The 17-year-old artist with a new single who’s performed since she was 9 is part of this week’s ‘Interlochen Singers & Songwriters Concert’ for up-and-coming tunesmiths. And that’s just part of a big 2022 ahead.
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At 17, Aspen Jacobsen already has experienced a music career that would be the envy of many veteran singer-songwriters.
She’s released two studio EPs with a limited-edition album on the way later this year, and has performed extensively across the state since she was 9 years old. She’s logged recording sessions in Nashville, been nominated for songwriting awards and made appearances at several Michigan music festivals.
This week, as a second-year scholarship student in the Singer-Songwriter Program at Interlochen Arts Academy, she’ll be featured in the second annual “Interlochen Singers & Songwriters” concert at City Opera House in Traverse City.
As part of the 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 3) show, several of the academy’s “finest up-and-coming” singer-songwriters will perform original works, with students from the academy’s music ensembles serving as backing bands.
“I’m thrilled to be debuting a new song at the historic City Opera House,” said Jacobsen, who hails from Commerce Township in the Detroit area. “Since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to perform as much as I usually do and I’ve really missed the stage.”
It doesn’t stop there. The singer and multi-instrumentalist steeped in folk, blues, country, Americana, bluegrass and old-time music is one of six Interlochen singer-songwriting students selected to tour the Midwest in March.
Beyond that, Jacobsen, who officially released her latest single, “Shouldn’t Give a Damn,” last week, will headline a June show at Livonia’s Trinity House Theatre and play sets at Nor-East’r Music & Art Festival, Buttermilk Jamboree and Wheatland Music Festival this summer.
LISTEN: Aspen Jacobsen, “Shouldn’t Give a Damn”
“I’ve really missed the festival community and late-night jam circles,” she said, adding that she feels her music has taken a big step forward as she wraps up her last semester of high school.
“My music has changed so much these last few years as I’ve matured and have had more life experiences,” she said. “Many of my newer songs revolve around social issues rather than strictly personal experiences.”
She considers her new single “an empowering anthem to remind myself and others not to sacrifice yourself to please others. Succumbing to people-pleasing doesn’t help yourself or the relationships. Putting yourself first doesn’t make you a bad person in any way.”
A batch of Jacobsen’s newest songs will be featured on a limited-edition album being shipped in August. Each of the 500 CDs will be signed and numbered.
It’s the latest milestone for a young, multifaceted singer-songwriter with a dynamic voice who’s already made great strides in the business.
“I have broadened my musical knowledge and enjoy taking jazz history and jazz improvisation,” said Jacobsen, who’s a recent finalist in the YoungArts 2022 competition.
“I’m also a member of the Interlochen house band, playing a range of music including rock, pop, punk and Motown, as well as accompanying other songwriters and vocalists in concerts. All these experiences are shaping how I currently approach my songwriting and performances.”
Tickets for Thursday’s Interlochen Singers and Songwriters concert are $25 adults, $15 students and available through the Interlochen.org website. Doors at City Opera House open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
VIDEO: Aspen Jacobsen, “Shouldn’t Give a Damn” (Live)
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