Photo by Lydia Stubbs
Rising singer/songwriter Jillian Cardarelli has been described as “country-politan,” and is forging her own path in country music with her stunning vocals, captivating songwriting and girl next door quality.
Originally from Boston, MA, Cardarelli has quickly become a fan favorite for various media outlets like Radio Disney Country and CMT. Her current single, “Souvenirs,” is airing on Radio Disney Country along with her music video ranking in the Top 10 on CMT’s 12-Pack Countdown for eight weeks due to fan voting.
In fact, Rolling Stone Country ranked Cardarelli at the top of their list of 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know in August of 2017. A few weeks later, she released her debut single, “Rerun,” that was written by Grammy Award-winning artist Maren Morris, Tina Parol and Jordan Reynolds. The music video of “Rerun” spent two weeks in the coveted #1 spot on CMT as part of the Artist Discovery initiative.
Nashville Lifestyles Magazine highlighted Jillian in their annual Music in the City issue (January 2018) as one of the top new artists to watch in 2018.
Cardarelli has recently made tour appearances with Easton Corbin, Scotty McCreery and Hunter Hayes. She landed her first songwriting cut on Australian artist Jody Direen’s album, “Shake Up,” in 2016 and is currently honing her songwriting craft and working on her upcoming self-titled EP.
“I want to create an album that has a little something for everyone,” explains Cardarelli. “Songs to fall in love to, mend a broken heart, reminisce and dance to. My goal is to write and perform songs that touch people. Music is a universal language with which we can all connect, and that to me is a beautiful thing. Songwriting is all about being vulnerable and honest, which can be scary, but I believe the best songs are ones that come from a real place or experience.”
She credits her grandfather, who was stationed in Georgia during World War II where he fell in love with the heartfelt words and melodies of country music and brought that love of country back home. At a young age, Cardarelli fell in love with country music herself, from hearing Merle Haggard and Patsy Cline playing from her grandfather’s living room stereo.
Cardarelli’s first solo performance took place at her church when she was only 4-years-old. She knew then what her life-long ambition would be. George Strait, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill and Shania Twain are some of her inspirations, with her biggest inspiration being the King himself, Elvis Presley.
Cardarelli later went on to win the New England Country Music Organization’s Female Vocalist of the Year in 2012. In early 2017, her talent captured the attention of William Morris Endeavor and Suretone Entertainment, both signing her to their rosters. Cardarelli made her CMA Fest debut in June of 2017 that included packed performances, a fan meet & greet and a partnership with Sears & Heroes at Home. In 2018, she was a featured artist on the Radio Disney Country stage as well as the Nashville Universe stage at CMA Fest.
We recently spoke with Cardarelli about her personal style, music and hobbies.
Q: What’s your personal style?
A: I have a classic style, but I love to mix in some fun trends each season. For the stage, I love sparkles and glitter but at home, day to day in Nashville, I’m a plain t-shirt and sweats kind of girl.
Q: What should every girl have in their closet (i.e. a staple you can’t live without)?
A: I think every girl needs yoga pants and a classic denim jacket, not necessarily to be worn together. For example, you can pair a denim jacket with almost any outfit, dressing it up or down, with the right jewelry and statement shoes.
Q: What is one thing that you never leave the house or perform without?
A: I never leave the house without my travel size dry shampoo. Here’s a “shout out” to Living Proof brand for always helping my hair look perfect for the stage!
Q: Do you have any specific pre-show routines or rituals? If so, what are they?
A: Before every show, I like to say a prayer with my band before we go on stage.
Q: Which artists (past or present) inspired you to pursue your music career?
A: My past inspiration is Elvis Presley. As a little girl I watched Elvis’ Aloha in Hawaii concert with my dad and I was captivated by his voice, charisma and stage presence. My more recent music inspirations would be Faith Hill and Shania Twain.
Q: If you could do a duet with any artist, past or present, who would that be?
A: I would love the opportunity to perform a duet with George Strait. George has been one of my favorite performers since I was young, and it would be an honor to share the stage with someone who has remained such an icon through the years.
Q: Do you have any special interests, talents or hobbies that might surprise your fans?
A: Yes, one thing most people might not know about me is that I’m a black belt in karate and I played on the golf team in high school. I am still an avid golfer and love to play in tournaments when I can. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to participate in Darius Rucker’s charity golf tournament benefiting St. Jude and that was such a blast.
For more information about Jillian Cardarelli, visit www.JillianCardarelli.com or follow her on social media at:
By Tresa Halbrooks & Katie Brooks Boone
Tresa Halbrooks is the Founder and President of LEGACY Consulting, PR & Events, a premier public relations and event production company based in Franklin, TN. Tresa Halbrooks has produced some of Nashville’s top celebrity and charity events as well as public relations and branding campaigns over the past 23 years.