This week The Soundcheck Series is back with a headliner whose sound recently turned the heads of the Philadelphia Metro: the dope songstress that is Jacqueline Constance. Jacq blends R&B and Hip Hop into a swirling emotional stew with a warm yet strident voice. Attendees of June’s Sincerely Chosen show got to experience her vocals and there was no doubt that she left an indelible mark on their understanding of her musical capabilities and talent.
So of course for her headlining debut at Pub Webb, I interviewed Jacq and her mentor, Kayode “Ambush” Balogun of DSTRCT9 Creative Solutions.
Check it out, share, and make sure you get your tickets for the show by visiting TheSoundcheckSeries.com.
Sincerely Syreeta: What makes a great artist mentor?
Jacqueline Constance: A great mentor is able to give the artist wisdom and encouragement, but still allow [them] to grow and experiment with their artistry. Being a mentor is a delicate balance between imparting knowledge and allowing the mentee to live and make mistakes. I get that and more out of my mentor.
SS: That’s great that you receive that fine balance. What is the best advice your mentor(s) has given you?
JC: The best advice I’ve received from my mentor was: to know that you’re dope is to first believe that your dope. I’ve always struggled with my own self worth and the understanding of my own talent and ideas. He has allowed me to be my quirky, weird and sometimes domineering self without consequence.
SS: It’s important to have that space because it allows you to not only develop your talent and sound, but your personality as well. What is the greatest success your mentor(s) has helped you achieve?
JC: The greatest success so far has been meeting and having a conversation with BJ The Chicago Kid. We were at a concert of his at SOB’s and he talked his way to backstage where I was able to meet him. That night was one of the best nights of my career so far.
SS: In what area(s) has your mentor helped you grow the most?
JC: The area he’s helped me grow the most in were my abilities outside of singing. I’ve been super nervous to step into different aspects of my artistry, but his acceptance and reassurance has made me more secure in [them].
SS: What advice would you give to an artist seeking career guidance?
JC: In the words of Dave Chapelle during his Inside the actors studio interview, “Name your price and stick to it”. Understand who you are and what you’re willing to deal with, especially in this industry. Know who you are and constantly work toward that truth and apply that truth to your art. Never compromise your character or integrity for the fame.
Mentor Q & A
Kayode “Ambush” Balogun: I was meeting a business contact at Voltage as she was beginning her set. So I begin to make my way around the room as it fell silent because everyone was fixated on whatever she had going on onstage. I turn to look, and I hear her harmonizing with herself. Now she’s got my full attention and a couple seconds later once I figured out what was going on I was awestruck. Close to a year later we were discussing the terms of her paperwork over sushi.
SS: What differentiates Jacqueline from other artists in today’s music market?
KAB: Jacqueline is a writer, producer, and loop pedal artist that is classically trained. There is a limitless feel that I get from her when she’s in her creative space. Discussions about her musical influences easily roll right into the type of music she’s listening to and eventually where she wants to go with her sound. I’m very excited about the many stages of Jacqueline Constance that we’ll be presented with as she perfects her sound–only to do it again and again. She’s happy with her music but never quite satisfied; it’s an excellent quality.
SS: What is your most memorable Jacqueline moment?
KAB: We’d just finished our first show in Montclair NJ and were on our way to the car when a car full of patrons from the show passes us and they scream out of the car windows: “We love you, Jacqueline!!” That caught both of us off guard.
SS: That’s definitely a #DopeAzzMusic moment. In a perfect world, where do you see Jacqueline in 5 years?
KAB: The top artist on her own label. A label she would use to cultivate the uniquely talented artists in her generation and the ones to follow. Jacqueline’s vision is rooted in an artists ability to express themselves without any conventional boundaries or constraints. In a perfect world I would see her leading by example.
About #TheSoundcheckSeries:Presented by Pier Entertainment and hosted by yours truly, THE SOUNDCHECKSERIES highlights eight dynamic artists over eight weeks, showcasing a multi-genre collection of young, buzzworthy acts in an unforgettable concert experience and one-of-a-kind industry event at Pub Webb Live.
After a debut run full of highlights and sold out shows, the series returns for summer 2016 and includes mentors like GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum super producer Jerry “Wonda” and closes with a headlining performance by recording artist and songwriter from FOX‘s hit show Empire, Darius Coleman on July 26.
Each exciting installment of the music compilation features prominent music professionals, ranging from label execs to songwriters and media personalities, all of whom have etched their marks on Philadelphia’s brilliant music legacy.