Bay State native Jessie Chris plans to visit 100 schools while on tour to talk about bullying.
Rising singer-songtress Jessie Chris is having a good year. She was named a 2018 Billboard Artist to Watch, was Elvis Duran’s TODAY Show Artist of The Month, and has been on the road celebrating the success of her album In It For You. But years ago, the 21-year-old Southborough native was a victim of bullying at school. Now, she’s using her music as a platform to bring awareness to the issue, setting a personal goal to visit at least 100 schools to speak with students about bullying prevention, and recently releasing a children’s book on the topic, “Dreams.”
How did you fall in love with country music and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career as a singer?
I fell in love with country music when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I was taking guitar lessons and was given an assignment to learn country songs in my lesson. It was the first time I was exposed to country music and I immediately knew that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.
You’ve toured all over the country. What’s the coolest place you’ve performed?
To me, the coolest place I’ve performed was actually when I sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park. Boston is home and I’ve been to so many games there so it was pretty special.
Tell us about a “pinch me” moment. Something you did or or someone you met?
A major pinch me moment was when I sang “Achy Breaky Heart” with Billy Ray Cyrus on stage. I grew up watching him on Hannah Montana every day.
You’re on a mission to visit 100 schools to talk to kids about bullying. Why is this topic so important to you?
This topic is so important to me because growing up in Massachusetts I was bullied for wanting to be a country artist. I struggled socially and with self confidence so for me it’s important to speak out against it.
What helped you overcome it?
Having music as my outlet helped me overcome bullying and find my confidence again. Also having a supportive family helped a ton.
You were part of the AD Council’s campaign to fight harassment and bullying, which told kids to #BeMore. What’s behind that slogan?
The phrase “be more” refers to the fact that we’ve all said and done things we’re not proud of. And that we can be more than that to make the world a nicer place.
If you weren’t a singer, what do you think you’d want to be?
I’d be doing professional hair and makeup or flipping houses!
What’s your advice to others on finding their way to their own dreams?
Never give up no matter what anyone else says. You’ll regret giving up but you’ll never regret giving it all you’ve got.