Country Newcomer Jackie Lee is impressing country radio with his debut single “She Does.” Signed with Broken Bow Records, home to Jason Aldean and Dustin Lynch, Lee is currently at work on his debut album. Great things are on the horizon for the new artist. Jackie Lee recently stepped in the iconic circle and made his Grand Ole Opry debut on September 30.
CountryMusicRocks got the opportunity to catch up with the talented newcomer. We discussed his debut single, forthcoming debut album, his time out on the road for his radio and much more! Jackie is one to add to your “To Watch” list. Be sure to keep your ears tuned in and eyes on him as you’ll be hearing & seeing a lot from him in the coming months.
CountryMusicRocks (CMR): You recently released your new single “She Does” to country radio. Give us a little background and tell us a little about that song?
Jackie Lee: It’s kinda funny about that song. I was writing at a publishing company in Nashville and I heard the song being played down the hallway, the demo of the song. I peaked my head in and I said “hey, what is that?” and she said “well, another artist has this on hold right now.” So I said “well, okay. If there is ever any chance that they don’t cut that song, I would love to have it.” And so she called me, the lady at the publishing company, like two weeks later and said “hey, the guy did not cut this song if you want it” and I said “YES!” I took it to the record label, and probably not even two weeks later we cut it for my album. I was really, really happy to have it.
CMR: “She Does” was the most added song at country radio during release. How does it feel to have the country radio industry immediately embracing your music?
Jackie Lee: I just feel so lucky. I also feel so blessed to have probably, in my eyes, the best promo staff in the business. It has definitely been a team effort with this radio tour, they have all worked so hard. I told somebody, “I don’t know if all these people are just being nice to me while I’m in front of them and then talk bad about me when I leave, but everybody has been super nice.” I felt like even early on during the radio tour we were getting some good feedback, and I’m just really glad that they like the song as much as we do.
CMR: Your currently working on your debut album. What can you tell us about it so far, what can fans expect?
Jackie Lee: Benny Brown, the guy who owns Broken Bow and he’s kind of the A&R guy, I feel like he really, especially in today’s world with iTunes and so much where people don’t really buy albums anymore, he really tries to dig in, whether it be me or Dustin Lynch or Jason Aldean, and put together a complete project that shows all kinds of different sides. There is a lot of different stuff on there. You always want to put songs on there that could be singles on the radio, but along with that, there are songs on there that I feel maybe may not be able to be singles, but they are really cool songs and they are different than every other song on there. I really feel like we are getting a complete project. Listening to it, it’s not just all “Jackie Lee does this,” it’s kind of like “Oh, he can do a little of that and a little of that.” I definitely give all the credit to Benny Brown for doing that for me.
CMR: You’ve been recording music since the age of 6 with producer Carson Chamberlain who 16 years later is the producer for your debut album. Tell us a little about your relationship with him and did you request for him to specifically produce your debut alum or did it happen organically?
Jackie Lee: Actually a little bit of both. It was crazy organic in the first place. My dad, when he was about my age, was trying to be an artist. He was kicking around Nashville and got introduced to Carson. Carson was his producer and produced a few for my dad trying to get a record deal, but it never happened for my dad. They moved back to Maryville, just south of Knoxville where we are from, and through that Carson and his family stayed friends with my family. Carson has kids my age and we all remained family friends. Throughout the years, when I was 6 years old Carson produced me, and when I was 13 years old Carson produced me. When I got to be a junior in high school, he told me one day, because he kind of knew I was wanting to do this for my career, he told me “hey man I’m really interested in working with you, if you’d be interested in working with me.” It was a no brainer because it was just so natural, I already felt like he was a part of my family. When I made the move to Nashville, he was really the one that opened the doors. He introduced me to my manager, and he introduced me to publishing companies & record labels in town. It just so happened that when we landed the deal with Broken Bow, I asked them if he could be my producer and they let him produce a few songs. They heard the songs and they were like “yes! he can be your producer for this album!” So it’s been really natural and organic, and I’m really thankful for that as well.
CMR: You’ve been out on the road promoting your debut single. What has your experience been like so far on your first radio tour?
Jackie Lee: It has been unreal! I cannot believe that they let me do this!! We’ve got to see every type of terrain this country has to offer. I just got back from Maine, we’ve been to California, Wyoming, Texas, Florida. Every type of anything this country has, we’ve seen it. It has just been the time of my life. One thing I’ve heard from past radio tours is that a lot of people have bad experiences, and I am just so thankful that my record label has made it such a comfortable experience for me. I’ve just had a blast. I’ve tried to soak in every single moment, whether it’s the bus ride in between cities, or we stop at a truck stop, or try to do the things the locals do. It’s just been so great and I’ve been so very thankful.
CMR: Being out on the road pretty much this whole year, what is one thing from home that you HAVE to HAVE out on the road with you?
Jackie Lee: Sweet Tea! Not every place has sweet tea though. We got to California and we were at a chain like McDonalds. I said I wanted a sweet tea, and they looked at me like I was crazy.
CMR: Social Media has become such a huge role for artists. Do you feel more connected to fans having the social media tool at your fingertips?
Jackie Lee: It’s insane. Absolutely I do. Even thinking back to 10 years ago when artists were starting out. Social media is a direct communication source to people. I feel like if people get on board with you in the beginning, and you’re able to communicate with them and let them know you see what they are saying and stuff like that, I feel like you can really grow fans for life. I’m definitely on there every single day. Anytime anybody says anything, I try my best to comment and let them know that I’m very thankful for what the have to say. It’s a game changer for sure.
CMR: Who are some of your favorite celebrities to follow?
Jackie Lee: I like to follow John Mayer on Instagram and Twitter just because I think he’s very clever and the stuff he posts. Sometimes he posts something real, and other times he doesn’t post something real & he posts something stupid and funny. I’m big into sports so I follow about every sports Twitter there is just to keep up because we’re not all the time getting to watch TV. That’s the thing about Twitter, it’s like instant information. Especially if there are games going on, I have insight into what is going on. Probably one of my favorite things to do with Twitter and Instagram is follow my friends back home because I don’t always get to talk to them. If you follow people on Twitter, they let you know what they are doing! That’s probably one of the best ways I keep in touch with family members, and friends from high school, and all that good stuff.
CMR: If there were one thing that you would like to convey to fans about you & your music, what would it be?
Jackie Lee: I want them to know that I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I’m still country. I didn’t grow up riding around in trucks, but I’m still country. The things I sing about, I am passionate about. I don’t ever want people to see through what I am doing. I want them to know that I love music, and I love doing what I’m doing with all my heart. I want people to feel that. I hope that they always feel that from me, and the passion for what I’m doing and what I’m getting to do.
CMR: Country Music is consistently evolving and growing. What is it that you love most about this genre?
Jackie Lee: I love that the fans and the people who buy the music are so loyal, unlike any other genre! I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying that, but it’s the truth. There are so many artists from the 90’s and the late 80’s that still try to tour, and they can because there is a fan base out there that still appreciates their music. That’s just really hard to do in other genres. I’m just thankful that the people that are buying the music and the people that love the music, love it as much as I do. They are going to be life long fans if they become a fan. That is probably the best thing about country.
Jackie Lee’s debut single “She Does” is currently available on iTunes HERE. Be sure to pick up a copy and add it to your country playlist.