Jenny Mallard is a singer-songwriter from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout her career, Jenny has performed as a solo artist and as a member of many touring and recording ensembles.
Jenny began performing in front of an audience at the age of five, and at the age of seven, she wrote her first song.
She has developed a Pop-Folk writing style, with some indie and country influences, throughout the years.
During our time together, we had an in-depth talk with Jenny. A great vocalist with strong vocals that make you want to tap your toes. She discusses her career as a musician and her most recent album.
What is your real and official showbiz name?
How long have you been making music and what attracted you to it?
I have been singing basically since I learned how to speak. There are videos of me at around 3 years old with a plastic toy mic, singing and dancing on top of a table at my Aunt’s house.
The first time I performed publicly I was around 5 years old, singing and playing Christmas tunes with my guitar to my kindergarten class. The first time I actually started putting my own words to melodies I was around 7.
What attracted me to music was that my whole family is very big and very musical – I don’t know any Mallards that can’t carry a tune. I grew up attending family get-togethers and there was always amazing music.
And the music was always the centre of all the fun. I always knew that the music my family played brought me so much joy, and I wanted to do that for others too.
What were your first project and the people you worked with and which year?
The first professional project I worked on was a touring project. I toured across the province of NL with Rod Jackson and the Perfect Strangers as a singer in 2018. This was the first large project that I’ve ever worked on with multiple people involved.
Who or what inspires you or motivates you? And why?
I feel like I have so many mentors and peers in my life that inspire and motivate me. Realistically, a lot of people that I meet and keep close inspire me in some way. I try to surround myself with people who push me to be a better version of myself every day.
I would have to say one of the biggest inspirations in my life who helped guide me on my musical journey was one of my mentors, Julia Halfyard. She started as my voice teacher when I was in junior high and moved to work for Memorial University the year I started there.
She then took me under her wing and helped me break out of my shell with the inclusive musical program that she developed for the University called “Cafe Concerts.” Playing in those concerts really helped me get super comfortable performing in front of large audiences.
Julia has always believed in my abilities, and always truly trusted me to do great things. The greatest piece of advice she ever gave me was to “Keep saying yes until you have to say no” And I have lived by that ever since. I hope one day I can help and inspire people the way Julia helped and inspired me.
What are your friend’s and parents’ thoughts on your career in singing?
My friends and family are my biggest fans. They come out and support me in any way they can, and are very supportive of my goals.
My support system encourages me to always keep striving to spread a positive message. They keep me grounded, encourage me to stay true to my values, and help me to always remember to be grateful for what I have.
I think my friends and family also just really enjoy coming to my shows. I am just truly blessed to have such a wonderful support system who actually likes and believes in my music.
What are some of the challenges you face in your career path?
The hardest overall challenge of being in the music industry, and working in entrepreneurship in general, is all the opinions, critiques, and rejections you receive. Like any art, not everyone is going to like what you create. Getting past the feeling you get when you are rejected or critiqued is huge.
However, if you read stories about some of the greatest artists of all time, they were also rejected many times. Music is a personal taste, and there are very few objective opinions. Because of this, the most challenging part of being an artist is not letting the negative opinions discourage you from creating.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
I was born in 1997, so the internet was quite established when I started performing professionally. I don’t quite remember a time of music without the internet so I don’t really have much to compare to. However, I have been around for the emergence of technology such as streaming platforms, and this was a game-changer in the music industry.
Music is now more logistically accessible to people around the world, however, because it is so accessible, every time you release music you are, in a way, competing globally. I think it is wonderful that so many artists have the opportunity to get their music out there in one way or another, however, it does make the competition aspect of music a little more challenging.
Do you have any advice for aspiring songwriters?
If I could give one piece of advice, and this is related to the biggest challenge I face as an artist, I would say that it is important to carefully evaluate any opinion or feedback you receive.
So many times I’ve taken advice from the wrong people, and I’ve let myself stray from honouring the purpose of why I play music. I believe the best way to overcome that is to evaluate every piece of advice or criticism you receive and compare it with your purpose and core values. If it aligns, listen to it. If it doesn’t, don’t.
What is your current project about?
My upcoming album has been anticipated for a very long time. I have to have strong feelings about something or feel inspired by something to write a song, so this album is a compilation of years of random spurts of writing original songs based on my personal experiences.
I have established a writing style of the Pop-Folk genre, with a bit of Indie and Country influence. This will be my first ever album, and it will include songs that take the listener on a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
The album will make you laugh, it will make you cry; the songs have vibes ranging from catchy and cute, funny and quirky, to emotional and inspiring – and all were written strictly from real-life experiences.
Each individual song was written from a genuine place of inspiration. I hope that through the expressive, emotional delivery of the songs, listeners will be able to hear and relate to the experiences I’ve been through, and when they listen, they will feel like I am there celebrating, laughing, crying, and smiling with them through their own personal journeys.
What does this song mean to you?
I’ve always wanted someone to write me a love song. Back in November of 2021, I started really focusing on self-care and self-love after a breakup. I’ve traditionally been someone who thought they needed to be in a relationship to be happy.
So through self-love and self-care, I’ve really been working on discovering my worth and validation from within instead of relying on another person to give that to me. I really used to attribute the way others treated me in relationships as having a direct correlation to my self-worth.
I’ve learned, however, that the way people treat you has very little to do with how you treat them, and basing your worth on how well you are treated is not an accurate reflection of your value.
So, the inspiration for this song was coming to the realisation that I do not need anyone else to treat me a certain way in order to understand my worth and value. I can treat and love myself the way I want to be treated. Again, I’ve always dreamed of someone else loving me so much that they’d write me a song.
But through my healing journey, I realised that I simply could just write a self-love song – a song about the things I appreciate about myself and my journey to realising my worth. This song “I Do” sends a reminder to people that it is possible to find self-love and worth from within, even after years of relying on others for love and validation.
What are your hobbies?
Honestly, I spend a lot of time on both self-care, staying active, and being social. In terms of self-care, I love taking long hot baths, journaling and meditation. With regards to staying active, I enjoy practising martial arts, yoga, hiking, walking, and swimming.
I also am a huge extrovert and I just love being in the company of other positive people. I spend a lot of time with friends and family just talking and laughing. Other than that, I have a 6-month-old Yorkie-poo puppy that keeps me busy. She is 5 pounds of pure energy and joy.
What do you do aside from this profession?
I am currently working a full-time job at Memorial University as a Student Engagement Coordinator. In this position, I work with some student leadership development programs at Memorial and also assist with the planning, coordination, and execution of engagement events across campus.
The busiest times in the office are the welcome/orientation weeks and convocation weeks, as we plan dozens of events throughout these times for thousands of students.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
If I could speak to every person who listens and supports my music, I would just thank them for listening and believing in me.
I am so grateful for each and every bit of support shown for my songs. I write them from a genuine place and from real-life experiences, and I know I’m not the only one who goes through them.
So if others can enjoy, relate to, and/or gain a positive perspective from listening to my music, I would consider that a success.