Breakthrough pop star appears in Kamloops

Disney-princess turned musician Jessica Lee plays an intimate show at Bailey’s Pub

Carli Berry, Contributor Ω

Jessica Lee broke into the Canadian music scene after winning a contest and getting the chance to play with Marianas Trench. Nicolaus Waddell/The Omega

Jessica Lee broke into the Canadian music scene after winning a contest and getting the chance to play with Marianas Trench. Nicolaus Waddell/The Omega

Ottawa-native Jessica Lee performed an intimate free show at Bailey’s Pub on Tuesday, Sept 24. Lee made the trip to Kamloops from Vancouver, where she has been living for the past year.

Known for her collaboration with Marianas Trench on their song “Good to You,” Lee recently released her own record, Carried Away, in May.

The concert was entirely acoustic and covered Lee’s main hits that listeners may recognize from mainstream radio. Lee proudly told the audience that her hit “Beautiful” was used for a breast cancer fundraising campaign.

Lee was full of spunk and showed no fear or hesitation towards the near-full pub. She even sang a song from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and shared stories of how, earlier in her career, she would dress up as a Disney princess and sing at children’s birthday parties.

What set off her career, however, was an innocent joke entry to a contest to win the chance to perform with Canada’s pop-rockers Marianas Trench, as well as a guest appearance in one of their music videos.

After winning the contest and being on stage for the first time “I just couldn’t go back,” Lee told the audience.

She said she was “a science nerd” before she got into music and her parents just wanted her to get good grades and do well in school. But when the music started playing, one could have never guessed that she had previously attended university to study biology.

Jessica Lee played a free show at Bailey's Pub sponsored by The River on Sept. 24. Nicolaus Waddell/The Omega

Jessica Lee played a free show at Bailey’s Pub sponsored by The River on Sept. 24. Nicolaus Waddell/The Omega

Her interaction with the crowd really impacted the intimate feeling of the evening. She appeared comfortable with her surroundings and often cracked jokes between songs. Lee got a laugh from the audience after noting that her song “Wrecking Ball” had nothing in common with Miley Cyrus’ latest work.

She was unafraid to hit those high notes when they came around during the set, and transitioned from piece to piece with ease.

Although her music typically appeals to a younger audience, Lee truly succeeded in holding the attention and enthusiasm of the adult crowd – not bad for her first performance, even with a more mature group. Kudos to Lee for visiting Kamloops and putting on a show worth attending.