Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Weekdays 10:00am - 3:00pm

Young, gifted and ready for her star to shine even brighter, Jillian Dawn is a local artist making waves in Nashville. She has all the Nora Jones vibes vocally, and a way with words that make you think she has to be older. Just 24 years old, meet singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and my Local Catch of the Week, Jillian Dawn from Mansfield, MA.

The quest to create music started at a very young age for Jillian. She had her first “gig” when she was just 5 years old. She sang the National Anthem (not an easy task for any age) at a sports tournament. Catch the full story, below. The bug bit her and that lead to talent shows, musical theater, acapella groups, coffee houses and band camp.

Today, Jillian makes music in Nashville. She writes with noted songwriters, tours with major acts and performs at legendary Nashville haunts like the Bluebird Cafe. Listening to the Massachusetts native gives me high hopes for her future. Jillian is the real deal, with a radiant voice and impressive songwriting skills.

Get to know my Local Catch of the Week, Jillian Dawn from Mansfield, here. Find out where she is playing and hear her latest release, “Fear of Heights.” Her ethereal tones and breezy, warm melodies will have you floating.

  • The Music

    SONG: “Fear of Heights”

    Regarding her latest release, Jillian said, “I wrote ‘Fear of Heights’ with my co-writers Drea Gordon, Tamara Laurel, and Caleb Ozckowski. We came into the write without a specific idea and spent about 2 hours catching up and brainstorming. I was messing around on my guitar and came up with the intro riff that’s in the track, and it snowballed into the full song!

    Jillian Dawn


  • The Story

    From: Mansfield, MA

    Now lives in: Nashville, TN

    Current single: Fear of Heights

    What led you to music: I grew up doing dance and musical theater; I was constantly singing around my house. Over time, it became clear that music was my biggest passion and when I started writing songs, it sealed the deal. Making music is when I’m most happy.

    How long have you been performing: Since I was 5 years old – I sang the National Anthem at my dad’s golf tournament. I really haven’t stopped since! When I started having real-life experiences and began incorporating them into my songs, I found therapy in creating and sharing those stories. I aim to do it for as long as I am able!

    First country song you learned: Hmmm probably “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood. There’s a video of me singing it at an elementary school talent show. Whenever I say Carrie raised me, that’s proof right there.

    How would you describe your sound: I’ve tried to have my music evolve parallel to myself. It’s difficult to attach myself to just one genre because of the inspiration I pull and in
    collaboration with my collaborators’ own styles; I consider my music a mix of many different influences. We like to say “indie-pop with flares of country and rock.”

    Who inspires you: For music, I’d say Sara Bareilles. She has this amazing career and never limited herself to just one thing – I’d love to look back one day and feel the same way. In life, my parents are my biggest inspiration. They’ve endlessly supported me and my sisters throughout the years while building their own family business – I strive everyday to work as
    hard and give as much love as they have.

    ● If you are a band, how did you get your name: My middle name is Dawn and I grew up with everyone mispronouncing my last name (Hobaica) so it felt right to go with Jillian Dawn.

    Awards/accolades: I just completed my first headlining tour in July. Hundreds of people came out to see the largest shows I’ve played yet, including friends of growing up to new fans that I’ve just met.

    ○ Sang the National Anthem at the Celtics game twice in 2023
    ○ Featured in the Boston Globe (July 2023) and American Songwriter (March 2023)
    ○ Semi-finalist for Unsigned Only music competition (ongoing, 2023)

    Dream duet partner: Harry Styles or Sara Bareilles

    All- time favorite country songs: I love “Girl” by Maren Morris, “Stay A Little Longer” by Brothers Osbourne, and “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton

    ● First country concert: Carrie Underwood

    ● If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: I’d probably still be doing music (lol) but if I had to choose, I’d probably be in music marketing.

    Day Job: I do social media/digital marketing for a telehealth company. I also write songs for hire and pick up luggage for Airbnbs on the side.

    ● Most proud moment: When people started singing my songs back to me while on tour this summer – that was such an amazing moment. When songs and lyrics are born in a small
    space then somehow make their way to a room of a hundred people singing along, there’s no feeling that compares to that. You can watch streams increase and read comments all
    you want, but when you have people who’ve connected with what you’ve written feel like they’re a part of the thing that means the most to you, that’s a gift we’re giving each other.

    ● Crazy thing that happened in your music career: I’d say selling out my first full-band headline show in Boston was epic. It was one of the highlights of my career so far. To come back to my hometown after leaving for Nashville and be so welcomed and celebrated, it felt like my first real “full circle” moment. I’d also say being featured in the Boston Globe and American Songwriter were big milestones for me. I met people who came out to see the tour because they were so compelled after reading the Globe. To have somebody feel so connected before even meeting me personally – that shows how influential music can be.

    Other things you like to do: I love to read (anything by Emily Henry is always a go-to) and travel, especially back home. I love coming back home to MA whenever I can!

    Fun facts: I can make balloon animals and I am a certified water chemistry expert – if you need any pool help I’m your girl!

    ● Mantra: Stay the course – this is something my mom always says to me when I hit bumps in the road.

  • The Shows

    August 18th – The Bluebird Cafe / Nashville, TN
    August 22nd – 54 Below / NYC
    September 1st – Nō Studios / Milwaukee, WI
    September 15thCafe 939 / Boston MA

    Jillian Dawn live


  • The Social Network

    Keep up with all things Jillian by following her on her social media sites. Find out when she is back in New England for shows, hear her latest songs and much more, here:

    website logo  Instagram logo  tiktok logo  facebook

  • Pics And Posts

    Jillian Dawn 3


    Jillian Dawn 2


    I hopped off a plane at Providence with a dream, two guitars, a backpack, & 50lb suitcase<3 I hope you guys are loving the cover!!!❤️‍🔥 #90sbaby #songofthesummer #traveling #throwbackthursday

    ♬ Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) - Stripped - Jillian Dawn
  • Are YOU a Catch?

    Every week, Kruser’s Local Catch highlights New England’s homegrown country music talent, and tells you where to catch them locally and in Nashville. Click here to view previous catches.

    *Singer/songwriters with original music: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing:

    Mic - local catch

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