Tuesday, 11 April 2017 15:40

Former Fort Macleod resident releases debut album

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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Jacqueline Pratte, who is originally from Fort Macleod, has released her first music album called Ignition. Jacqueline Pratte, who is originally from Fort Macleod, has released her first music album called Ignition. Photo contributed

Originally from Fort Macleod, Jacqueline Pratte recently released her first music album. Pratte, known by her friends and family as Jake, released Ignition Dec. 9.


She is proud of the album recording which took place in Berkeley, California between May and August last year at Happy note Studios. The album’s producer was Gary Platt.
In March and April of 2016, Pratte ran a Kickstarter campaign and raised $25,388 to record, produce and release her album.
“I’ve been wanting to record an album since I was a small child and I always imagined my debut album as a simple, troubadour work of mostly my original material,” says Pratte, who has called many places home since 1992.
“It became something much more elaborate.”
Pratte met a man named Peter Laanen who became like a surrogate uncle to her on the Golden Princess in 2014 when she was performing in Crooners Lounge.
Laanen worked with many big names such as Bon Jovi, Prince and Chicago. He wanted to support Pratte’s career, so he connected her with producer Platt and they developed the plan for Pratte to run a Kickstarter campaign to fund the album.
The songs on Pratte’s album are a combination of covers and originals that were chosen by her and approved by both Laanen and Platt.
One of Pratte’s original songs on the album entitled Stars was written about a little girl she entertained on a bus when she was 19 or 20. Over the years, Pratte realized the song was written about herself. She’s faced many ‘I told you so’s’ from her friends.
“It is about following our dreams — a message I felt was important to share. The other original, Winds of Heaven, was written for a friend’s wedding around the same time frame. I was studying biochemistry, pursuing medical school and music was my creative outlet of escape from the pressures of that path,” adds Pratte.
She’s a Rocky Balboa fan and has been inspired by him since she was a child. No Easy Way Out is from Rocky IV and to her, represents an anthem for her struggle with depression. It is a song about pain, but not giving up.
“I hope one day it might be used to help raise money and awareness for mental health,” adds Pratte about her No Easy Way Out song.
Ultimately, Pratte had decided it was time for her to follow the stars when she decided to produce her first album. With moving a lot, travelling and entertaining, one of Pratte’s goals this year is to find a small house in rural Alberta to call home.
Eventually, Pratte’s plan is to have a log home and acreage at the base of the Rockies near Canmore.
“Music is a part of my soul, my essence, my being. I’ve been entranced by it since I was a small child. It impacts me in ways nothing else ever could. A friend once said, ‘Music is what feelings sound like,’” adds Pratte.
“Music is emotion and vulnerability and bravery and creativity — all things I aspire to embrace.”
Singing has turned into Pratte’s full-time career at this point. She is an aspiring writer, so her true goal is to be a troubadour — combining music and storytelling.
Pratte has been singing since she could speak. Her first real memory of singing was at a cattle branding when she was about five or six-years old and she hid in a room to teach herself to sing Anne Murray’s Snowbird.
“I love the sparkle it (singing) brings to people’s eyes. Whether out of excitement, appreciation, passion, sadness or … other emotions,” she explains.
Since she finished recording her album last fall, Pratte has been singing on ships. Since March 4, she was back on the Anthem of Seas out of New York for her third contract since October, performing for all the cruisers to the Caribbean in the Schooner Bar.
“My goal is to begin performing on land again in Alberta come April when I return and build a few roots,” she adds.
Pratte is working on a show called, Girl Named Jake: Inspire that she hopes to tour, in addition to booking smaller shows as a piano entertainer.
“My passion is for philanthropy and helping others, so I hope to return to performing for charities, fundraisers and special events this summer as well,” adds Pratte.
She plans to release more albums in the future.
Ignition is available on Pratte’s website at: www.girlnamedjake.com.

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