. It was just a tune and rhyme that went through my head about a girl listening to her heart for the first time, recognizing what a privilege to make mistakes but benefit from the beautiful lessons buried within. I still love singing this song today. I feel its truth just as much as I did when I wrote it.
In addition to your talent, we love your enthusiasm and genuineness and think you're a great fit for Luna. What attracted you to Luna instruments?
Wow, those words mean so much coming from Luna Guitars! I could certainly say the same qualities are what attracted me to the Tribe: your enthusiasm for creativity, as exhibited in the beauty and personal touch of each instrument. Each one is so different, so there are many options for an artist to find something that has a personal meaning. I was also attracted by the skill that you put into making a guitar sound as beautiful as it looks. My first Luna instrument was the peace ukulele. It is so beautiful with a sound to match. So when it was time for a new guitar, I knew Luna would have one to perfectly fit my style. I started with the beautiful Henna Paradise, but now my AMT100 is my go-to guitar. It has a more subtle, unassuming beauty both in looks and sound.
I love being a part of the tribe and all it represents.
What motivates you creatively, spiritually and emotionally?
Creatively, I always get excited by brevity. When someone can make a powerful statement with only a single force, like a few words that can change a mind, or a picture worth a thousand words, I get drawn in. It is something I try to achieve with songwriting, finding that hook, that short perfect verse. Spiritually I like openmindedness. A person who can accept even some of the wildest things they don't understand and have understanding for the wildest things they don't accept is someone who can be at peace.
Emotions are a huge part of my life, spilling out of every seam. Ironically though, I think that with this wealth of emotions living in me, I crave the opposite in others. The ability to stretch far emotionally without breaking is a turn on to me because it shows a silent strength that I admire.
What turns you off?
Closemindedness. It is an unflattering quality at any angle, and can make life very challenging. It appears to me at its worst when musicians put down other artists and are not open to new or different forms of music. Of course its going to be everywhere, but where creation is involved I feel there is no room for closed doors.
If you could play with any player alive or dead, who...and why?
Dave Matthews, because he has never ceased to amaze me in a performance. The way he can sing through every emotion and make his feelings so clear captivates the crowd, and I aspire to try to sing in a similar form. Also, I bet there is nothing like playing along with him and his band. I feel like both of our styles would be such a fun show! Being at his performances is a life-changing experience so I can imagine playing with him would be so very epic. I don't know if I would make it through the set though, I might faint from excitement!
Do you have a mantra or manifesto for living and loving with your whole heart?
I wrote a song calledWildflowerat a big changing point in my life. I believe that song has helped me gather a manifesto on the way to live with love.
The song comes from a time when I was finding myself and losing myself all at once, but with writing, singing and focusing on following my music dreams, I found my new love and refuge. I related this new way of living to the way a wildflower lives, different from others but growing strong through all life's weather. I've learned there is no way to live without love in your heart for all of lifes odds and ends, ups and downs. Treating each day like it's priceless shows love for life in the fullest. Thats my mantra, live and love like a wildflower. This personal mantra is also what drew me to the Luna AMT 100 - the flowery design on the inlay reminds me of my mantra every time I play it.
If you could have anything put on a tshirt what would it be?
I want a t-shirt with my name across the top announcing my first big tour with a list of cities and supporting acts on the back! I couldn't be more ready to be performing on bigger stages and traveling with my music.
What's on the horizon?
The horizon is looking bright! By the end of the year fans can expect a new CD. I have been in the studio for the last few months, every break I can get in my performance schedule, so it is getting close. I am working on trying to get on the road and tour more - I know I have to start small to get to those big tour and concert t-shirt dreams! Look for announcements on my website atwww.carlyjojackson.comand be sure to catch a show if I am coming to a town near you!