Jacklyn Wills performing at the Kinstock Festival
Saturday July 12, 2015



Jacklyn Wills: A Young Artist to Watch

by Brian Hay

Some aspiring young musicians are worth watching and Jacklyn Wills is among them. This Dresden based performer who already writes some of her own material has that part of her craft honed to a level that belies the fact that she's only in her mid-teens. She's also developing a stage presence that's grown considerably stronger in the nine months between the chances I've had to watch her. Here's are a the observations from both occasions.

Opening at the Kinstock Festival in Dresden: Saturday July 12, 2015

Jacklyn Wills set was a really interesting one. She performs covers, but often of work done by independent artists from her own area, rather than material crafted by established acts. As young as she is, stage presence is a natural thing, and she's at ease in front of a crowd. There's a fairly wide zone of comfort in her singing range and she's not afraid to step out of it. It doesn't always work as hoped but the few difficulties lie with sustaining passages as opposed to reaching the notes themselves. That's a matter of improving her breathing technique and she'll master it quickly. The intelligence in her delivery guarantees that.

At Bottoms Up in Point Edward sharing the Bill with Round House: Saturday March 19, 2016

Singer/songwriter Jacklyn Wills played an acoustic set between their second and third and left many with much to think about. Her rhythm guitar work is very strong with notes meant to drive her singing accented beautifully. What was even more impressive though, was her singing, and specifically, her breath control. Many of her pieces featured extended passages that needed the release of air to be done with care while offering only limited chances to breathe at all. She rolled most of them off with both her pitch and vocal strength as strong at their finish as it was at their start. Warmth permeates everything she does making her presence one that people can enjoy greatly.

Jacklyn's joining with Round House for a pair songs for a pair of songs was among the highlights of that evening. There was a little trepidation on the first (which was understandable since they hadn't practiced it) but the second proved they can be dynamite together. They clearly enjoyed her company and she displayed hints of the sort of brass she'll eventually have as a performer.

The Present …

The difficulties she had with breath control are virtually a thing of the past now. That was made clear by the way she navigated through passages that demanded exceptional control in that area. She's also pushing the songs to her audience with a greater degree of assertiveness. She's still a bit shy before a crowd but that facet of her stagecraft is coming along nicely. The intensity with which she swept the enthusiasm of her temporary band-mates in Round House to a centre and directed it toward the crowd illustrated that vividly. Whether it was an instinctive move or one carefully thought out is impossible to say, and it doesn't matter. It felt spontaneous and the crowd picked up on it.

Jacklyn's an artist, good now and developing rapidly. Pay attention and enjoy what comes as her potential unfolds.

Jacklyn Wills — 'Scootch a Little Closer'
Live at Bottoms Up, Saturday March 19, 2016

Jacklyn Wills — 'Stripes'
Live at Bottoms Up, Saturday March 19, 2016


The articles, photos, video and site design are my own. The songs were performed at Bottoms Up Bar and Grill in Point Edward Ontario by Jacklyn Wills.
Inquiries about having design work, writing or editing done should be directed through the "Contact" Links.

Brian Hay © 2016