Jackie Nese, a junior musical theatre major at Montclair State University, is a talented vocalist and dancer with hopes of achieving stardom from her music.
Q: What clubs and organizations are you involved with on campus?
A: I am involved in greek life on campus. I am a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. The girls in this organization are amazing. I really enjoy helping to raise money for our philanthropies, as well as participating in community service.
Q: Describe your singing and dance background.
A: I always loved music! I have been singing, dancing and acting since I was about eight years old. I was actually a really shy kid. I would barely speak in public until the third grade, which was when I joined a performing arts company called Front-N-Center for the performing arts, and ended up in their yearly musical (which was Seussical:The Musical). With my mother aware of my social anxiety, she told me that I had to go through with the performance, but if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have to do it ever again. The second I walked on stage and started to sing, the feeling was indescribable. After the performance, I walked off stage and said to my mom, “I wanna do this for the rest of my life!” After that, I began devoting my childhood to art, getting over my social anxiety and spending every second I could in a dance studio, in voice lessons, acting classes etc.
Q: Explain the genre of music you like to perform.
A: I will be releasing a debut EP very shortly, which I am so excited to share! I would describe my music as “Pop funk”. I always want to make music that makes people smile, brightens their day or just makes people want to get up and dance! I love the feeling of spreading joy, positivity and overall good vibes. I love to make people feel good and remind people that life doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. If I can do that through my music, then that is what I am going to do.
Q: What was your experience like on American Idol?
A: Being on American Idol was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. I was only 17-years-old and never expected to go to Hollywood! I still feel like it was a dream. Strangely, I felt as if I grew more as an artist after my Idol journey. I learned so much from meeting other artists on Idol as well as from getting great advice from the judges. I am always learning how to improve my craft, and Idol really helped challenge me, which I am so grateful for.
Q: You have so many followers on social media for your music and dancing. What are some of your fans’ reactions towards your music? Can you think of something memorable that someone said to you?
A: My music video as of now has hit 500,000 views! I wish I could thank every person who watched my video. Overall, I have had incredible feedback on my debut single. From what I hear, everyone has been loving it.
Q: What or who inspires you?
A: I am inspired by a lot of people. Musically, I am inspired by Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Tori Kelly, Justin Timberlake and so many more artists. I could go on and on! Michael Jackson would have to be my top choice just because I have grown up listening to his music. Not only is it incredible, but I never get tired of listening! No matter what mood I am in, Michael Jackson’s music always makes my mood ten times better. Along with his classic dance tracks, he also made music that is meaningful. His music makes people feel, unite and get inspired.
Q: What are your career aspirations for after you graduate?
A: My biggest dream has always been to put out a few albums and to go on tour. I have always wanted to travel the world sharing my music, passion and message. Along with that, I have always dreamed of performing on Broadway. Theatre has always been such a special outlet for me and something I have been doing all of my life. I would also love to be in movies as well. As long as I am performing, I am happy.
Q: What singer or artist would you like to meet and collaborate with?
A: My top choices would be Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake. I am musically so inspired by them and their performances are always incredible. I would love to put on a show like they do one day.
Above is the link to her music video “Lovin’ Me Up” that is also on all music distribution platforms such as itunes, Apple Music and Spotify.