Images of hand-holding, affectionate embraces and dancing aid the narrative in the music video for pop songwriter Jackie June’s latest single, “Can’t Quit You.” With pop inspirations ranging from Adele to Lady Gaga to the Hanson Brothers and the 90s bops that permeated her formative years, June’s sweet vocals carry her alternative pop sound.
In a time when we are often distant from the people and places we love, June’s most recent track is an ode to gratitude for the things we can’t live without. For June herself, these things include Chinese takeout, Friends, and of course, making music.
For years, June considered her love of singing a private hobby, often singing and performing for an audience of her family in Toms River, New Jersey. However, after releasing her breakout track, “Chasing Nightmares,” the songwriter vowed to follow her true passion, living by the motto, “Find the courage to speak your truth.” Her music — which she often co-writes with friend and songwriter Jes Hudak — is deeply personal, her smile and cheerful energy never negating the raw emotion in her steady voice.
Through June’s experience with making music — and all the ups and downs that come with creative processes — she finds herself coming back to writing, singing and performing. The artist’s resilience and determination simply won’t allow her to quit on herself.
Constantly making music, June plans to return to the studio next month and continue to create sweet tunes and delight fans. In the meantime, be sure to check out “Can’t Quit You,” give someone you love a hug, and keep reading because we talked to Jackie June about her creative process, favorite hobbies, advice for songwriters and much more!
So where in New Jersey did you grow up, and what got you into playing and writing music?
I grew up in Toms River, NJ. Basically along the Jersey Shore. I was always singing and putting on “performances” for my family as a kid. I took voice lessons and piano lessons, as well. However, I didn’t get serious about it until about 3 years ago, when I started writing.
Do you have a specific atmosphere or pastime that aides in your songwriting process, or does it often just happen sporadically?
I find it almost impossible to sit down with the intention of writing. I have tried it a few times and it just never works. Most songs, for me, start with a melody idea in my head that just comes out of nowhere. Then, the song gets flushed out from there.
So you recently released your newest single and music video, “Can’t Quit You”. What’s the inspiration and influence behind this track?
I co-wrote this track with Jes Hudak, who is also a co-writer on many of my songs. We sat down one day for a co-write, and I told her about this concept for a song I had. I had been experiencing some incredibly emotional highs and lows with music, but I found no matter what, I could never see myself quitting. Jes had the idea of making it almost like a love song about a tumultuous relationship, which can be interpreted however the listener finds to be relatable. So basically, this is really my love song to music!
You have a unique music video for the song involving clips of family and friends. Can you talk about your vision for the video and how it came together?
Thank you! I planned to release the song during the pandemic, which would make it difficult for me to create a music video for it. I wasn’t going to create one at all because of that. But one day I had this idea to crowd source clips for the video. I wanted the video to showcase things people can’t live without or could never quit. The pandemic has been rough for everyone on many different levels, and I thought this would be a fun project that would also provide some “feel good” energy to those who watch. It was really special.
Can fans expect to see it on an EP or LP, or is it a standalone single for now? This will just be a standalone single for now. But who knows what will happen in the future!
What do you hope to have achieved as an artist five years from now?
Oh man, this is a hard question to answer. Ideally, I’d like to say that I would love to be doing this full time. To be able to take your passion and make it into a full time career is everyone’s dream, right? I really just hope that I am still making music that people enjoy!
If you weren’t playing music, what could you see yourself doing?
I’ve been told that I should do voice-overs. So maybe that? haha!
In your online bios, you discuss finding the courage to speak your truth and your struggle suppressing your passion for music. What advice or words of wisdom might you want to share with others in a similar boat?
If you feel you aren’t good enough, or not worthy, remember that only you can decide that. You are the only person who can get in your way. If you love music, or whatever it may be, it’s NEVER too late to share your gift and passion with the world. It can be scary and it will be hard, but I promise you, it will be freeing.
Do you feel the pandemic has helped or hurt your creative process? (or perhaps neither)
Ha, this depends on what day of the week it is. I have had weeks where I’ve felt so incredibly productive and creative and started working on new music, or my piano playing, etc. Then I will go weeks feeling more uninspired than ever. It’s been quite the rollercoaster!
Have you picked up any new hobbies throughout it or tapped into other creative endeavors?
I was hosting a livestream where I featured a variety of other independent musicians, but that was put on hold recently. I didn’t realize hosting was something I would be good at, but people did seem to enjoy it!
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I wanted to be a Meteorologist when I was in middle school. I was super obsessed with the weather. Like, the weather channel was my favorite to watch. Haha!
What might fans expect from Jackie June for the latter quarter of the year?
I will be back in the studio recording a new song in September, so hopefully there will be a new release before the end of the year!