The career of breakout Epiphone sensation Jessica Frech continues skyward. Armed only with her personality, an inexpensive camera, an Epiphone Swingster Royale, an Epiphone Masterbilt DR500MCE and our Les Paul ukulele. Everything Jessica puts a song to seems to catch on like wildfire. "People of Walmart", her breakthrough self-made video on YouTube, was at 4.6 million views when we spoke with her last year. Now, it's about to break 6 million.
Around the holidays, Hyundai asked Jessica to write and star in two commercials for their new Hyundai Assurance. Both commercials looked and sounded great but we're pretty sure most people who saw the ads remember the girl with the "cool white guitar" more than they do the car. Jessica's campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise funds for a new album, Reality, brought a sea of well-wishers.
Now, with a new album coming out Tuesday, March 20, Jessica is currently out with the DigiTour and will be appearing Thursday, March 15 at the House of Blues in Houston and on Friday, March 16 at the Southside Music Hall in Dallas. Check out our exclusive sneak peek photos from Jessica's recent video shoot for the first single, "Reality". Epiphone spoke with Jessica on the road.
You just cut your debut album, Reality, out Tuesday, March 20. What were your ideas going into the studio?
: When I saw that my goal had been met on kickstarter.com (a website that enables fans to fund projects like my album), I took a deep breath and screamed, “I'm making a real album!” All of the content that I've made for YouTube has been done in our small attic studio, so to be able to go into a real studio with a talented producer and spend time on perfecting every track was amazing. I've waited a long time to make this album so I'm excited.
Was it a good change for you to focus on a new album that will be heard front-to-back without a video element?
: I definitely needed 100% of my dedication focused on the album. Say this album is my new born baby and that my videos are a litter of kittens. You just wouldn't adopt a litter of kittens after having a baby! That's not to say that I didn't miss my weekly song challenge (which will be coming back!). I really do miss engaging with my fans each week through my videos.
What are your plans to support the record? Do you imagine a tour and if so, will you be rocking out?
: I will definitely be putting a tour together. Right now, I'm scheduled for two dates on YouTube's DigiTour in Dallas and Houston, Texas. I hope to reach out to more cities after the album's release.
What are you listening to for inspiration
: We've been listening to some Lenka and Fiest for production vibes, but the album has my quirky spin on it (lyrically, vocally, and production wise).
What are you doing on the DigiTour this year?
It's so very exciting. When I heard about the DigiTour last year, I was really wanted to be a part of it, but never would I have guessed that I'd really be on it a year later. The DigiTour is hosted by YouTube and Neuro and consists of 7 headlining viral youtube artists.
Do you feel more like a film-maker who uses music or a musician that uses film?
I definitely feel like a musician who uses film. Never in a million years would I have thought that people would know me for being in front of a camera. My video ideas are typically pretty cheesy and quirky just because I can't act like anything else but myself when I'm in front of a camera. That's why I find it funny when people call me an actor. I'm just now getting used to that title.
What's in store for you after the DigiTour
I’ve got to study for my final exams. But first, I head off to San Francisco to be on a panel for Intel’s Creators Project. The Creators Project is an event that portraits the impact of technology in music, art, film, and design. Luckily, it’s a long flight so I’ll have time to study.