I would like to introduce "The Joyful Jacki Drane" as my "Artist of the Month" for the month of November. Here is the personal interview that I was blessed with.
Michelle Bradshaw: Tell us about yourself.
Jacki Drane: A little bit about me, I am a wife and mom. I love Jesus, my family, music, running, and missions. Currently, I live in Memphis, TN with my husband and three kids where we serve at the University of Memphis as missionaries with Chi Alpha, which is the Assemblies of God ministry to serve college campuses. I love my job with Chi Alpha, which mainly consists of leading worship, reaching out to college students and international students, teaching in Bible studies and weekly meetings, and mentoring young women in what it means to follow Christ.
I started leading worship with Chi Alpha at the University of Tennessee as a student who was involved in the ministry. That opportunity evolved over many years into other worship leading opportunities and songwriting.
In addition to mission and music, I love to run and read. I’m currently training for my 8th marathon and just finished my second season coaching Elementary and Middle School cross-country for the school my children attend (I got to coach all three of my own kids, which was quite a bit of fun). When I’m not running with my kids, I spend quite a lot of time cuddled up with my daughters reading books together.
Michelle Bradshaw: It is so nice to meet you. Did you grow up in a musical family? How did you get into music?
Jacki Drane: I didn’t really grow up in a musical family. Each of my parents was involved in High School band but didn’t really pursue music any farther after that. From a young age, my mother realized that I really loved music and loved to sing, so she got me connected to a children’s choir at a local church. I started choir when I was about four or five and have been singing ever since.
Michelle Bradshaw: I am so glad that you did. I really enjoyed listening to your songs. Can you play any musical instruments?
Jacki Drane: I play guitar and piano. Fun fact, I like playing guitar when I am playing music live or leading worship, but I write most of my songs from the piano.
Michelle Bradshaw: That's really cool. I am trying to learn guitar myself. I got an acoustic guitar for Christmas last year. What was the first tune you learned?
Jacki Drane: I’m really not sure what the first song I learned to sing was, but I remember the first song I ever learned to play on piano—it was “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” I was about seven years old and my aunt had just given me her old piano to start taking lessons on. She sat down with me and taught me that song before she left and I played it over and over again for days so that I wouldn’t forget it.
Michelle Bradshaw: What a sweet memory. What is your fondest musical memory?
Jacki Drane: This is a hard one, I have so many fantastic memories about music. I think one of the best, though, was the day my dad took me to buy my first guitar. I was seventeen and had expressed interest in guitar so that I could continue to write songs and start to learn some worship songs to share with my youth group. We went to a local music shop and spent the whole afternoon trying out different guitars before I settled on the perfect one, a tiny Seagull folk guitar. When we got home, I spent the rest of the day trying to play it, sure I could master my first song all in one day. That didn’t quite happen, but I fell in love with guitar and through the rest of High School and much of college that guitar went with me just about everywhere.
Michelle Bradshaw: Besides being musically inclined do you feel like you have any other talents?
Jacki Drane: I’m not sure if running is considered a talent, but coaching cross- country has shown me that I have a passion for teaching others to do their very best. I think that comes through in campus ministry, as well. I like to get to know people and figure out how I can support them and help them reach their potential.
Michelle Bradshaw: I know what you mean. That's what I love about my website. I love that I can help support others in their calling. I think it's really neat that you are training for your 8th marathon btw. Are there any new songs or albums on the horizon for you?
Jacki Drane: Currently I’m working on a new 5-song EP that will hopefully release next year. I also have a few collaborative songs in the works that I’m really excited about.
Michelle Bradshaw: I can't wait to hear it! If you weren't a songwriter what would you see yourself doing as a career?
Jacki Drane: If I wasn’t a songwriter or serving in ministry, I think I could see myself teaching Bible or British Lit. Sometimes I daydream about becoming a college professor. Only time will tell…
Michelle Bradshaw: I believe you could totally do it if God leads you down that path. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Jacki Drane: I’d say you have to believe in yourself and really love what you do. Don’t wait on someone else to believe in you, believe in yourself and get to work. And IT WILL BE WORK. You have to practice. You have to work to be the best you possibly can be and then work to become even better. You have to be willing to hear the word “no” over and over again and not give up.
I think I waited for so many years for someone else to encourage me to pursue music. If I did it all over again, I wouldn’t wait for that. I love songwriting, I love what I do, so I don’t need to wait for others to cheer for me or spur me on. I just need to keep doing what I love and share it along the way.
Michelle Bradshaw: That is GREAT advice that we can all live by. Do you have anything specific you want to say to your fans?
Jacki Drane: I want to say thank you! Thank you for your support—for listening and sharing and downloading and encouraging me along the way. And thank you for your feedback! The most rewarding moments as a songwriter are when you hear how your music touched someone else’s life or encouraged them. I hope that my songs remind you that Jesus loves you and cares for you and usher you into His sweet presence.
Michelle Bradshaw: How can fans discover more about you and your music?
Jacki Drane: The best way is to follow on Social Media or check out my website.
Thank you so much, Jacki, for taking the time to sit down with me. I feel blessed to be featuring you this month.
Make sure you check out Jacki's new single "Daylight" On ITUNES today!