Jackie Foster’s ‘Great Escape’ Embraces Life after The Voice

By 
Nick Balkin
July 31, 2019

The singer's new summer anthem empowers listeners to face their fears.

Jackie Foster
Image courtesy of the artist

“Great Escape,” the new single by Jackie Foster B.M. '18, has all the trademarks of a classic pop summer anthem: life-affirming lyrics, high sing-along factor, and a killer hook. It’s hard to believe a track that feels so destined to be heard blasting from rolled-down car windows was written during a low point in the singer’s career.

A native of San Diego, California, Foster twice attended Berklee’s Five-Week Summer Performance Program on a full scholarship. In 2014, she won the four-year, full-tuition Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship. While at Berklee, she studied music business and became the lead singer of the rock band Self Portraits.

Days before starting her final year at Berklee, she received a call that would change everything. A producer at NBC’s The Voice had seen a YouTube video of Foster singing a Beatles medley at the Berklee Performance Center and asked her to audition.

She wowed the judges with a performance of Pink’s “What About Us” and won a spot on the show. During the season, she was mentored by Kelly Clarkson, Adam Levine, and Alicia Keys, who praised Foster’s voice for its “gorgeous roundness” and “warmth.” She set a new record as the first contestant to have six steals and one save.

"My goal was to write a memorable song that was easy to sing along to but also empower listeners to face their fears.”

—Jackie Foster on "Great Escape"

Foster’s run on the show came to an abrupt end with a loss in the semifinals. She went home to California, and her band broke up a few months later. She felt like she had lost her family. Her confidence was shaken.

But Foster soon came to a realization: She could wallow in self pity, or she could make art. She took stock of all the incredible things she had accomplished and started humming a tune. A few weeks of songwriting later, “Great Escape” was born. Foster says, “My goal was to write a memorable song that was easy to sing along to but also empower listeners to face their fears.”

The song helped Foster get her mind, and her career, back on track. She'll perform “Great Escape” when she makes her festival debut at Lollapalooza in Chicago in August. The performance is presented by the Berklee Popular Music Institute.

Listen to "Great Escape" on Sounds of Berklee:

Recorded by Tony Brown
Engineered by Darcy Davis
Theme music by Sleeping Lion

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