‘Old Soul’: Tampa teen to debut EP written with Nashville artists over Zoom

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A talented Tampa teenager is set to release her first EP with songs she recorded with several well-known Nashville artists over Zoom.

Thirteen-year-old JudyAnne Jackson will celebrate her 14th birthday on Nov. 11 with the release of her EP, titled “Old Soul.”

The Academy of Holy Names student started singing at a very young age.

“My mom says I’ve been singing… before I could even talk, I would like hum ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ when I was younger,” Jackson said. “But I started really singing when I was in kindergarten and I joined a group called Entertainment Review. It was a performing and singing and dancing group and I was in that for five years, and it really helped me to become a better performer and just really get used to the stage.” 

Jackson got her first guitar when she was 8-years-old and began songwriting more, bringing her to where she is now.

She began working with Hope Tree Entertainment, an artist development company, and began learning more and more over Zoom classes for the past year. Company founder Patryk Larney put Jackson in touch with the cowriters of her EP, Nashville singer/songwriters Kenny Foster and Liz Longley, and Parker McKay of “The Voice,” as well as Grammy-winning producer Mitch Dane.

While writing music usually happens in a studio, during the height of the pandemic, Jackson was brainstorming and writing with the musicians over Zoom.

“So it was definitely different from the normal way because of just what went on, but it still was worked out great. It was an amazing learning experience, that I got to learn so much about songwriting through these songwriters in Nashville, and it was really cool,” Jackson said.

She said the EP is called “Old Soul,” because many people describe her as such.

It features three original songs, “Stand Tall,” “Old Soul” and “Calling You Out.” The fourth song is a John Prine cover.

“Calling You Out” is Jackson’s latest single to be released. It’s about the hurt and isolation teenagers can feel from social media.

“‘Calling You Out,’ I wrote that about like the feeling of being left out in situations, and it’s not the best feeling, and I feel like a lot of people can relate to it, and I really loved being able to write that song,” Jackson said. 

She said out of all the things she has accomplished so far, Jackson is most proud of the EP.

“My main goal in life is really just to be able to get an audience to share my music with, and for people to relate to my songs, and [to] make people smile. I’d love to even play like big stadiums and stuff, that would be insane,” she said.

In the near future, Jackson wants to play more local shows around Tampa.

“One of the my favorite things to do is be able to play live music for people, and being able to see them smile when I play, and just being engaged with the audience,” she said. “And I’m also going to keep doing my lessons on guitar, piano and the instruments I play, and songwriting. I’m just going to keep working and doing that.”

She will be doing just that at her sold-out release party on Nov. 13. Jackson will be performing an acoustic set on Nov. 20 at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub in Tampa.

“Old Soul” is available for preorder on her official website.

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