Country singer stars at CedarBridge
International country music singer/songwriter Jessica Lynn has described Bermuda as “top of the list” of the countries she has visited during her rapid rise to fame.
The artist, who has been described as “Shania's successor” in reference to one of modern country's most successful artists Shania Twain, is on the island as an act for the Bermuda Festival of Performing Arts.
Her love of Bermuda is enhanced by family history — her grandparents honeymooned here some 59 years ago and have travelled back for the first time since to see their granddaughter perform.
“We surprised my grandparents at Christmas it will be their 60th wedding anniversary — it made it so special coming here,” Ms Lynn told The Royal Gazette.
“We are on the road five or six months out of the year and the hospitality and people here are incredible. We have been all over the place and I can truly say that Bermuda is top of the list in terms of everything — the people, the experiences and then just having my family here too is special.”
Asked whether she hopes to make a return to the island, Ms Lynn — who is gearing up to tour Europe and to open for one of her favourite bands ZZ Top in the summer — responded: “I hope so, I am already trying to plan my next trip — it is so beautiful here. We are from cold gloomy New York right now so just hearing the birds chirp everywhere is amazing. We slept with the balcony open last night it was just beautiful — it is like summer time for us. I absolutely love it here and the overall experience has just been amazing I feel like I have family here now and that if we came back we would be welcomed with open arms which is a really cool thing to feel.”
While she has been encapsulating Bermuda's audiences with her high-energy performances this week, she has taken time out to inspire Bermuda's students to follow their dreams. The Royal Gazette witnessed the excitement and admiration of students at CedarBridge Academy on Tuesday during a workshop with Ms Lynn where they performed in front of their classmates.
Ms Lynn said: “It was great to get them out of their shells and play music together. I was trying to tell them that the more you do it the more comfortable you get. Experiences like that are so memorable — I will always remember that.
“I had a theme of follow your dreams and work hard for whatever you want in life and you really can be successful. I shared with them earlier that I started from scratch and had more disappointments than happy moments to start with but if you work hard and believe in yourself you really can get to where you want to be.”
In the few years that Ms Lynn has found fame she has been able to reach goals she never thought were possible
She performed two full length concert television specials, This Much Fun — Live from the Winery at St George's, and Jessica Lynn — Takin' Over — Live from The Paramount Theatre, and recently had the honour of opening for the “Queen of Country Music”, Loretta Lynn.
“These last few years have been a dream come true for me I have played with major country acts that I grew up listening to, idolising and loving.
“Phil Vassar is a country music singer songwriter and his music got me into country when I was a kid. I would study his songs — he was such a good writer and I got to open for him this past year. He actually called me on stage to sing with him. I never get nervous but they were laughing at me back stage because I was like ‘I can't believe I am about to do this!'
“I got to open for Loretta Lynn, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban — people I have looked up to my entire musical career.”