Wise beyond her years...
Currently based in New York, singer-songwriter Jackie Paladino is wise beyond her years. The songstress who skillfully crafts each piece with an intricate story line, dives deep into her personal experiences like no other. Sharing her journey with the world, in the past few months we have seen her release the singles and videos for "Rescue Me," and "Daddy's Money." Bringing up two-very personal issues for Paladino, she boldly shares her experiences with the world, to let people know they are not alone.
Paladino pays attention to every detail that is placed within not only her songs, but her video pieces as well. This helps to convey the story of her music, with a prominent, insightful piece that has had many listeners and writers buzzing. Her honesty which draws from past elements of her life not only help to heal herself, but to listeners who can relate as well. Jackie has taken the time out to speak with me regarding her music and the background behind her stand-out singles with a message. Take read below into this very insightful piece.
For the single "Rescue Me" you channeled a very deep place. What made you choose to write about eating disorders and the struggles they hold?
I wrote “Rescue Me” when I was struggling with an eating disorder a couple years back, when writing music felt essential to my survival. No one I knew personally had ever struggled with an eating disorder, so I was dealing with a lot of shame and isolation during that time and felt more like an outsider than I ever have. Writing music helped me make sense of what I was going through and became my biggest source of support and healing when there was really no one and nothing else to turn to.
Aside from my personal struggle, the world needs this song right now. So many young people - specifically young girls and women - struggle with body image issues and eating disorders and keep their struggles silent. I had no idea how many people were undergoing similar experiences in the throes of my darkness - not because there weren’t plenty of people who were fighting a similar battle, but because they were too afraid to share. I hope “Rescue Me” gives people the courage to stop hiding in the dark.
How long did it take you to write the song, lyrically? Was it hard to pen a song that is so personal?
It took me an entire summer to write and was a truly uncomfortable process. It wasn’t hard to pen the song in regards to its autobiographical nature, since I’m a very open person and tend to have no issue speaking the truth when I can find it. But if you’re referring to the actual process of writing it - then yes, it wasn’t easy. There were plenty of days where I doubted my intuition, plenty of days where I wanted to give up, plenty of days where I wrestled with the contradictions of humanity and struggled to express them in melody and lyric. But that’s really the nature of the craft. It’s not meant to be easy. There are moments where you see the beauty in what you create and find solace in that, but for the most part it’s like trying to solve a rubix cube - puzzling and humbling.
How did the video concept come along and how were you able to tie it into the song itself?
The video concept came along fairly naturally - since it was autobiographical, I just had to re-live a moment in time with perfect strangers. The only part that was a truly conscious choice, aside from the retro feel of the piece, was to focus on the fairytale elements of the lyrical content and to reject the theme that fairytales embody - that women are inferior to men and are in need of rescuing. Girls who are bombarded with stories like this grow up into women who fear their own power and independence. While the video opens with a girl imprisoned by her own demons, seeking a man to come and save her, it transitions to her finding happiness within herself and prioritizing friendships over romantic relationships.
What advice would you give to others struggling with an eating disorder? What type of self-remedies helped you on your path?
Trust your struggle and don’t be afraid to talk about it with friends and strangers. Obstacles in our lives are really just opportunities for growth and connection. Art was my primary source of healing, but I think if I had had the opportunity to be open about it with more people, it would have helped combat the isolation that the illness lends. Never doubt the power of vulnerability and love.
Prior to "Rescue Me" you had also release the piece "Daddy's Money" which also came from a personal place. What can you tell us about the theme of the song?
I wrote “Daddy’s Money” in response to an insulting sexual proposal from a peer when I was struggling to find a way to afford university. I’m still struggling, so the song strikes a raw chord for me and makes me so uncomfortable that I don’t sing it anymore. I like to tell people that it’s a satirical revenge piece aimed towards the perpetrator for his insulting proposal, and while that’s true, I don’t know if that speaks to the themes of the song. I think at the core of the song exists an explosion of frustration as to the power that money has over our society and daily lives and my personal experience with feeling rendered powerless by a persistent shortage of funds for my needs and aspirations.Choosing to write this song helped elevate my sense of power because I do have the power to exploit my sexuality, but it’s all fantasy. I’m still on the wrong side of the tracks.
In a world where there are a lots of disposable pop artists, you tend to shed light on heavy hitting topics which sets you apart from the rest in a very good way. What are you hoping that music listeners grab from your songs and lyrics?
Wow. No one has pointed that out to me before and I truly appreciate the compliment. I just write what I know, so if my personal experiences are setting me apart from the rest or making me less disposable, then that may be the silver lining to undergoing such strife at a young age. Aside from spreading awareness to issues that have become all too prevalent among girls and women, I hope my music acts as a source of healing and hope for those fighting similar battles.I hope it gives people the courage to be vulnerable with loved ones, because love can’t live in the dark.
"Daddy's Money" Video Credits:
Music Producer / Vocal Producer / Engineer -Grammy award winning Tyrone Corbett
"Rescue Me" Video Credits:
Music Producer / Vocal Producer / Engineer - Chris Griffin (Madonna, John Legend)
"Daddy's Money" and "Rescue Me" Video Credits:
Executive Producer and Producer - Leslie Cimino
Director of Photography - Oren Soffer
First Assistant Director - Shaun Kartt
Editing: Maeve Peebles