Judi Jackson | 5 Minutes With

On the rise singer and songwriter Judi Jackson and her debut album ‘Grace‘ is one to add to your library if you know what’s good for you. From across the pond in Roanoke, Virginia, Judi is marking her stamp on the London scene with a sold out Jazz Cafe show and more gigs to come. After the recent release of her ethereal music video, River, Judi demonstrates herself as an artist who knows how to make a visual impact too.

With notes of different genres from R&B to power ballads, Judi’s music embodies what soulful music really means. The album features the brilliant likes of Blue Lab Beats and legendary Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai, who is in a resurgence of his career from the 70s. It’s clear this is an album that is thoughtful and well informed but most importantly, from the soul.

A 15 track album that’s smooth on the ears, Judi breaks down for us what Grace means to her, career highlights and what more we can expect from the up and coming artist.

What does the album ‘Grace’ mean to you?

The album Grace is all about persistence. It’s all about staying with your journey. Its about my mother, specifically if you want to take it literally that’s her. Her name originally was Nancy Martin, but she renamed herself Grace after she had me because I was a miracle child being born when she was 41. So, I wanted to dedicate that to my mother, but it’s about overall persistence, resilience, Grace, beauty, kindness, and love.

You can confidently say you sold out the Jazz Cafe! How is it performing live and bringing the album to life?

That show was a highlight of my career. I absolutely loved it, it was like I was flying on stage, the music was amazing, the band was tight. I had no complaints.

Can you pick a favorite track from ‘Grace’ and tell us why?

Grace, because it’s the title track, it’s about my mother and it’s so powerful – I really enjoyed writing it with Tim Baxter. It’s very personal to me but I still feel as if people can relate on a wider scale.

Your music video for River is effortlessly beautiful and ethereal. What did the creative process behind this video look like for you?

The creative process was really effortless as well. I absolutely loved working with the team behind it! The video was directed by and he just made the whole day and whole experience so fun and relaxed… My stylist Morgan…the whole team was there, big thank you to Phil at Sony for making this happen and everyone just encouraging me on the day. I had on the most amazing designer outfits, and I loved the venue! All the foliage and different plants and flowers. It was very special. 

I can’t wait for music video number two! I’m ready for the next one!

Your music is like a smooth, warm melting pot of genres. How would you best describe your sound?

Soul …. I make soulful music, if you’re making music that doesn’t have soul in it, I don’t want to listen to it. And I don’t mean ‘Soul’ as in the genre… I’m talking about music with soul and that could be country, rock, jazz, gospel, R&B, rap… hip hop, reggae. I make soulful music.

What’s one thing you’ve already accomplished you’re most proud of and what’s one thing you’re really wanting to achieve?

I’m really proud of my Jazz FM vocalist of the year award. That was an amazing night and amazing feeling and it’s something that I’ve been wanting for a while in my career. So I was elated to have been awarded that bit of recognition. Not that I believe in awards per say but I was just excited to have been recognized. 

I want to make an incredible second album with Sony off the back of Grace. I just want to continue to grow musically and tellthe stories that I have in my heart in my soul, in my mind. 

I’m going to achieve a Grammy…if not with this album then the next… Its always been a dream of mine to win a Grammy.

What do you want your listeners to take away from your music?

Whatever they need. Take what you need.

Have you got anything brewing for the future? Where can we expect to see you around?

Album number two is brewing, and I have a bunch of shows coming up in the UK and abroad…a lot of them aren’t quite announced yet but we are going to get Gent Jazz Festival, Hamburg, Sardina, Italy, Spain…so I’m very excited about that…I love to travel and see the world. So, if you’re in any of those places, come and check us out and make sure you say hi! 

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Words: Melissa Santos
Photography: Naomi Wong