Jillian Barrows brings original music and 70’s vibes to headline show at Hard Rock Cafe

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Jillian Barrows brings original music and 70’s vibes to headline show at Hard Rock Cafe

Sarah Lukowski/Journal Staff

Sarah Lukowski/Journal Staff

Sarah Lukowski/Journal Staff

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Jillian Barrows, a student at Berklee College of Music and alumna of Suffolk University, brought 70’s classics and her own original music to the Hard Rock Cafe as she headlined her first concert at the local venue Saturday night.

Barrows, who uses the stage name Jillian Ann, has always loved to sing and started writing her own songs as a teenager. When she was in college, she began performing small sets in the Boston area with a duo she formed called Intra Element. The musician draws her songwriting inspiration from classic rock musicians and icons from an older generation.

“I started writing songs after hearing that kind of music and I wanted to keep that music in my style,” Barrows said in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

Barrows, dressed in a charming, floral romper and black combat boots, made sure to showcase a variety of songs in her performance. She sang her own original music like “Truly Madly Deeply,” which was inspired by the movie with the same name, and “Buenos Aires,” a fun and flirty song with a Spanish flare to it.

Sarah Lukowski/Journal Staff

One of the most poignant moments of Barrows’s set was when she sang her original song “Invisible” alone on the keyboard. This was Barrows’ first time performing the song that she wrote back when she was in high school about being overlooked.

“It’s my first song that I ever wrote,” Barrows said in an interview with The Journal. “I think that has the biggest message because I really went through a lot of adversity to get to this point and that song shows that story.”

In addition to singing her original songs, Barrows performed other well-known chart-topping tunes in her strong, clear voice including the 90’s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana and Elton John’s hit, “Bennie and the Jets.”

Barrows received praise from the audience for closing the show with a lively cover of Queen’s upbeat song “Another One Bites the Dust.”

Instrumental group and fellow musicians from Berklee, Roman G & The Odyssey, opened the show with their playful sound, getting the audience ready for Barrows’ performance.

The musician explained that she was lucky enough to book the gig at the Hard Rock Cafe by simply emailing the venue.

“This is such a perfect place for me to play because I do a lot of rock covers in my set,” Barrows said before her set while she admired all the classic rock musicians pictured on the wall behind her.

Barrows says her ultimate goal as musician is to share her music with people and have them enjoy it. She also wants her listeners to feel inspired to achieve their goals even if others may get in their way.

“I want people to be into my music even if it’s not their style,” Barrows said.

After graduating from Suffolk in the fall of 2016, Barrows enrolled at Berklee College of Music to focus on songwriting and she plans to graduate later this year. Barrows originally wanted to write music, but once she came to Berklee, she realized that it was possible for her to be a performer.

In addition to being a student and performing, Barrows also works at TD Garden as an usher. She said a lot of her co-workers called out of work Saturday night to see her perform, despite there being a double header.

This show was only the beginning for Barrows and her energetic, but intimate performance proved that she has an exceptional career in front of her.

Jillian Barrow’s music can be found on jillianannmusic.com.

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