Jac of all trades: Not wanting to be just some disco diva, Jacinta calls her own shots

A STEP ABOVE | Jacinta plays a hand in all her dance music, from writing to production, which sets her apart from many fleeting singers releasing only singles and remixes.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Let’s face it: The gays like their dance music. That makes the industry ripe for countless Madonna-Britney-Gaga wannabes and one-hit wonders. (You should count the number of remix singles by “divas” that pass through the desk of music writers without actual albums attached to them.)

Jacinta Brondgeest may easily be categorized as just another girl on the dancefloor, but don’t sell her short. She’s brimming with substance.

“I try to be involved in so many aspects of the music-making process,” she says. “I love getting into the production part of it and also, I think what set’s me apart is I create and write my own music. Songwriting is precious to me. I’m always working on different facets.”

Going by only her first name (or her nickname, Jac), Jacinta isn’t just the product of DJs and producers. Instead of leaving her musical career in the hands of others and risking flash-in-the-pan status, Jacinta has been taking steps to fashion a career on her own terms. Part of that includes her live show, which she brings to Sue Ellen’s Friday.

And after finding success in her adoptive homeland of Australia (she was born in Oregon, but her family moved Down Under when she was six weeks old), Jacinta returned to the U.S. in 2002 to give the music industry a try. She thrived in the hot music environment of Austin, but just weeks ago, relocated to Houston.

“Houston is such a bigger landscape for us and more conducive to the style of music we play,” she says.

When Jacinta produced her first EP, Dedicated to a Stranger, in 1996, she decided that if her money was behind her own work, she should start her own label. Thus was born Chunky Music, named after her habit of sampling big chunks of music into her own. After attaining distribution in Australia, she put America in her sites.

“The label encapsulates everything I do, which essentially is pop-rock,” she says. “We do piano, vocals, electronica and remixes, hence our huge dance catalog. And now we’re tri-coastal and based out of Los Angeles, Houston and Australia.”

When the beat goes down, Jacinta also creates and produces meditation music. She admits making 2009’s Past Life Meditation was easy.

“The process of putting the music together was different, but it was an easier project because the creativity was all instrumental,” she says. “I think meditation is a wonderful thing and it was very enjoyable putting that music together.”

Naturally, she found a gay audience with her dance music. Jacinta booked high profile Pride gigs in Australia, Seattle, Austin and the Folsom Street Festival in San Francisco. Her song, “Keep it a Secret,” became a gay anthem of sorts to the audiences who saw her perform it.

“I wrote that in 2007 and it just resonated with the gay community when I performed it so those audiences are very important to me,” she says. “The song reminds people to be uniquely yourself and finding the courage to be that person.”

Sue Ellen’s may not be the first place for live performances of dance music, but that doesn’t worry Jacinta. She’s had her share of lesbian audiences with her first band Maiden Voyage. She says that all-girl bands always get those venues. So how does she identify? Well, she responds in that coy pop star way.

“Well, it depends on whom I’m sleeping with,” she laughs.

Well played.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 4, 2011.

—  John Wright