“I love singing in Spanish and using Latin percussion sounds in my songs. I grew up on both sides of the San Ysidro border, so these influences are just a part of me. My family would play music by Luis Miguel, Shakira, and Laura Pausini at family parties and although I didn’t think anything of it then, I find inspiration and comfort in it now.”
Jackie Mendoza shared a demo of “Seahorse” with us in Austin during SXSW, a then-unreleased track about fighting for monogamy with someone who rejects it.
“The song was inspired by people in my life who are stuck in one-sided relationships,” she says.
“I’ve been in similar relationships where I wanted to be with someone but the person wanted to be with other people too. The song is about finding someone you’re drawn to and wanting to give your all but never coming to an agreement.”
More than a year later, the Jackie we met in Texas has since learned from those unrequited relationships and is working on herself.
“On stage, I become a storyteller for the real me. I think as I get older, the two become one.”
“As the real me grows and evolves over time, my stage persona does too. I’m pretty shy and it takes effort for me to let loose when I meet new people, but my stage persona doesn’t really care about first impressions or people’s judgments. On stage, I become a storyteller for the real me. I think as I get older, the two become one and as I gain more confidence in myself, so does my stage persona.”
With a debut EP out now by Luminelle Recordings and a few tour dates on the calendar, Mendoza is gearing up for a long career.
“I hope I can spark love and creativity in people through my music,” she says, not trying to hide her smile.
“I want to be able to travel, connect with people, and play shows in other countries. I want to do this as long as I can. I want to be 70 years old and still play shows and make music.”
Watch the Open Session for “Seahorse” below, check out the official video for the track, or stream her debut album out now.
Level Open Sessions is part of our ongoing initiative to support the creative pursuits of our community, whether it’s for a burgeoning idea or a finished record. Designed to pair independent artists with a creative team and resources to actualize a vision together, Open Sessions encourages collaboration.