Armed with a commanding voice and an ear for melody, Jessie Lark candidly explores love, loss, and life through the universal language of songwriting. She began performing as a child in her hometown of San Diego, honing her skills and performing the National Anthem for professional sports teams before she was old enough to even enter most local venues. In 2018, she released an acoustic EP (After Hours) that was praised by reviewers, including being awarded San Diego Citybeat’s prestigious EXTRASPECIALGOOD nod.
When asked about her writing process, Jessie doesn’t hold back. “The world could use more honesty, especially in the age where what you see isn’t really what you get. Everyone is faking, everyone knows everyone is faking, and we fake like nobody else knows shit. Guess what, they know.” Jessie is on a constant journey to hone her craft, teaming up with other songwriters, joining the Nashville Songwriters Association, and earning praises from industry icons like Darrell Brown (Keith Urban, Neil Young, LeAnn Rimes).
Her songs explore a wide array of experiences. In “Back There” and “Take Back Your Love,” Jessie exposes the bad and the potential for good in toxic relationships. In “Don’t Mess With Me,” she illustrates a character who protects themselves at all costs, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness in the process. And in “Rainbows,” she leads the listener through a psychedelic world of colors and synesthesia.
Jessie has been nominated for Best Singer/Songwriter at the San Diego Music Awards, and was endorsed by Logitech Ultimate Ears, the top in-ear monitors for musicians. She has opened for artists including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Blake Lewis, and Rick Springfield.
My first performance was singing “Over The Rainbow” when I was 5 years old at my Elementary School Talent show. I wasn’t able to stay on the beat singing along to the karaoke track so my Mom had me sing the song acapella. After the performance, the school’s music teacher told my Mom I “had the ear” and I could be a real singer if I ever wanted to be. From there my parents encouraged my musical ambitions and enrolled me in piano lessons when I was 8. My teacher encouraged me to sing while I played and that lead to me writing my first song when I was 14. Music was an escape where I could feel very connected to myself and the world around me, something I struggled a lot with in normal life which I would later come to find was a result of Inattentive ADHD (which would not get diagnosed until I was an adult). I got a sense of euphoria singing songs and feeling like I was in the right place doing the right thing- which obviously is very addicting.
Being nominated for the SDMA Best Singer/Songwriter award, and playing the main stage at the House of Blues!
Releasing honest music without filtering myself. Songwriting is such a personal thing, and you have to really let people in to personal experiences. It’s easy to be self-critical, and you have to let go of pursuing perfection so that you can keep creating art.
My husband, Kevin built us a wonderful home studio that took years of tears to learn how to use. We’ve both developed a great respect for the art of recording music because it is so hard, so nuanced, and so exciting when you get it right. “After Hours” was a beast to make, we had no clue what we were doing, started over many times, and were exhaustedly satisfied to finish it.
After (h)Ours is a play on words. We had to record late at night because our studio is not soundproof (after hours), and other part of it highlights that all of the songs tell stories about what happens in different phases of relationships (after ours).
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