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INDIE MUSICIAN SPOTLIGHT by Mark E. Waterbury
INDIE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
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Copyright 2005 by Music Morsels,
a Serge Entertainment Publication.
Editor: Sandy Serge
Mark E. Waterbury, Scott Turner
ARTIST NAME: Judy Jacobs
MUSICAL GENRE:Christian R&B
CURRENT RESIDENCE:Cleveland, TN
YEARS INMUSIC BIZ:20 years
WEB SITE: http://www.judyjacobs.com
CDS SOLD: 120,000 of previous release
FAN BASE SIZE:possibly millions worldwide
MM: Did you grow up in both a Christian and a musical household?
JJ: I grew up in a home where our mom and dad always took us to church. A strong trinity-based home with a strong mom and dad. There were twelve children in our family and six of us girls sang, so I started singing when I was about twelve. Music has always been a part of my life. I always had a love of singing and I have had a relationship with the Lord since an early age.The desire to serve the Lord and to minister to people has always been there.
MM: Was music the first avenue you took to minister to people?
JJ: Absolutely. I started out with my sisters when I was twelve, and my sisters and I used to travel state to state all over the nation singing at camp meetings and revivals and church services. We used to sing the popular tunes of the day as well as some original songs that one of my sisters wrote.
MM: When did you start your own recording career?
JJ: I recorded with my sisters starting when I was about sixteen or seventeen, and we recorded an album about every year. Then in the mid nineties I was involved in a college group that was doing more than just college stuff. But then there was this meeting of the Spirit and me that just drew me out of that and made me realize that I needed to do something else other than that group. That is when I started releasing albums under my own name.
MM: Do you write your own music, too?
JJ: I'm not really a writer, and I don't write the music on the albums I record. I just love to sing the music and people pitch me their songs. If I could stay still long enough to write songs then I could do more of that, but with my travel schedule and everything I don't really have time to write.
MM: So I guess where your creativity goes into the music is how you sing the songs. When someone sends you lyrics, do you just feel there is a certain way you have to convey the message?
JJ: I have to feel the songs before I can sing them. I read the lyrics and after that I have to feel what the writer is saying through the music of the song and see if it fits me. I love to read through a message in a song and see what it is saying, and if it ministers to me I figure that it will minister to others as well.
MM: When you released that first solo CD in the mid-nineties, did you find your name was known enough so you didn't need to market it, or did you have to do more legwork to get your name out there?
JJ: Any artist no matter how big you are has to do everything you can to sprout your wings, fly further and expand yourself. There is obviously a different audience I have to market my music to, although statistically there is a very large audience for Christian music right now with everything that is going on in the world these days.
MM: Other than ministering to Christians where you have a ready-made fan base, do you have an objective to get the music out to others who are doubters or non-believers?
JJ: When I play a concert, I see this cross-section of people. A lot of them are there because they really want to be there and enjoy what is happening, but then it seems like there are others there, sometimes children with their parents, who are there because they have to be there. But when I see that my music makes a connection with those people and it touches their lives in a certain way that maybe they have not experienced yet, then I know what I am doing is really working.
MM: Beyond your music, you are also an author and you sponsor conferences and other events. Do you feel that each entity helps the other and strengthens the way you present your ideals to the public?
JJ: Yes, they all work together very well. I do feel that if I can reach someone no matter what method it happens - that I have a chance of making that connection with them.
MM: I know you have sold many CDs and books. Is that how you gauge the success of what you are doing?
JJ: It was just a guesstimate of how many CDs I have sold and how big my fan base may be. I don't really know those kinds of figures because I don't gauge what I am doing with monetary successes. My success is how I reach people and can get them to feel about my beliefs. As long as I can continue to touch people with my music and whatever else I do in service of the Lord, that is supremely satisfying to me.
Div. of Serge Entertainment Group