A keyboard given to Jackie Verna became key to the country singer’s recovery from a serious car accident. Jackie used country music to share her emotions and feelings. Other than open mics, appearing on The Voice season 14 was Jackie’s first big break. At the blind auditions, Adam Levine was her only turn and her championed her through the competition, saving her during the playoffs. After her elimination on Tuesday (May 8) Jackie spoke with reporter on a conference call. Check out what she had to say.
On her career as a musician moving forward. Does she plan to release new music?
I was very, very new to performing before coming to the show. I was only doing small open mics really and singing in my bedroom. So there was not much exposure for me before this. I’m really just looking forward to getting started when I get home and making music and writing more and getting myself out there for more gigs and performing–really just giving myself more exposure. I’m really excited to get started right away.
What did it feel like being saved by coach Adam Levine during the Playoffs?
For me it was a very humbling experience to have Adam choose me to move on to the live shows. I was up against so many talented artists and I love each and every one of them. So for him to believe in me from the very beginning–he chose me in the blinds and was the only one who chose me, and to be the only one that choose me to go to the Top 12–it was very, very exciting.
On songwriting and what to expect musically going forward.
I write a little bit, but I’m not quite ready to really release anything that I have. I definitely want to keep writing and keep collaborating with other songwriters before I really put out anything of my own. I would love to produce country music [with] a little bit of a pop soul effect on it. When that will be, hopefully soon, but I want to take my time to get it right, before I put this thing out.
On that “learning curve” as far as performing was concerned and how it evolved during the course of her experience on The Voice.
Before this competition I was never much of a performer. Getting to this competition where you’re not only expected to sing, but you’re expected to put on a performance–It felt like a lot of pressure in the beginning because I wasn’t sure what I was doing. I luckily had Adam as my coach who is an amazing performer and who really showed me the ropes and taught me what I need to do. He [said] the biggest thing you need to do is connect.
I felt I’ve grown every single week in connection with the audience and the songs that I’m singing. I’m so proud of the growth that I’ve made throughout this entire competition.
On her favorite performance from the show and why.
For me, I would say Strawberry Wine was my favorite and really because that was the first week that I came into my own as an artist. That was the time that I really found myself, because I feel like my fans were also very [in tune] with me. And [performing] that song made me realize where I want to be sound wise. I don’t want to be a crazy belter or anything like that and I was always wondering where I fell with my range and what I should do with it. And I’ve really found the sweet spot in my sound where I want to stay. So that was a very, very important and eye opening week for me.
On her relationship with Adam Levine and the challenge of singing a pop song (Avril Lavigne) instead of a country song during Top 12 week.
My relationship with Adam is really special. He is someone who really has your back and is really looking out for you and what’s best for you. He is not caught up in the glitz and glam of things and really just wants to focus on my voice.
He is the one who really helped me find where I want to be sound wise. He was just so encouraging and he really, really, really built my confidence in myself as a performer and as a singer and just as a person overall. I’ll always be thankful to him for that.
“I’m With You” was actually a song that I listened to a lot when I was younger. I loved Avril Lavigne. I wasn’t very disappointed at all with the songs. It was a pop song, but I think I added my own choices. I was really, really, really proud of that performance and definitely excited to do it. It’s a collaboration. So if I really didn’t want to do it, I could have said no. But he came to me with good suggestions and I think it worked out in my favor.
On landing in the bottom two. Was she surprised?
I think that all of us kind of prepared for that moment, because everybody is so great in this competition. There is not one person left here or that’s been here over the course of this season that is not a phenomenal vocalist/performer. So I wouldn’t say I’m surprised that I was there. It was more so that I was just prepared to be there every week and we all feel like that.
And, the fact that I was one of the people who ended up going home, is bittersweet. I’ll give you that. You’re sad, because you want to stay, but at the same time I’ve gained so much from this entire experience and grown both as a person and an artist. So just being able to move forward with everything I’ve learned from Adam, from my fellow contestants, I’m just humbled to even have had the experience. So I’m very excited to move forward and get started on some new things.
On how she chose her “save me” song “I Told You So.
That is actually a song [originally sung] by Randy Travis. I sang the Carrie Underwood version. I’ve always just adored and loved [that song]. It’s just a very emotional song. I’m a storyteller first, and the story in that song I think is so beautiful, and one that I’m glad that I got to tell.
On the biggest benefit she gained from The Voice musically
Vocally I’ve learned where I want to be in my range. Going in I knew I had a little bit of a bigger range that I could do things with. Now I found who I want to be and the sound that I want to have. I want to tell stories. I don’t necessarily want to use the upper end of my voice that much. And I think that’s the biggest thing musically that I’ve learned being here on The Voice.