2016: The Year in Charts

Soul Sisters Podcast: Jessica Maros on How a Broken Heart Brought Her to Escondido

Talia Shipman
Soul Sisters Podcast featuring: Jessica Maros

"I never really wrote songs until I got my heart broken, and then I sat by the piano and I started playing some chords," Jessica Maros tells us in this episode of Soul Sisters in which the singer/songwriter (and half of the desert rock duo Escondido) explains how, as the daughter of Slovakian immigrants growing up in Vancouver, she came to hold such a formidable place in the Nashville music scene.

Though singing came naturally to her as a child, the path to Escondido frontwoman was not an entirely straight one for Maros. After a bad breakup inspired her to start writing her own tunes ("I remember writing a song about it and feeling just really inspired," she recalls), her vocal teacher sent off a tape to Nashville that netted her an invitation to try her hand at it professionally.

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Though she soon found herself working with some of the most talented songwriters in the south, Maros felt pressure to be the next "Sheryl Crow meets Joni Mitchell.

"They tried to fit me in that box and it didn’t work.”

In this revealing conversation recorded at NYC's Chord Club, Maros tells us about how she decided to quit music to devote herself to a young ("too young") marriage and a fledgling fashion business -- though neither of those things would ultimately outlast her undeniable love for music. Once a friend introduced her to fellow Nashville musician Tyler James, now Escondido's other half, her fate was sealed.

"It’s time to do what I’m supposed to be doing," she says.

Listen to the full conversation below, hosted by Billboard writer/content creator Jessie Katz, which concludes with a live performance by Escondido from their latest album Walking With a Stranger, and be sure to subscribe to our iTunes channel for all future episodes.