Pushing boundaries, taking names, Jackie Mendoza plays no games. Her music is as fresh as her sense of style. Hailing from sunny San Diego,CA Jackie blends dreamy pop with latin and folk stylings that make you feel like you’re on an island in a distant galaxy.
We were able to catch her doing her thing at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, New York.
Fresh Pots: Your sound is so refreshingly unique, it’s so densely complex yet still accessible. Enlighten us with your story and process.
Jackie Mendoza: Thank you, I'm glad you felt refreshed! I started singing when I was about 12 years old and did musical theater all throughout high school. I started writing and producing music my second year of college (around 2014). At the time I was into indie electronic pop and techno and drew influence from those sounds. Vocally, I ran with what I learned doing musical theater. Instrumentally, I loyally stuck with the ukulele. I blended these influences to create a sound that was natural for me to express and connect with.
FP: Being from a city that’s juxtaposed between Mexican and American culture, how much did that directly influence your sound?
JM: Living in Chula Vista influenced my sound in many ways! I think my sound evolved from both cultures. I use latin percussion sounds and I sing in Spanish as well. I grew up listening to Latin Pop and Reggaeton, whether I liked it or not, haha. It was something that was bound to make its way into my music one way or another.
FP: What is it about Brooklyn or New York in general that caused you to move there?
JM: I always wanted to live in New York and I finally moved to here for school in 2013. I moved here for the 4 season weather, the fast pace, mix of cultures, and for music. Even though I came alone, it was incredibly easy for me to make friends and feel at home. I don't see myself leaving anytime soon!
FP: Have you always been a solo project, or do you aspire to having a full band soon?
JM: I'm also in a band aside from my solo project. I joined Gingerlys in 2014 and we've played hundreds of shows and released an album since then. I love being in a band but I don't think I'll be adding members to my solo project any time soon.
FP: Projects like yours are truly inspiring because they show how boundless music can be. Everything now, especially in America, is being divided culturally, socially and politically. Would you say then, that your music is an attempt in bringing it all together and reminding everyone it’s ok to mix it up?
JM: It was always a conscious decision of mine to blend many genres and elements into one sound. I think it's important to have spaces and projects where everyone can feel welcomed. I sing in Spanish to relate to a part of my identity but also in English to reach the rest of the audience. It's always okay to mix it up!
FP: What’s can we look forward to in the future from your project?
JM: I just finished recording my first EP! How and when it will be released is still up in the air but the songs are there. I am also working on another EP with my band. LOTS OF NEW MUSIC COMING SOON :)
FP: Now for the best part, what’s in your playlist and why?
JM: Recent faves:
1. Lo Decidi Yo- Juana Molina “Quirky songwriter from Argentina, strange and poppy”
2. Livin' Loose- George Clanton “From his album ‘slide’- SO GOOD from start to finish”
3. Real Outside- DRINKS “Check 'em out”
4. Dr. My-Ho- New Optimism “Miho Hatori's new project. Her voice is great, this song slaaaps”
5. Because- Smerz “The whole world needs to know Smerz. Female techno/r&b duo)”
6. Para Gali- Mint Field “I love Mint Field <3”
7. Are You Leaving- Sassy 009 "3 words: techno, female, flute”
8. Deep Breath- Abbi Press “Amazing female producer”
9. Set it Off- Ava Luna “I love this whole album so much”
10. RSI- Beak> “Krauty and fun”
FP: Before we go, we always ask, how do you like your coffee?
JM: Straight up! Hot, no milk, no sugar.