There isn’t much that singer Jess Moskaluke isn’t applying her creative energies to these days. With everything from a record-breaking single and a new lip gloss line to multiple accolades and awards including her first Juno nominations for Country Album of the Year and Breakthrough Artist of the Year, she is indeed dazzling the country world.
Not to mention she also landed honours for ‘Female Artist of the Year, for the second year in a row at the Canadian Country Music Awards this past weekend.
She’ll be performing Oct. 6th at the Centrium in Red Deer as part of Paul Brandt’s fall tour.
“I am beyond thrilled – they are both such huge names,” said Moskaluke of both Brandt and Dean Brody. “And they’ve done so much for our Canadian country music industry. I’m beyond honoured to be part of this tour.” Interestingly, the first concert she ever attended was a Paul Brandt show. “So I’m really excited to join him on tour because he has been such a huge influence in her musical career.”
Meanwhile, her growing fan base is evident with a online following in the millions, and receiving her official Silver Play Button Youtube award for breaking 100,000 subscribers. As mentioned, she won her first 2014 Canadian Country Music Association award for Female Artist of the Year in addition to receiving two additional nominations – Rising Star of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year.
She was also crowned the 2011 CCMA Awards New Artist Showcase winner.
Produced by Corey Crowder and mixed by Scott Cooke, her hit single Cheap Wine and Cigarettes quickly became the highest charting song on the iTunes top 200 singles chart for any Canadian artist. With this second single off of her 10-track CD Light Up the Night, she also achieved gold record status becoming the first Canadian female solo country artist to surpass 40,000-plus downloads for a song since Shania Twain.
She then released Used last September, followed by her latest single Night We Won’t Forget this past January.
“It was so much fun working with Corey Crowder and John Mark Cappers – never a dull moment,” she said, reflecting on her recording experiences with the talented duo.
“Their hard work and dedication to make that record really put my mind at ease, and I know they worked night and day to make sure we were all 100 per cent happy with this album,” she said.
As to her start with music, it’s been a rather natural and organic progression. Her family wasn’t overly musical per se, but they’ve always been extremely supportive, she explained. “It wasn’t something I grew up doing, except singing in the church choir a little bit.” Then a few opportunities to solo surfaced, along with some voice lesson opportunities. “The next thing that happened was just putting some stuff up on YouTube and again, it just progressed from there.
“I really fell in love with it all as it was happening.”
As to country music in particular, there’s much about it she loves including the supportive community that seems to be integral to the genre. “The thing I love most about the genre are the fans in particular – they are so loyal and they are such a welcoming community.” Also, with country melding with sensibilities from other genres from pop to rock to hip-hop these days, the opportunities to stretch one’s creative muscles are plentiful. There really hasn’t been a better time to be in the country music industry, she pointed out. “I have more freedom musically than I feel like I have ever had in my life, and that’s really fun to experiment with to be able to find my own sound.”
Her debut single Good Lovin’ hit number 17 on the Canadian country BDS charts and was featured on the Country Hits 2014 compilation CD.
Last April, Good Lovin’ also won Song of the Year at the 2014 Saskatchewan Country Music Awards in addition to her also receiving both a 2014 SCMA Fan Choice Entertainer of the Year nod and her second consecutive SCMA Female Vocalist of the Year title.
On a more personal note, she recalls a saying of John Wayne – “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” She can still hear her father sharing this, encouraging her as she contemplated what the future might hold.
Sadly, he passed away in 2006 after a lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis, but his memory lives on in her music.
“My dad is my hero for teaching me how to be brave, and that being brave is not the absence of fear, but rather in the presence of fear possessing the ability to overcome emotions and persevere,” she said.
These days, when she is not on the road touring, she primarily splits her time between her home base in Saskatchewan and writing in Nashville. And she’s busy gearing up for the release of her new EP Kiss Me Quiet on Sept. 25th. The six-song EP also includes two acoustic tracks. Moskaluke likes to release EPs on a consistent basis as it keep fans receiving new material. “I feel like EPs allow an artist to release music more frequently – you can constantly keep the music fresh.
“It’s really a fun, upbeat, country-pop album. It’s something I’m really proud of in terms of the collection of songs.”
For ticket information about the October concert, check out www.ticketmaster.ca.