Q&A with Jillian Cardarelli


Jillian Cardarelli is no stranger to country music fans. Since her debut single “Rerun,” she’s released buzzworthy songs and received several major accolades, including the music video for “Souvenirs” spending 8 weeks in the Top 10 on CMT, “Strong” with Charles Esten receiving plenty of acclaim from the media, and being ranked on Top 10 lists by Rolling Stone Country and Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. Cardarelli recently released her newest single “Dropped,” and we had the chance to catch up with her and talk about the song, working with producer Alex Kline, her upcoming EP release this spring (2022), her amazing charity efforts, and much more!

TCM Single Review: "Dropped"


1. You just recently released your current single “Dropped.” Tell us a little bit about the song.

“Dropped” is a song that exudes confidence. It’s a song about learning to leave well enough alone and not looking back when a relationship is over.

2. In what ways do you feel that “Dropped” shows a completely different layer to who you are as an artist that your fans haven’t heard from you before?

This single is definitely different from any other song that I’ve released. It definitely shows a sassier side, both lyrically and melodically. With my upcoming EP this Spring, I really wanted to show people all sides of me as an artist, and I think this song does just that.

3. You worked with Alex Kline (Reba, Tenille Arts, Terri Clark, and more!) in the studio on the song. What did Alex bring to the production side of things that helped to give the song the dynamic that it has that might not have otherwise been on it without her? 

Working with Alex has been incredible. She was one of the first people I met and wrote with when I moved to town, so she really understands me as an artist and my sound. What I love about her production on this song is that while it’s edgy, it’s still country and stays true to who I am as an artist.

4. You do have a music video for the song coming out this month (November 2021). What can we expect to see from the video and how do you feel it will enhance the song the most?

Storytelling is what made me fall in love with country music and I love that music videos tell more of the story. This was such a fun video to make. With lyrics such as “Like a bad habit, baby, I dropped you,” I get to walk through the character's home dropping precious items. When you get to take on the lyrics of a song and act them out, it's just pure fun.

5. Your previously released your single “If You Had A Heart,” and now “Dropped.” Both are from your upcoming EP (releasing in 2022). In what ways do both of these songs best define what the rest of the EP will hold for listeners?

I’ve always loved sad country songs even when I’m happy, and “If You Had a Heart” is exactly that to me. Both of these songs both have a confident vibe about them; both moving on from a relationship with confidence. Now that I think about it, this EP has a lot of confident songs. I guess I’m just drawn to those types of songs and lyrics in country music - songs that show strength.

6. Kind of flipping that last question; what surprises might we find on the EP that these two songs don’t offer to us?

This EP will have songs to fall in love to, dance to, and mend a broken heart to. There’s a little something for everyone. If you're drawn to traditional country music, you’ll enjoy it. If you like contemporary country music, you’ll enjoy it. 

7. Is there a favorite song that you’re working on for the EP, or have already recorded, that you can’t wait for us to hear? If so, which song and why?

The title track of the EP, “What’s It Gonna Take” was one of my favorites to record and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. It’s definitely the “powerhouse” single in my opinion.  I hope it blows people away when they hear it.

8. Switching gears a bit, your charity efforts are incredible! Thank you for all you do in that arena. Amongst those you work with are Stand Up 2 Cancer, Band Against Cancer, PEDIGREE Foundation, Musicians On Call, St Jude Children’s Hospital, and many more! What does it mean to you personally to be involved with organizations like these and to make the impact that you do through your involvement?

It means so much to me to be involved with these incredible, worthwhile charitable organizations. Stand Up 2 Cancer is one that is very near and dear to my heart. Listeners will hear the single “STRONG” on the EP that I co-wrote with Charles Esten. It’s about my mother’s current, seven-year battle with cancer. Stand Up 2 Cancer’s research has led to 9 new FDA approved drugs and that’s just the beginning. It’s really a privilege and an honor to have a platform where I can bring awareness to the wonderful work that these non-profit organizations do.

9. 2020 was a bit of a down year for most people, but you took the situation and turned it into a great year for you by releasing your singles “Cool Girl” and “Strong,” as well as participating in the National Christmas Tree Lighting’s Virtual Concert. Tell us about your perseverance and how you navigated what can best be described as a crazy year, and how you feel that you’ve come out the other side of it better than before?

Looking back on that time I am so glad I released new music. Music is a universal language that we can all speak, so releasing new music was a way to still connect with everyone and hopefully bring some light to such a difficult time. Not to mention, I was also planning my wedding. 2020-2021 has been very busy, but I’m really looking forward to getting back out there, on stage and performing for LIVE audiences again. That’s the goal.

10. What is the best piece of advice that you can offer an aspiring songwriter/artist just trying to break into the music business?

My advice would be to write and perform as much as you can and to never, ever give up!  You have to have some patience when you’re in this business. Things don’t always move as quickly as you’d like, but trust that you’re on the right path. 

Learn more about Jillian Cardarelli by visiting her official website at: https://jilliancardarelli.com/




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