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Meet Jessica McVey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica McVey.

Jessica, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My love for music started at a very young age. I grew up in a house full of music, if music wasn’t playing, you always heard someone singing or playing the piano. My parents were worship leaders at our church and toured the country with their band when I was three years old. I remember always arriving to church early and sitting and listening to my parents and the band warm-up and go over songs they were going to do for the service. They hosted musicians from other countries, including a very popular Christian singer from the Netherlands. I may have grown up in the church my parents taught me to appreciate all types of music. Some of my favorite past times were in the car with my dad, on the way to volleyball tournaments across the country, playing name that tune, he won a lot! I grew up using music as a pathway for expression and it’s something I still do to this day.

As I got older, I focused more on athletics and music, although important in my life, started to take a back seat. I may have not pursued it then as I should of, but the music never left me. Even though I didn’t perform in a band, every day music was a part of my life, helping me through some rough times. My last year of college in Pennsylvania, I found myself at one point living in my car for a few months and having to eat when I could, whether it was when I was at work at Dunkin Donuts or grabbing a few crackers from the university cafeteria. I never told anyone I was struggling because I knew at some point it would all turn around and things would get better. During those months, I kept my spirits up by listening to music. I found hope in the lyrics, peace in the melody and companionship in the harmonies. Just by listening to a song, I was able to mentally take myself out of a dark and glim situation and transport myself to a better place. I held on to that for the longest time. Don’t get me wrong, there were days when I was worried about what was going to happen next but I was always able to make myself feel better by listening to music.

Years later, I found myself back in my home state and with the support of my fiancé began to pursue music again. I formed a band with my youngest brother and we began performing all over the state of Illinois. Within a short time, we were one of the top country bands in the state. Life took my fiancé, twin daughters and myself in a different direction when my fiancé was offered a job in Dallas, Texas. I knew starting over musically would be hard but I was excited about the opportunities that were possible in Texas. We arrived in Texas on October 28th, 2014. I immediately began to search for musicians to work with and start performing. I began performing acoustically around the DFW area and soon formed a full band show as well.

After a few years, my bandmates and I decided to go our separate ways and I searched again for musicians. I used social media and was lucky enough to be contacted by a guitarist Fletcher Moudy interested in working with me. We met up and instantly connected musically and I knew it would be a great partnership. We soon went from performing a few times a month to performing full time (4-5 days/week). Currently, we perform acoustically as well as in our full band, Miranda Lambert tribute band and Carrie Underwood tribute band.

Throughout my life, I faced several struggles that could have defeated me, but with the support of my family and music I made it through and continue to hit new milestones in life and in my music career. I feel honored that I have the opportunity with music to be a voice to those who don’t have one, a light in someone’s darkness and hope for the hopeless as the music of others had been for me.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
NO, it has not always been a smooth road, at one point in my younger years (23) I found myself living out of my car, eating what I could with what I had available to me. Shortly after living in my car I had found a job and a place to live with friends. My car broke down and without the money to fix it I walked ten miles to work every day starting my walk around 3 am in the morning, finishing work at noon and walking back home. I never saw it as a bad time just a time for growth and strength.

After my divorce in 2008, I moved in to a small rental home which my parents helped me with until I got a job. I had to drive a car that started with a screwdriver with no heat or a/c. I was not expecting to meet someone during this time, but I met my fiancé, Adrian Wallace, who stepped into my life and instantly made it better. He supported me and my dreams and loved my daughters as if they were his own. Musically it has also been a challenge. As a woman in the industry, I am already at a disadvantage. I have had venues not book me because I am a female dominant band. As much as this is frustrating and crippling, I don’t let that stop me. I continue to push to break barriers and prove to people that women create great music and deserve as much credit as the men in the industry.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
I am a country singer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I perform all over the metroplex as an acoustic duo as well as in my other projects, including a full band, Miranda Lambert tribute band and a Carrie Underwood tribute band. I am proud of the things I have overcome as a female in the music industry. When you listen to country radio today, you may here a female singer once every hour and if you check out the charts the number of men to women is astonishing. It really is amazing when you start to pay attention to it. I continue to try and push myself and my band to put on the best show we can every time that we perform. I stay humble and continue to put in the work. What I feel sets me apart from others is my dedication, desire, discipline and determination to my career in the music industry. I will always be the hardest working person in the room.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Yes, several people. My fiancé Adrian Wallace, he met me when I had nothing and was struggling. He not only loved me but he supported me and my dreams. He got me whatever I needed to be successful and helped me grow into the person I am today. Secondly, Rick Barker who was Taylor Swift’s first manager, now social media expert and coach. He has helped me build my social media presence and set up my business (music) for success. Thirdly, my current band (Fletcher Moudy, Billy David, Magen Miller, Dave Ferrell and Gary Ishee), they put in the hours and it shows during our performances. I have learned so much from all of them. They all have had different experiences in the music industry and I have been able to learn from them and they have been willing to teach me and support me in so many ways.

Lastly, my personal trainer/friend Janelle Nicole of Cardinal Muscle Performance. When I met her two years ago, I was dealing with depression and getting myself back into the gym and being pushed helped to get myself out of that dark place and give myself more goals to set and conquer. She continues to be a positive motivator in my life to this day. Honestly, there are so many more people in my life who have made an impact on me, whether they know it or not. Some who are still in my life and some who came into my life helped me learn a lesson and allowed me to become stronger.

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