Jackie Evancho is ready to “embrace the older me” with musical transformation

Christina Turino

Jackie Evancho, who parlayed an America’s Got Talent performance at age 10 into a successful classical music crossover career, is now 23 and telling her truth. “Behind My Eyes,” the self-penned song that introduces her new era, is all over the radio, which she says is a real thrill.

“It’s so bizarre. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it, especially because of where I began,” Jackie tells ABC Audio. “But it’s something I always dreamt of.”

The lyrics of “Behind My Eyes” describe Jackie’s mental health struggles, but it sounds happy, which is why it was the right song to announce her musical transformation.

“I think it was a great way to introduce a new me, because the topic itself is not exactly the brightest or happiest,” she explains. “It’s about feeling like you’re losing it. But [it’s]a little more upbeat, and it has a little ’80s note and it’s fun.”

Jackie’s decision to change her music came after she was in a serious accident and was subsequently treated for an eating disorder. “After all these things that I’d been through, I just kind of sat with myself and said, ‘Why not?'” she explains. “Life is short. I have these songs that are written in this style, and I want to tell the world the story of these songs. So why not just do it? It’s time that I embrace the older me.” 

And she says, “I have a good amount of OG fans who are just fully supporting me in the journey.”

For those who don’t, she says, “I do have some that are like, ‘This isn’t the Jackie that we know and love’…but when one goes, two come back, and I’m getting all these new fan bases. And it’s just so wonderful.” 

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