We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Childress and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how do you think about risk?
I think some level of risk is so important in life, in general. For me, as an artist, risk comes with the territory. It feels risky to be vulnerable and authentic with your music. It’s always hard to take a leap of faith, but in my experience, it’s worth it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My music is a gift. Not a “gift” in the way that people sometimes describe the uber-talented among us, but a true gift – something given to me without expectation, without strings. It’s something I steward with gratitude and a good measure of respect. In service of this gift, I now strive for authenticity, where once I tried to wedge myself awkwardly into the cool kid’s table. I dive deeper than I ever had the courage to do before because I now know that my truest self is expressed raw and unvarnished. This music is my healing. It comes from my deeply personal experiences, of course, but I think the connection that comes from sharing who you really are in the way that feels the most authentic is powerful and healing of itself. In a time of global brokenness, it’s what I have to offer. Someone once told me, my healing is your healing, your healing is my healing, and our healing is ALL healing. The older I get and the more I dive into this profession, the more I’m focused on this deeper purpose.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oooooh! I love this. So I’m going to pretend that this is pre-Covid and do all the LA things we used to be able to do. I think the first thing we’d do is hit some great brunch spots – LA does brunch really really well. Bowery Bungalow in the Silverlake area does an amazing mediterranean/Lebanese brunch and they have a gorgeous patio- which outdoor dining is an LA must! I think Griffith Observatory during the day is just a quintessential stop if you’re in town for only a short while, and if you’re up to it, the hike to the Hollywood Sign from the Observatory gives some of the most beautiful views of the city. There’s so much to see here that’s off the beaten path so something I love to do by myself of with friends that are visiting, is take a long drive through the canyons, down the PCH, and back the long way. We’d have to hit Reel Inn in Malibu for some delicious and incredibly fresh (caught the same day!) seafood. Evenings we’d go to Hotel Cafe and see some live music and wander down Cahuenga for all of the cocktails. Rinse. Repeat.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m surrounded by incredible people – my manager and my whole team always goes above and beyond for me. But if I had to specifically call out a person/group of people I’d have to say my group of friends. Some of these people I’ve known since I was 16 years old. They’re my core group of encouragers. With each season of life, they are always so present for me to be in whatever state I’m in. I think that openness and the ability to deeply trust a group of people and fail and succeed together has been such an anchor for me. This business is so unpredictable, so having that stability in my life has been critical.