Here at The OB Blog we like to try and spot undiscovered gems when it comes to music, and with 17 year old Jessica Doherty from Derry we are confident that we have indeed found a gem!
Being only 17 years old Jessica has to deal with the challenge of balancing her time between music and schoolwork, a challenge some of us can't even deal with minus the music! Doherty says that "I have to admit that the workload can be pretty intense. I was doing four A-levels but it got a bit overwhelming and I dropped one to allow more time to balance my music with schoolwork. For me, it's a case of putting together a schedule to follow, planning out times for everything and trying to stick to that as closely as possible in order to balance things!"
Listening to Jessica's music I can't help but compare her to Gabrielle Aplin, a favourite here at The OB Blog. Jessica has a similar vocal style as Gabrielle and seems capable of hitting those high notes as well as bringing it down and delivering a soft vocal that is full of emotion. When asked
about her musical upbringing Jessica tells me that she "...grew up surrounded by pop music but I eventually discovered folk and indie music (which is where I found my own sound). Bands and artists such as Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Passenger, Half Moon Run and Novo Amor are big inspirations."
The pressure that must be on a girl with the talent of Jessica Doherty to be a success in the music industry must be intense, but Jessica has a solid approach when it comes to dealing with this pressure telling me, "At the start I was extremely shy and was very afraid. I think most of the fear comes from how overwhelming it can seem in the early stages. It's important to take it in little steps and build a team around you that you can trust to support you. I don't think 'success' is measurable, if you do what makes you happy in life then that's all that matters (to me anyway). I'm working to make the music that I want to make and hopefully other people enjoy it along the way!"
Doherty is no stranger to performing having played at Stendhal Festival, the Gasyard Feile and the MTV Crashes industry event last year and supporting Janet Devlin and Rosie Carney in Belfast in October 2014. When asked about the experience of supporting Devlin Jessica told us"Janet is a lovely person and so is Rosie Carney which made it a lot easier. It's great when you walk into a venue and everyone is friendly and helpful. I was so nervous before that gig but it ended up being the most fun show that I've ever played. It taught me to deal with the pressure of performing in new places with audiences consisting of strangers. It's a really good way to road test new songs."
It was at that gig that Jessica got the idea to release upcoming single 'Wolves' which she tells us "...wasn't intended as a single but it got amazing feedback so we decided to take it into the studio." 'Wolves' is due to be released on June 26th on iTunes, Spotify and all major digital retailers.