Interview with . . . Jessie Wagner

Jessie Wagner has presented a charming video for her cover of Solomon Burke’s “Cry To Me.” If you are a fan of summer vibes or the movie, “Dirty Dancing,” then you will love this video. Fun fact: Jessie has shared the stage with Chic, Lenny Kravitz, Little Steven and Duran Duran.

Luckily, Jessie was available for an interview. Please welcome Jessie Wagner to the blog.

Jessie Wagner

Tell us about your latest project.  

I had been working on my follow up album to Shoes Droppin’ and I was trying to figure out what songs to include. I’ve always loved the song Cry To Me. That groove just makes you want to get up and dance.  And Solomon Burke’s vocals are just incendiary.   I first heard it in the movie Dirty Dancing.  This just seemed like the right time to cover it.  And of course, if I’m going to cover it, I have to do a Dirty Dancing video to go along with it. 

Do you identify with a certain Dirty Dancing character?

I guess I’m a bit like Baby.  I can be a little shy.  And I felt a bit awkward and out of place growing up.  But through the stage, I’m able to channel my inner diva and be more assertive.  I think singing and acting helped me come out of my shell and be more comfortable in different settings. Baby’s character is on a journey to self discover, in a way.  In the end, she becomes more comfortable in her skin and is confident in her decisions. 

What is your favorite scene of your “Cry to Me” video?

I love when we’re practicing the “lift.” As I run up to Ismael, my dancing partner,  I chicken out at the last minute and quickly run back the other way.  Ismael slaps his forehand in frustration.  It’s just a really funny moment and I think we really captured the essence of Baby and Johnny’s dancing struggle.

When did you start singing?

I suppose I’ve been singing all my life.  My mom would make me sing in the church choir when I was a kid. When I got to high school, I sang in plays and in the gospel choir.  I won the Miss Oakwood pageant in college, and I sang in the talent section. But my professional career started when I joined with Nile Rodgers and Chic around 2003.  That was my first big gig. 

Do you get star-struck when working with famous performers?

So far, everyone I’ve worked with has been really great at putting you at ease.  And when you get going with rehearsal, then it’s more of a job than hanging out with celebrities.  You want to make sure you’re doing your part and giving your all.  So there’s no time to be starstruck.   But when you get to go to the parties and you see famous people you grew up watching on television, there might be a touch of awe that creeps in. lol

How do you handle anxiety?

Badly! lol For me, I just need a little space to myself.  I have to center myself and try to push through.  I have had a few sleepless nights here and there, but I’m good at bouncing back.  I take a deep breath, figure out what I need to do next, and keep it moving. 

Do you prefer podcasts or music videos?

I used to watch more music videos when I was younger.  But I do occasionally check YouTube every now and then to see what’s popular.  I love making them though.  I enjoy coming up with ideas and being a part of that whole process.  It’s very exciting.  When I’m driving, it’s all about the podcasts.  Right now, my favorites are Disgraceland, Badlands, and American Hysteria. 

What do you want people to know?

If you want more Jessie Wagner info on when I’m performing and what new music I have out, you can find me on X, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok.  Keep checking in for the latest news on my upcoming album, The War Within. 

Jessie Wagner Links






Flawless Friday Video: Jessie Wagner

“Just a small town girl – living in a lonely world.” Concert tickets are practically essential. Musicals are the key to life. I like movies, music,books, and corny jokes.


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