The Name Jaki Nelson is on the rise as this star takes the music industry by storm. We took a few minutes to chat to Jaki and find out more about this queer artist and how she expresses her sexuality through her music, and the impact of allowing her audience to share her journey and find pieces of themselves within her lyrics.
Why did you come out live on stage?
One day, I heard “Boys” by Charli XCX and I instantly felt compelled to make a bisexual remix version. It was more about the fact that I wanted it to exist than about wanting even to make it. From the moment we finished it, my whole life changed. I started getting asked to play it live at gay clubs and I was just immediately brought into the community and it was amazing. Then all at the same time, my mom came into town and wanted to see my first big live show, and I had to introduce the song, so I didn’t see myself having a choice. I was freaking out. After I got off stage, I very nervously approached my mom. Her response? “You did great, honey. I have to catch a plane in four hours. Good night!” I wasn’t sure if she even heard me. About a month later, we actually talked about it, and she was totally fine. I’m really glad it went the way it did.
How do you think your sexuality affects your music?
My sexuality is my music. It’s no different from Taylor Swift writing about her various relationships, it’s just that mine can be written about both men and women. My sexuality is my truth and my truth is my music.
What inspires and drives you?
Another side effect of coming out so publicly is that the LGBT community is SO supportive of my music. A lot of bisexual people have sought me out to tell me how inspiring I am to them, and it almost makes me cry because I was never consciously looking to be an inspiration, but now that’s become a real goal – to continue to inspire other people to live their truths.
Do you have a ‘cause’ that your work for/with?
I work with a group called the Nation In-Choir, and for one month every year (this will be my 15th year), we go around to a lot of homeless shelters/areas, old folks’ homes, and the Children’s Hospital to sing to them and bring treats. It’s very fulfilling.
What are you hoping to achieve with your career over the next 10 -20 years?
It’s hard to know what the next 10-20 years will look like, but the next year is looking great. This last week, I headlined an intimate show at the world-famous Viper Room in West Hollywood in preparation for Pride Season and an upcoming tour in 2019. We’re looking forward to taking the show on the road.
Jaki is the featured artist on “The End (Want It All)”, the new single from Disco Fries & LoaX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvfIEnDr3fA