This 27 year old powerhouse is shaking up the metro Detroit area with her incredible vocals and soulful lyrics. I have know Jillian since I was a little girl and through the years I have watched her metamorphosis from afar. We were some years apart in age and we never hung out in the same circles, but as a young girl I would always pay attention to the ones who went before me. I think that's true of any young person, but it was definitely true for me. I always admired Jill's heart for the Lord and how instead of falling away from her faith once she got older, she stayed true to it. If you grew up in the church you might understand what I mean when I say that around the time that people start high school and/or college there is "The Great Falling Away". This is the time when young adults usually start trying things out for the first time and seeing if they truly want to be the person that they were taught to be. It's a big deal and a lot of people don't make it, but some do! Now I'm not saying that Jill is perfect by any means, but I thank God for her stamina! Sometimes I don't think that we as women know that we are constantly being watched by the ones coming up behind us. We forget that we are examples and that our lives are not just for our own pleasure, but they are inevitably used as blueprints for our sisters, daughters, nieces, etc. With that being said it has been lovely taking notes from this blueprint of mine. Her music is breathtaking and I am so excited for what the Lord is doing in her life! Her story full of trust and utter dependance on God is exactly what I needed to hear. I hope you enjoy! - Maureé
I'm an acoustic soul singer with folk elements in my sound. I'm also a songwriter. I like to sing about what I've learned or whatever I'm sorting through at the time. Often times my lyrics center around God and my relationship with Him because it frames my view of life and experiences. I'd like to think that I make music that encourages the spirit and fills the soul.
I'm currently in Bible school studying in a 2-year program in the Pistis School of Ministry and also coaching high school girls basketball at night -- all while pursuing my dream to be a traveling singer/songwriter. (That's a lot. I know) I'm learning that it's not so much about the destination, but the journey and what you become along the way. With any dream there are seasons of preparation, and I believe that's where I am. Some days it is frustrating to see others doing the things you're dreaming of and knowing that it's just not your time yet. In those times, I'm reminded to trust God with my dreams. I know He has it all planned out, and if I can just remain faithful in this season, He will open the right doors for me at the right time.
I think I'm my truest self when I'm sharing my music. I'm honest, bold and vulnerable especially in the songs I'm working on currently. In regular life I can be a more reserved or a private person, but music affords me the opportunity to be honest with others and myself and allows me to share on a personal level in a way I wouldn't normally.
I've always wanted to sing. Since I was a kid I dreamed of it, but did not see how it could happen because I was terrified of singing in front of crowds. But although I was scared, my heart kept leading me back to music. It wouldn't go away. When I was 19, I picked up the acoustic guitar and began writing songs. From then I knew this was something I was supposed to do, and ultimately a part of my purpose.
After finishing up at Wayne State with a Journalism degree, it was time for me to find a job. I was thinking I might write for a magazine or work in a communications department somewhere, but God had other plans for me. That summer, as I was praying about next steps, I heard the Lord say that now was the time for me to pursue music, and He gave me some specific things to do. I had this peace from God that kept reassuring me that this was the right thing for me.
I think the most difficult part about stepping out was that people did not understand my path. Constantly being asked "Where are you working now?" or "What's next for you?" and being okay with the expressions on their faces when I told them I was pursuing music. I had fears of letting people down. I didn't want to disappoint my professors and my mentors who poured so much into me. But inside I had this conviction that this was the path that God was leading me on. I had to follow that. I had to redefine success for myself and recognize that at the end of the day, pleasing God was most important. You can't always explain to others what God has spoken to you. You just have to be okay with being misunderstood. They'll get it later.
There are lots of people who I admire and who inspire me, but one person who comes to mind is the jazz singer Esperanza Spalding. I'm inspired by how skillfully she has mastered her instrument and by the fact that she has basically created her own lane. She's original, carries herself with class and has a unique style fashion-wise, rocking her natural hair. I dig.
To me, womanhood is class, beauty and strength. It is knowing who you are and being comfortable with that person. It is fearlessly rejecting the boxes and stereotypes we are often placed in. It's respecting yourself, being brave and dreaming big. It is wearing multiple hats and making it look easy.
Think about the things in your life that come natural to you. Look back at your childhood at the things you did in your free time without anyone telling you to. What talents or abilities do you have that can help others? Usually that is where your passion lies. Once you find it, pursue it and don't let fear stop you.
A scripture that I've been studying: 1 Peter 5:6 NLT "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor." God is constantly reminding me to enjoy the moment and cherish every season of life. Don't be in a hurry to get "there." There is beauty in the process. Be faithful in completing the assignment God has given you and know that at the right time He will promote you."
Check out Jill's newest music video "The Person I Am":
To connect with Jill and hear more of her music, click here.