Inside each and every one of us there is a wildfire, a spark that cannot be put out. This is the message that Hoot/Wisdom Recordings artist Jessica Morale is trying to convey in her new single “Wildfire” to be released on next semester’s “CompOWLation.”
The Florida Atlantic University class of 2015 graduate’s real name is Jessica Morales, but she drops the “s” for a stage name as a play on morality, and due to the fact that there are so many Moraleses out there. While at FAU, she earned a BA in communication and a minor in music business: two topics that have given her the knowledge on how to gain exposure as an artist.
“Working with Hoot/Wisdom is a great opportunity to meet people, get exposure and learn how to craft a song better,” says Morales who has been working with sophomore commercial music major Jules Rogers as her manager with the student-run record label.
Rogers says, “I help her in the studio with producers writing her songs, I book her gigs at open mic nights. I am also hoping to get her more noticed with her social media presence and in the local area.”
Music has been a part of Morales’s life since she was six years old, growing up in a household where salsa and disco music were always being played. Her father was also musical and played in a band called “Quickstep.”
“I’ve been into music as long as I can remember,” says Morales. “My dad played the kongas in a band when I was young, so I can always remember being around music.”
She writes her music with a positive approach to pop-rock music with the hope that her songs will help people get through adversity and help them relate to her own story of living with depression when she was younger.
“Music has definitely saved my life; it’s the most important thing in the sense. I suffered from depression and was going through a rough time in life,” recalls Morales. “To have an artist sing about exactly how you’re feeling is why I am writing now.”
“In life, the things you fear the most are what you should focus on,” says Morales.
Her upcoming single “Wildfire” embodies her philosophy for songwriting. “The song ‘Wildfire’ is about picking yourself back up again after you fall realizing inside each and every one of us there is a wildfire a spark that cannot be put out,” explains Morales.
The song came together with the help of friends Nathaniel Spiner, another FAU alum and Garrett Kealer a senior commercial music major. Morales wrote the majority of the lyrics and body of the song, but they assisted with some of the lyrics and guitars on the track.
“In the past we had talked back and forth about writing a song together. She contacted me to see if I’d be able to help her out,” says Garrett. “We originally recorded her in our apartment on interface with Logic — a mobile record setup— on Mac.”
Working with Morales was easy for the two, because they have known her from classes they’ve had together, and they know what she is looking for in her music.
“She is extremely ambitious, while she is open to outside opinions; she knows what she wants,” says Garret.
Spiner says, “Her voice, in my opinion, is the best aspect of her as an artist. She has great control of the range of her voice and it blends well.”
Morales’s biggest musical influences include Katy Perry, Pink, Freddie Mercury, Alannis Morrisette and Tove lo.
She says, “I realize these days that rock music isn’t that popular, but Alannis’s voice is so raw. I want to make rock music, but I do want to be commercially successful … I am still figuring out myself as an artist and what my niche is.”
She regularly performs at open mic nights on Wednesday at Funky Buddha in Boca Raton and Kill Your idol in Miami on Tuesdays (except the first Tuesday of the month.)
She is trying to reach all people with her music, but is mainly focused on the high school and college age crowd. No matter who listens to her music, she wants to lift people up to believe in themselves.
“In life, the things you fear the most are what you should focus on,” says Morales. “If there is something you want to do you shouldn’t listen to society and what people think of you. Follow yourself and what you believe in the most.”