Music News Australia interview with Offshore Aussie Music Veteran Jess McAvoy.
How and when did you get your break in the entertainment industry?
I was fourteen when I first performed on stage at cultural event at my school in Holland. I think knowing that I could overcome my stage fright at that stage was what I would call my break. I was terrified of performing in front of people so just the boost of knowing I could get through that fear set the pace for pushing against things that scared me. Other than that, I get new breaks all the time. Anything that keeps me going is a gift.
When did you realise you wanted to be a singer / songwriter?
When I decided I wanted to meet Madonna- I think I was about six or seven – that was when I knew what I wanted to aim for.
We know you’re from Melbourne, and that you have spent a few years in Canada. What are your favourite cities and places in the world that you have visited?
Melbourne has to be one of my favorite all round cities in the world. I also LOVE San Francisco and New York city. As I’m getting older though- I gravitate towards the places that hold people that I love. They’re spread out all over the world which is taxing sometimes but lovely when you get to be on tour.
What do you consider the highlights of your career from both a business and personal perspective?
My farewell show in Melbourne was a wonderful experience. The fact that I decided to film the show was a pretty nifty plus, considering Gotye was a guest performer, which was before he got massively famous. That whole show, I smiled so hard I felt like my face was going to fall off.
Who have been your favourite collaborations?
Years ago I got to collaborate with a wonderful hip hop producer by the name of Calski- we put together a song called Better Than This that got a lot of radio time. Other than that, I loved working with my dear friend Liz Stringer on a number of occasions. She’s awesome. Check her out.
Who are your biggest influences?
Vocally, Etta James was incredible. I gather influence from a bunch of very different people and I am constantly impressed with people from very diverse genres, but I tend to gravitate towards fantastic female vocalists.
What's been the best and worst aspects of new media - the internet in relation to your career?
The worst? Facebook is a wolf in sheep’s clothing as far as I am concerned. They keep changing the algorithms and forcing you to change your tactic. I think the multitude of platforms that you have to keep updated is so time consuming and takes you away from the actual creative side of things. But the best thing is being able to interact with people across the world. I love receiving messages from people in places I have never been.
Your an indie artist. Would you sign with a major label if a good opportunity came along?
I think there are so many models of record companies these days and some are good and useful, whereas some are still very debilitating. If the right deal came my way I would be interested in collaborating. But I don’t know what that would look like- I’ve been doing this on my own for so long that I’d be pretty hard to manage I reckon.
What inspires and motivates you?
Providing a good example for young people. That inspires me. I wish to gain a greater profile to provide the example of what’s possible.
What's the biggest challenges you have ever overcome?
Getting rid of a lot of ego has been a massive challenge over the years- but pushing through that to find the core of what’s actually important, the music, has been very rewarding.
How much of your songs come from personal experience, VS other ideas that you have for songs?
Most of my songs are straight from the depths of my inner workings, for better or worse.
Have you ever "ghost written" songs for other artists, and if so, what were the results?
I have, and it’s really changed my sound in those instances. Nothing has been picked up yet, but I am still working on that.
What would you say you are best known for?
Being Awesome. And my song “The Sailor”.
What were the things that led you to also becoming a journalist, and how does this compliment your career in the entertainment industry?
I have a fascination with language, and ultimately storytelling. I find that it’s an awesome compliment to my music career, because you don’t get the opportunity to express your creativity as frequently as writing. It’s a little more accessible and it’s teaching me to take my honesty to a whole new level.
What's the main thing that brought you back to Australia?
I’ll be back later in the year to tour and see family. It’ll be a rest stop between Canada and moving to New York.
When and where can we expect to see your perform next?
Not too sure.
What's the biggest and smallest audience you have performed to?
Biggest was around five thousand. Smallest, me and the bartender.
What's the best exposure and / or air time you have achieved?
The Sailor has reached a bunch of views on Youtube- I think that’s the most quantifiable exposure I’ve achieved.
What's your main goals for this year?
Reach my crowdfunding goal and make “The Women”.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Hopefully writing for others with a decent rock career under my belt.
What's your star sign?
What do you do to relax?
What's your motto?
There's a way around everything.