Coinciding with the release of her new album, Now, Jessica Andrews makes an appearance on MWL Star this Tuesday (April 15) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
“Some people don’t get the video when they first see it,” says Jessica Andrews of her upbeat clip “There’s More to Me Than You.” Filmed in Palm Springs, Calif., near the Joshua Tree National Park, the video, features two Jessicas — one wearing white and driving a white convertible, the other wearing black and wandering around a house.
But it’s deeper than that.
“Some people think that I am in a car driving aimlessly to a house, where there I am again,” she tells CMT News. “Some people just don’t put two and two together.”
Actually, what she’s doing in the video is putting one and one together — her old self and the better, stronger, post-breakup self.
“I am in the car driving to get somewhere and you don’t know where it is,” she explains. “At the very end of the video, you can see that I am finally meeting up with this other person — which is sort of this other person in me. This alter ego, which is saying, ‘Wow, this is the person that I am getting back to. I am going to be me now. I am leaving the old me behind.’ In a nutshell, that is what it is. If you watch it and get into the words, you can totally get it.”
That is, unless you’re watching the ballad version. In that one, Andrews walks along the road, tugging at her sweater and singing. There’s no house, and there’s no other Jessica.
She’s getting awfully good at the ol’ switcheroo. Indeed, when Andrews’ latest publicity photograph arrived at the CMT.com offices, almost nobody in the office was able to identify her by picture alone. To say that she changed her look is putting it mildly. Gone is the long auburn hair and cherubic smile. Now, at age 19, she looks like Martina McBride ’s little sister.
“I think just growing up had everything to do with how I changed my look,” she says. “Take anyone when they are 14, they look nothing like they do when they are 19 — or 17 to 19. People change until they are 30 years old.”
Andrews’ only major hit, 2001’s “Who I Am,” established her as a bright-eyed sweetheart, as “Rosemary’s granddaughter,” to take a lyric from the song. Who she is today, well, that’s just the latest step in her evolution.
“I haven’t had to grow up and have my face plastered everywhere like some other artists, like LeAnn [Rimes] or Christina [Aguilera],” she says. “I thank my lucky stars that I have taken this slow, steady build, and I haven’t been like — bam! — the biggest star there is right now. And then have to grow up and change in front of everyone. It has to be really tough, but I really cannot relate to that, because I have just grown up gradually. My music has changed with me. I just want to keep getting better and better … and keep making those baby steps up the ladder to eventually being the biggest artist you ever know.”
A Tennessee native, Andrews first started coming to Nashville at age 12. A year later, LeAnn Rimes stormed the charts and record labels snapped up pretty girls who could (maybe) sing. While most of those teenagers have disappeared, Andrews has persevered. She toured with Tim McGraw and worked on her songwriting. And she fell for another aspiring singer-songwriter, 28-year-old Marcel, who co-wrote “There’s More to Me Than You” with Andrews.
“When you have someone in your life that is like your partner, your best friend and other things, it is like the icing on the cake,” she says. “I have a wonderful relationship with Marcel. He is an amazing guy. And the best part about it is that we relate to each other so well. That is great and all the other stuff is just bonus. And it does make me happy and makes me feel like I have a lot more to write about, and it gives me a new perspective on life in general.”
Or maybe two.