Jess Moskaluke Talks About New Single, Why EPs Are Where It's At


Jess Moskaluke says her new single “Drive Me Away” is all about shaking things up and breaking routines. Oh, and it’s meant to be fun.

“I don’t think every song has to have a deep-rooted meaning,” the Canadian country singer told from her home in Saskatchewan.

“It’s just really catchy and it’s pretty fun and upbeat.”

Moskaluke said the song reflects the tone of her forthcoming EP, which is due to drop later this year.

There’s also a video coming soon for “Drive Me Away.” Shot in Toronto, it features model Luke Severin, who appeared in Moskaluke’s “Night We Won’t Forget" video. (Soak in his sexy swimsuit pics here.)

“He was just so fun to work with,” she recalled, “so we hired him back!”

Moskaluke’s new collection will be her fourth — and her first since the 2015 EP Kiss Me Quiet. She said 2014’s Light Up the Night will likely be her one-and-only full-length album.

“That’s just not the way that music is going these days,” she explained. “It’s too expensive and as much as I would love to put out [a full-length album], they’re not as well received as the EPs.”

Moskaluke said EPs make the song selection process more difficult.

“With a full-length album you can select a song that you really enjoy and that describes you really well as an artist even though it may not be a radio-friendly song,” she said. “You can still get that out there and it’s what is called an ‘album cut.’

“But with an EP you have a lot less room to make an impact and say the things that you really want to say because I need to get those songs on radio.”

Still, Moskaluke is no sell-out.

“I release songs that are me,” the singer said. “This job completely consumes your life so if you’re not releasing music that you believe in and that you enjoy, it’s going to be a tough road.”

Moskaluke, who has recorded songs written by others and songs she has written, said there is one simple rule for choosing what gets released.

“Best song wins,” she said. “Doesn’t matter who wrote it. Best song wins.”

Kiss Me Quiet is up for Country Album of the Year at this year’s Juno Awards and Moskaluke has been named Female Artist of the Year at the CCMA Awards three years in a row. She is the first Canadian female country artist since Shania Twain to achieve platinum status (for “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”).

Moskaluke knows she’s one of the few Canadian female country artists to breakthrough in awhile.

“It’s getting better and it’s also cyclical. If you look at the ‘90s it was the total opposite. It’s starting to come back,” she said of the dearth of female country stars in Canada. “I don't know that we can ever say exactly why.

“All that has made us do as females is work harder and produce better music — and you might have to look a little bit harder for it because it’s not just there and given to us on radio as much as we would like. But it is getting a lot better.”

Thoughts of success south of the border don’t keep her up at night.

“It’s a completely different industry and a whole different game,” said Moskaluke. “It’s very expensive and not as organic as we’d like it to be. To release one single in the U.S. costs about $1 million — and I can’t do that.

“So, honestly, Canada is home for me so that’s what I’m focusing on right now.”

Home for Moskaluke is Langenburg, a small town near the Manitoba border about 225 km from Regina. She said she doesn’t feel a pull to Nashville or a big Canadian city.

“Where would I want to be when I’m not on the road? I want to be at home. I want to be close to my family and friends instead of away from everybody just to be close to a city,” she said.

“This is what makes sense right now, Maybe some day it won’t.”

Moskaluke said growing up in Saskatchewan she could never have imagined she’d be doing what she’s doing at 26.

“It’s been a complete joyride,” she said. “If I would have sat back and thought this was going to happen to me, it probably would never have happened. To me, it seems a little entitled to think that way.

“No, I never could have dreamed. It’s just been a complete pleasant surprise.”