Az 1 Promo: Who is Carly Jo Jackson, and what is it that she represents?
Carly Jo Jackson: I am a wildflower, independent and strong. I believe in self-strength because I have found that it is literally the only thing that keeps a person going when people around you have doubt. You can't always expect the world to be on your side, and you especially can't expect them to believe in you if YOU don't believe in yourself.
Az 1 Promo: I love your sound Carly. When did you find your inspiration, and what gave you that spark to do what you do?
Carly Jo Jackson: Thank you! I became inspired to make music at a very young age. I think it may have had something to do with the 90s female pop-star eruption. Not only did I LOVE to entertain constantly, but with monumental artists like Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Mandy Moore in my headset and on the TV screen all the time I was completely consumed by music. I began writing songs and trying to form bands since I was in elementary school. I finally started performing publicly in my early teens after taking voice lessons, then added a guitar to the show after I witnessed Colbie Calliat in concert. I spent that entire concert visualizing myself instead of Colbie on the stage and knew that is what I wanted to do.
Az 1 Promo: What are some of the best places you've performed at as a musician so far?
Carly Jo Jackson: I have a couple of favorites. The absolute coolest place I have performed so far was the Florida Music Festival in 2013. I was on my own little stage in the Gibson Showroom in downtown Orlando and all of my friends, fans and family came to support. It was a big achievement for me because some of my favorite artists, like Taylor Swift, performed at the same festival before making it big. My second favorite was just last month at the Shore Club in South Beach Miami. I was lucky enough to play during Art Basel week, and not truly knowing what I was going into, I was amazed at be surrounded by the beautiful arts scene. I also have to mention one of the most fulfilling places for me to perform, it is actually one of the first places I played live and continue to go there several times every year - Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida. It is a camp for seriously ill children and you could not find a more supportive and appreciative audience. I just love being a part of such a positive place.
Az 1 Promo: Wow those are some great places! How does it feel being recognized as one of ReverbNation's top artists this year?
Carly Jo Jackson: It feels like the bomb! I'm still so excited to have been recognized because it made me feel like I have actually achieved something. To be recognized and noticed for my music is the most magical and beautiful feeling in the world. It makes me want to go write some more songs!
Az 1 Promo: You're music is very feel good, if I had a daughter she would totally be a fan of your music. When it comes to your shows, how diverse is your crowd. Do you have any kids there?
Carly Jo Jackson: My crowd often stuns me with how diverse they are. There are kids, adults, teens, men, women, everybody! I am glad my music can appeal to such a varied group. I feel it in the room when they're there with me, that even though they may not all have much in common, they share the love of the music. So if that's what it takes to bring a diverse crowd together, I'll provide the jams!
Az 1 Promo: That's great! I also see you're very diverse with many instruments, which instrument do you like the best, and why?
Carly Jo Jackson: I hate to play favorites, but I love my Martin guitar the most! Not only was it my first guitar, but it is the only instrument I own that can fully express the emotion I want to come out in my music. I love my ukulele, harmonica, and brand new mandolin, but those all come with a specific tone. I can manipulate the guitar into many different sounds. It always explains my emotions the best.
Az 1 Promo: What does family mean to you?
Carly Jo Jackson: Family means the world to me and that's who I look to and look out for first. I was raised in a very "lovey" family where x's and o's were common and caring for one another guides us. Family means a promise of forgiveness, understanding, and support for a lifetime.
Az 1 Promo: How are your cooking skills?
Carly Jo Jackson: I'm a cooking beast! Give me ingredients and a recipe and I can figure it out. My favorite thing to cook is Cajun Red Beans and Rice!
Az 1 Promo: Pinky, or the Brain?
Carly Jo Jackson: Pinky, I sense a more positive energy about him.
Az 1 Promo: Where do you see yourself as a musician in the next 3 years?
Carly Jo Jackson: I don't really have a time line, but I see myself continuing to grow as a musician and entertainer, performing at bigger and better venues with bigger names and with a full band backing me. I hope to have at least accomplished a full length album of new material with viral music videos! I plan to continue to push myself this New Year to be the best I can with my music and reach new heights. Who knows how far things will go if I have stamina and know no limits.
Az 1 Promo: Who has been your biggest supporter in your career?
Carly Jo Jackson: My mother. Everything that I have achieved with my music today could not have been done without the support of my mom. I like to call her my momager because she does a lot on the business side of my music. However, she supports me 100 percent, not just with the business. She is at every show from set up to close, on every plane flight, and in almost every music memory I have. She is the only other person in the world besides me who knows how badly I want this and how hard we have been working to achieve my dream. She is my wings.
Az 1 Promo: It's always great to have that kind of support Carly. What accolades have you gained so far?
Carly Jo Jackson: I have had small amounts of recognition that humble me yet give me the encouragement to continue doing what I am doing with hopes that big stuff will come one day. My song Wildflower won the Pop Genre in the Show Me the Music Songwriting contest this year, and also won a challenge award in the Guitar Center Singer Songwriter Contest. I was just asked to perform at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach Jan. 17 - 19 which is a huge honor to be included with some legendary songwriters. Some of the most rewarding recognition though is the little things, like hearing my music on local radio, or the girl at a Taco Bell drive through window who said, "hey, you're the Wildflower girl!" or having Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional/Twin Forks ask me to provide vocals on a song he is pitching after hearing me singing outside a yogurt shop, or signing autographs and taking photos with the kids at Camp Boggy Creek who treat me like a superstar. Those little things mean the world to me and keep me going.
Az 1 Promo: What do you want to be remembered as?
Carly Jo Jackson: I want to be remembered as that girl who was a little different, who didn't care what others thought, the "Wildflower", but was still able to connect to people on a personal level through the power of music and help others understand themselves, each other and to smile, dance, sing, and sometimes even cry. Someone who took a chance and did something new and different.