At first glance, Jessie Daniels appears to be like any other pop princess. However, once you've taken a listen to her hit self-titled debut album, and talk to her, you get just a peek inside the mind and heart of Jessie, where there's definitely more than meets the eye.
The past few years have seen incredible success for 19-year-old Jessie Daniels. Even before landing a recording deal with Midas Records she was performing on Radio Disney, gaining national attention, and opening for acts like Kutless, Seventh Day Slumber, Paul Wright, and Across the Sky. She has been featured in scores of teen magazines, radio shows, television interviews, and websites, and has even gained some of her own fan sites in the process. All this attention and success can be daunting for an emerging artist, and Jessie can honestly admit that at times it has been a challenge for her.
"I feel this year, more than ever, I've grown and been able to look at myself for real, and be honest with myself," she says. "Especially about my weaknesses because, you know, when the camera's pointed at you, and everyone is looking at you, you know where you fall short. You need those times in your life where you're like, 'ok this is Jessie Daniels, this is what I'm supposed to say, and this is my typed up, edited answer to the question' but who am I really?"
Her words are certainly a refreshing confession from a Christian artist. Far too often personal struggles and confusions are glossed over, without giving light to the hardships of the unique facets of the industry, and trying to find some balance between it all. But it seems clear from this native New Yorker that she's not about glossing anything over.
"There's a real need for reality, if I can say that, in the Christian market and in the general," she says matter of factly.
"I remember when I was young and just coming out to church and figuring out what a Christian was, I was kind of fed this image of this perfect Christian girl. This perfect, pure, never did anything wrong, dressed in turtlenecks and long skirts girl. And it was something I could never live up to, or never be. Number one because I had really lived differently, and number two, just because that's not who I was. So for me, I just want to stress to a lot of girls my age and parents that we're not all perfect. I would love to be a positive role model. More than anything I don't want to portray something fake, or something that's not me."
I don't think that's something that Jessie Daniels has to worry about.
Jessie Daniels will be playing at Kingdom Bound Music Festival on August 8th in Buffalo, NY, check out www.jessiedaniels.com for more information and visit
Soul Shine Radio during February to hear some tracks off her debut self titled album www.soulshine.ca/onDemand/radioPlayer/radioPlayer.php.
Writer: Sarah Shandl