If your mom is a professional singer, you probably get to hear some great lullabies. We think one-year-old Ava from Austin would agree; her mom is Jazz Mills, a charismatic folk-pop singer that’s opened for Stevie Wonder and Arcade Fire. She’s a new mom and also the next big thing in music, having just released a self-titled debut EP that’s gotten comparisons to Lana del Rey and Zooey Deschanel.
While her songs aren’t written for kids, they are lighthearted and relatable to any age, especially babies that need happy songs to scoot around to, and moms looking for something more edgy and exciting than “The Wheels on the Bus.”
“Becoming a mother was my biggest motivator,” says Jazz. “You have to hustle to pursue music and you have to hustle to be a mom.”
Jazz is inspired by throwback artists like Nancy Sinatra and the beach-y music of the ’60s. In fact, she often dresses the part, rocking out in a beehive hairdo, dramatic makeup and faux eyelashes. Her songs are just as mesmerizing as her style. “Red Hot Mama” is a jazzy nugget with a charming nostalgic sound, as if played on an old phonograph. And “Pop Song,” the debut album’s single, is catchy pop that could be the soundtrack to a retro ice cream shop.
Because Jazz always has little Ava at her side, it’s no surprise that she also digs classic Disney films: “They have amazing soundtracks with beautiful instrumentation and harmonies,” she says. “There is a part of my song ‘Meet My Father’ that was inspired by the birds in Cinderella.”
Music is part of this family’s life, for both work and play. In fact, one of Ava’s favorite things to do is go see live music … “as long as she’s home by bedtime,” says Jazz. “She loves to listen to me and her dad play, so she has been on the road with us a lot and has also been to at least 100 shows. She is very involved in our day to day musical lives and is our biggest inspiration for sure.”
Want to hear more from Jazz? Check her out online at jazzmills.com. And listen to two tracks from her new album here:
What is your baby’s favorite lullaby? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Kelly Aiglon
Photos: Courtesy of Jazz Mills