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Meet Jackie, the new Catholic recording artist from Texas

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"I simply want my art to be an instrument of His freedom," the singer-songwriter told Aleteia.

Jackie is a singer-songwriter of the acoustic folk-pop genre. Jackie grew up listening to the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Hilary Duff, and Taylor Swift. After deciding to quit after-school sports at age 11, she picked up guitar lessons and never looked back. Throughout high school, she frequently performed at sandwich shops, coffee houses, and bars around her hometown of Arlington, Texas.

Her first original song premiered at her fifth-grade talent show and seven years later, she recorded her debut EP Searching for Now. Jackie’s style now is often compared to Ingrid Michaelson, Joni Mitchell, and Daughter.

She enjoys reading a good book or magazine, but her favorite pastimes involve pen and paper. When found with them in hand, Jackie can be caught journaling in her notebook, composing a letter, or – as you may have guessed – writing a song.

CECILIA: Jackie, tell us about your new song. What is the inspiration behind “Fly”?

The inspiration for “Fly” came on a rather normal afternoon. My dad and I had run some errands together and when we got back home, he spotted a bird above our car. I think he said something along the lines of “That’s a nice bird,” and when we walked inside I had to write this song. I was about 16 years old at the time. Now at 21, it means so much to me to finally share this song with the world.

How does your Catholic faith inspire you in your art?

My attempt to honestly witness to my life and that of those close to me flows from my fundamental belief that the truth is powerful. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “If you continue in my word, you are my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” I simply want my art to be an instrument of His freedom.

On YouTube, below the video you write: “To all, may you never be afraid of the heights or the air.” Why?

That message specifically was inspired by some of the lyrics from the song’s bridge, “I’m afraid of the heights and the air, but if I ask you will you show me where, where it is you go when you fly high …”

After listening to the song, you may notice that the lyrics don’t just apply to birds —they also apply to you and me. We see people around us “flying,” with their careers, with their families, and even in their faith. There is a temptation to believe that we are not also made for that level of success or joy, but when we acknowledge that such a thought is a lie, then we can call out our fear for what it is. Only then will we have the freedom to fly for ourselves.

Your music video generates a strong feeling of peace. Where did you shoot it? Can you tell us more about it?

Thank you. The video was shot in a forest reserve in southern California by some friends of mine that are studying film at John Paul the Great Catholic University. They gifted the videos for “Fly,” “December Air,” and another video (that is on the way!) to me before I moved back to Texas in December. There was a lot of peace on each set, which stemmed from our mutual love for one another and our belief in each other’s art.

What inspires you to write music and sing?

Seeing as this song was inspired by a bird that my dad and I witnessed flying above my driveway— I am inspired by absolutely everything. Singing runs in my family, especially on my mom’s side. My parents’ encouragement was foundational for developing my own creativity and now the ability to share my music with people near and far is what keeps me writing.

You offer most of your music for free on Spotify and YouTube. How can we support your art?

The best way to show your support is through listening to and sharing my music. The second best way, is to sign up for my electronic letters. That’s where I update my friends on what I’m up to artistically and share a behind-the-scenes view of my new projects.

If that’s something you’re interested in, you can sign-up here!

What do you have in the works now?

The final song filmed in this series is called “Miss You.” It is currently in post-production and will be released in the coming months. In the meantime, I will continue to write songs and look forward to recording again once I gather the resources to do so.

Where can we find “Fly”?

Aside from on YouTube, you can now listen to “Fly” for free through SoundCloud. 

MINI BIO

Name: Jackie Minton

Hometown: Arlington, Texas

Current City: Arlington, Texas

Latest Album: Searching for Now

Curiosity: Avid tea drinker

Website: https://www.jackieminton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackiemintonmusic/

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