Written by Ashley Paskill
Philadelphia area-based singer/songwriter, Lisa Bouchelle’s single, “Jump In,” recently hit the Billboard charts back in September. The single comes from her recent album of the same name. “Jump In” initially premiered on the Adult Contemporary Indicator chart at #24 and has since moved up to #21.
Throughout her career, she has worked with artists like Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, and Train. Her first national tour was touring with Meat Loaf. However, her musical career, like so many musicians, started with humble beginnings.
She started singing when she was four years old. She cites her father as one of her biggest influences, as she loved his voice as a child and would attempt to emulate his voice on car rides. Her family had her perform in a talent show and her grandmother dressed her up in red, white, and blue. Because she was so small, she was placed on a picnic table to sing. She ended up winning that talent show, but seeing how her singing brought her family together to talk, and not argue for a brief period of time, showed her the power of music.
“I knew, at that moment, that it was my calling, and I really never wanted to do anything else but music,” said Bouchelle.
From there, she went on to take singing lessons and began guitar lessons around the age of 12 or 13. It was around this time that she also began writing her own music and sending out music to producers.
“We didn’t have any connections in my family or any money in my family,” said Bouchelle. “It was really just me driving forward with this calling. It wasn’t an overnight success. It was always forward motion with my career and it has never stopped.”
As a teenager, she would perform in coffeehouses and make CDs. Producers saw that she had talent, but did not necessarily have money, so they helped her by bringing her into studios for free. A music writer came across one of her albums and saw potential so he took it to a music attorney. She signed a management agreement with him and began touring. Her first tour was opening for Blues Traveler in 2008 with no bus or van.
From there, she toured with artists like Meat Loaf and started her cooking show, Rock Star Kitchen. She was even able to do charity work, including singing a duet with Bon Jovi. While all of these things were highlights, Bouchelle still finds pride in people just listening to her record and finding peace and hope in the music. She even finds great pride in being able to perform at places like Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for those who cannot afford to go to shows or who cannot physically go to concerts.
Bouchelle’s latest album, Jump In, was released on August 27 and consists of 13 tracks. Like many musicians, she and her team were impacted heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic and had to make adjustments. Bouchelle and her team could not perform live, so they put all of their creative energy into the album, Jump In, simply because there was no other outlet.
“As an artist, it was very hard,” said Bouchelle. “We did some Facebook Live [events], but we just didn’t have those live shows. I play so many that it was really heartbreaking, but we were able to put our creative energy into this record.”
At the beginning of the recording process of the album, it was initially a team of Bouchelle and two others in the studio to ensure COVID protocols, including being tested and limiting the number of people in the studio. They spent their time in the studio laying down the basics for the album with Bouchelle’s acoustic guitar to set the tone for the album. Because of the pandemic, their evenings were wide open so they spent time thinking about what they were working on once they left the studio.
“We would go home at night and I think we all had nothing else to do so we were kind of like, ‘What would I add to that song?’” said Bouchelle. “I think it made the album extra special because so much creative energy was put into it.”
As more and more people got vaccinated, they brought more people into the studio to perform on the album. G. Love, Mike Schmid (The Chainsmokers), Tommy Kessler (Blondie), Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake and TSO), Hal B. Selzer (Joan Jett & The Blackhearts), Rob Hyman (The Hooters), Constantine Maroulis (American Idol), and many others.
Being on the Billboard Charts was a bucket list item for Bouchelle, as it really solidified the “forward motion” her career has been based on.
“We were rehearsing for a band [on] Facebook Live when my manager told me and I just started crying,” said Bouchelle. “It’s nice to know people are digging the music.”
While she has already had so much success in the industry, Bouchelle wants to keep going. She is currently working on a cookbook in conjunction with her TV show, Rock Star Kitchen. The show brings famous musicians into the kitchen to talk about food and recipes that either their families made or that they learned while on the road. Each artist will be contributing a recipe to the cookbook and they will talk about the recipe and why it is important to them.
“I think what’ll be interesting about the cookbook is what is interesting about the show in that people know these artists on stage and in big, glamorous situations. You get to really, no pun intended, boil it down to what they’re really about, how they grew up, what they eat, what they do behind the scenes,” said Bouchelle.
Moving forward, Bouchelle cites wanting to collaborate with the likes of Neil Young and Lady Gaga. Her hopes for 2022 include going on tour and releasing the cookbook that she has been working on. She does not see an end to her career, and she has no intentions of ever retiring.
“This is my life’s blood,” said Bouchelle.
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