It may not be as famous as recording studios like Motown’s Hitsville USA, Muscle Shoals Sound or Abbey Road, but Staples’ Media Lab makes music with the best of them.
Just ask Jacqueline Devine.
The high school junior has sung all her life. She wrote her 1st song at 11. In 9th grade, her original tune “Just Be” was released on iTunes.
With 50 songs to her credit — and her own YouTube channel — Jacqueline is an accomplished artist. But she’s no Taylor Swift. For an 11th grader, studio time is expensive.
When a guidance counselor mentioned the Staples Media Lab — literally around the corner — Jacqueline was intrigued. Audio production instructor Jim Honeycutt offered to record 6 tracks after school. Three talented Staples musicians — fiddler Sam Weiser, bassist Olivia Kapell and drummer Mike Ljungberg — were her band.
It’s not the 1st time Jim’s done that. Other solo artists and groups have recorded CDs in the well-equipped studio.
Yet this time — as 2 student engineers recorded rhythm tracks — Jim shot video. When Jacqueline returned to record vocal overdubs, he set up 3 cameras.
The result: this professional-looking music video.
“She’s a rarity,” Jim says. “We’ve had great singers and songwriters over the years at Staples.
“But Jacqueline is a great-looking girl who writes, plays pianos and sings her own songs. I think they’ve got potential.”
Jacqueline told Jim she’ll probably end up in a more secure career than pop music. He chuckled: Before teaching, he was a musician himself. (His folk/rock/ country band the Repairs was signed by Andrew Loog Oldham to Rare Earth Records.)
“She’s legit,” he says. “Whatever she does, she’ll probably always dabble with music, and write songs.”
And when she hits the big time, she’ll always remember how she got her start — back in her high school recording studio.
A recent “Good Morning Staples” TV broadcast. Jacqueline’s interview begins at the 4:30 mark.