The Knockturnal spoke with Philadelphia native and Disney star Jillian Shea Spaeder about her new music, creative inspiration, and her hometown.
The singer-songwriter also plays alongside Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher in the newly released Disney+ original film Godmothered. Jillian discusses her new music, Godmothered, and growing up in Philly.
The Knockturnal: You have a new album coming this year. What inspired you to write your newest single ‘you&me’?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: When I write songs, inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes it’s people or events around me, and sometimes I just get an idea for a melody and lyrics pop in my head. That’s what happened with “you & me.” It became about two people who don’t view their relationship the same way.
The Knockturnal: What has been your greatest inspiration for your music?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: I grew up in a very loving and musical family, so I would say my family has been my greatest inspiration. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also added friends and relationships to that mix, as well as things happening in the world around me.
The Knockturnal: How would you describe your artistic style?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: I have a raspy singer-songwriter vibe. I write most of my songs with my guitar, and they’re usually slow to mid-tempo. But sometimes one of my producers will “hear it” more upbeat, and it takes on a whole new sound than when I play it acoustically.
The Knockturnal: At what moment did you realize you wanted to pursue acting and music?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: I’ve always been interested in both acting and music, often putting on shows in our basement for family and friends. I don’t think I realized I wanted it to be my career until I headed out to L.A. for my first pilot season (at age 12) and booked my role on Walk the Prank.
The Knockturnal: You’re originally from Philadelphia. How has the city influenced your own art?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: Philly is such a vibrant place, and live music is such a big part of the culture there. As I was growing up, I went to a lot of local musicians’ live music performances both in the suburbs and in the city. I learned so much from watching them perform, and I’ve even taken vocal or guitar lessons with a few of them. I also went to a lot of concerts in the city with more well-known artists. Philadelphia is where my roots in music started, so I’ll always be a Philly girl at heart!
The Knockturnal: Without giving any spoilers, what was your favorite moment from filming Godmothered?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: My character, Jane, has a terrible case of performance anxiety and is asked to sing the solo at the big holiday parade. Shooting the concert scene with a large audience in front of me and a choir behind me was incredible. I guess you’ll have to watch the movie to find out if Jane was able to pull it off!
The Knockturnal: What can fans expect to see next?
Jillian Shea Spaeder: I’m hoping to put out my first album early this year, and I also hope to write and produce music videos for some of the songs.
You can pre-save Jillian Shea Spaeder’s album here