Jessica McVey's debut single is "John Deere in the Headlights."EXPAND
Jessica McVey's debut single is "John Deere in the Headlights."
courtesy Jessica McVey

At 28, Jessica McVey Is a Little Late to the Music Industry, but She Is Catching Up

Everything seems to be falling into place for smooth-singing local country singer Jessica McVey.

In the next month, you might see her playing her debut single, “John Deere in the Headlights,” at places like End Zone Bar in Little Elm or Z Grill in Flower Mound. Just a few years ago, you wouldn’t have caught her onstage performing anything but karaoke.

McVey was born and raised in a small Illinois town called Atlanta. With a population of only about 1,300, everyone knew one another and what they were doing. Born to a family of musicians, McVey remembers being 3 years old and wishing she could be on tour with her parents, who performed around the country in a Christian rock band.

McVey has an older sister and two younger brothers, and “every single one of them plays," she says.

McVey says music has been in her life for as long as she can remember. There was always music playing in her house, prompting her family to sing when they were happy or sad. She likens them to the Partridge family, sometimes singing in six-part harmony. McVey says music was ingrained in her as a pathway for expression.

Her days of performing began in church and choir, but she didn’t get the urge to dive into becoming an artist until later. In the meantime, she found a love for volleyball. She started playing when she was 3 and continued throughout college.

“I’m actually an All-American collegiate volleyball player,” McVey says.

In 2008, after coming out of a relationship, she met Adrian Wallace, now her fiancé. He acted as the driving force behind getting her to pursue music past her occasional karaoke performances. Wallace supported and pushed her, she says.

“He heard me sing and he kind of looked at me,” McVey says. “[He] was like, ‘You have a gift, and people need to hear it.’”

She entered a karaoke competition at Crusen’s, a popular college bars near her, and she won. A friend from high school was in attendance that night and asked when she would start a band so he could book her. She created a band with her brother.

A month later, after discussing whether they should move to Nashville or Dallas, McVey's fiancé got a job offer that brought them and her twin girls to the Lone Star State.

McVey says she feels connected to the music of Nashville songwriter Ruben Estevez, which she found while looking for original material to put on a demo. She says she knew other people would feel the same way.

“That’s a very big thing when it comes to my music,” McVey says. “I want my music to be able to connect people with each other.”

She plans to release seven songs written by Estevez, including “John Deere in the Headlights,” and “Haunting Melody.” Estevez’s songs, she says, have a recurring theme of the journey through love.

McVey also tested her talents in a battle of the bands competition hosted at the White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth. After making it through a couple of rounds, she met her producer, Dustin Hendricks with WarRoom Studios.

“He came up to me afterwards and said, ‘Whether you win or lose this, I would really like to work with you,’” she recalls.

McVey continues to work on original music, rehearse with new band members and schedule shows all over town. Her debut single can be found on Spotify, which will soon feature even more of this artist’s sharp and heavy country tunes.

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