Originally hailing from north of Seattle, the singer-songwriter Jillian Speer grew up with music as an integral part in of her life from an early age. Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern Dance classes that started at three years old instilled the work ethic for perfection. At nine years old she began vocal lessons and at ten years old she began training in classical guitar. Writing songs, dance class, competitions, guitar recitals, intensive summer arts camps, and performing in local musicals best describes her school years until she turned 16 and spent a school year in India. That year was an experience that would deeply affect her life as well as influence her music.
Upon her return to the states, the then 17 year-old began recording with world music producers and finished schooling. But the Pacific Northwest could only contain Jillian for so long and she moved to Los Angeles. She began performing solo shows and recording her first album. As she continued building her fan base in LA, a great amount of buzz was growing about this new arrival to the city of angels.
Her self-released album impressed many, garnering a nomination for LA Music Awards “Best Album.” Songs found their way into film and television including “Party of Five” and the HBO film, “Purpose”. Packed shows around LA were accented by festival gigs at northern California’s biggest music festivals; Earthdance Festivaland Reggae on the River as well as an opening slot for the artist “Jewel” Live at Humphreys by the Bay in San Diego. More than a few major labels expressed the desire to sign the Artist. By all accounts it was the perfect start of the singer-songwriters career dream. Yet, the deals never got worked out to the point of agreement. Speer didn’t find the right fit with the majors and decided to stay on the indie path.
Fast forward ten years, past plenty of heartache, self-cultivation, self-discovery, and a 3-year songwriting sojourn in Maui. With her re-emergence back in Los Angeles she linked up with producer Qmillion (Robert Glasper, Seun Kuti, Beenie Man) and the perfectionist has found musical happiness with the core players on her forthcoming EP and album, including Chris Dave (Adele, Angus & Julia Stone, D’Angelo) on drums, and Tim Stewart (Lady Gaga, Jesse J) on electric guitar, while Jillian holds down the hypnotic acoustic guitar with mesmerizing vocals.
On her new EP, “Daggers & Suede” Speer brings together her life influences and experiences with meditative guitar, grounded by melodic dubbed out bass, propelled by live Hip Hop drums colored with sonically-lush electric & acoustic guitars. Heartfelt songs of longing, betrayal, and forgiveness reflect her admiration for the great Joni Mitchell yet her sound owes as much to Peter Gabriel and Dave Matthews as it owes Tracy Chapman. She in fact covers Chapman’s “Fast Car” on this new release.
Plans to release the six-song EP “Dagger & Suede” in June are underway, with the full-length album due out before the years end. “It’s almost like starting over”, says Speer, commenting on her return after a perceived hiatus, and continued, “I’m very happy with my new material and I can’t wait for the World to hear it.”
Follow Jillian Speer: Site: http://www.jillianspeer.com/