Jessica Paige recently released her new album Sweet Nothings in September, and it is definitely worth the listen. Her sound combines the intimate tunes you hear in coffee shops with great storytelling in her lyrics that can be enjoyed in the warmth of your cozy home.
Paige always knew that she needed to be a singer/songwriter. She started writing songs in 5th grade with her friends, and performed her first written song at the age of 14. She began dabbling in guitar in her hometown, and learned to sharpen her skills after high school in Ireland.
“Your gut to learn guitar is smart—it will lead you to incredible places,” Paige says. And that it did. She later honed in on her songwriting skills. One of the main aspects that she has learned from her peers is to be minimal with her songs, not overbearing. She took to heart the words of a peer in Ireland: “You don’t need fancy guitar technique; your voice is the main instrument. That is it.” Her voice is the key that helps get her point across. She learned that if she does any complicated guitar shenanigans, it may distract from her voice and the general idea of the song. When you hear one of her songs or see her live, you’ll understand the power of her voice—it can either be soft and intimate or powerful and soulful.
Now, songs can come from anywhere. Sometimes she gets melody ideas in her car and records them to her phone. “There are a lot of bad ones, but a few keepers,” she says. There are times when she writes with lit candles around her, a glass of wine, and a guitar to help create a calming environment around her. When writing lyrics, it is always with a pen and paper. “It is always satisfying when I write on paper rather than typing. It just feels right and real.”
Paige’s songs are based on her personal life. “In order to write well, you have to dig deeper on that feeling in order to articulate the feeling.” She feels vulnerable writing songs that are personal to her, noting that it recently “feels like standing naked.”
Usually, songwriters write to and for their audience. Paige, on the other hand, writes for herself. “I write what I’m feeling, with the intent to be honest.” On her new album, she describes her feelings about love, heartache, or loss; each song describes a moment from a past relationship. One of my favorite songs, “Sweet Nothings,” describes a significant other in his vulnerable state resting his head in her bed while she appreciates every single detail of this particular moment in their relationship. “Good Grief,” one of the only songs not about a relationship, describes how she handled a family member’s passing. Lastly, “The Fall”, describes a moment where she was letting a significant other go and saying farewell. With each song, rather than describing what she feels, she allows you to go ahead and experience the feeling for yourself.
Right now, Paige is currently promoting Sweet Nothings, with a single, “Beautiful Life,” that has radio airplay. For the future, she talks about playing with the idea of writing about situations she’s encountered through others or brand-new stories. Jessica Paige is a unique and rare Kansas City songwriter. Take a listen to her lyrics; it may change your perspective on life and its beauty.
- Mica-Elgin Vi
The Deli KC 11/20/15