Jenny Lou was studying music and vocal performance at The Victoria Conservatory of Music when the house she was living in burned down. (File contributed/Jenny Lou)

Victoria music grad lives through McClure fire and gets Nashville contract

Jenny Lou was studying at the Victoria Conservatory of music when her home went up in flames

A graduate from the Victoria Conservatory of Music used a fiery disaster to spark her career.

Jenny Lou was finishing her diploma in music and vocal performance and living in a suite in the 1100-block of McClure Street when the house burned down on March 18.

“It was very scary, I still can’t believe it happened to me,” Lou said.

She had been working at the YMCA at the time, and came home to find dozens of firefighters outside and the burning house. No one was hurt in the fire, but everything was destroyed.

ALSO READ: Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

“I lost everything, all my possessions except my guitar, which was locked in my car. It was literally the only thing left to my name… having ‘nothing to wear’ took on a whole new meaning.”

Jenny Lou was studying music and vocal performance at The Victoria Conservatory of Music when the house she was living in burned down. (Ragnar Haagen/News Staff)

The Gibson 45 guitar is what Lou calls the “industry standard” for performers.

“I was very relieved, it was the positive in a very bad situation,” she said. “If I could have one thing, I’m glad it was my guitar.”

Lou said she saw an outpour of generosity and support from the community, including Camosun College which rented a place for her at the Ocean Island Inn hostel.

“They gave me a crisis relief grant, everyone was so amazing, all the teachers gave me clothes,” Lou said. “The people at the YMCA gave me gift cards.”

ALSO READ: McClure house fire saw Victoria firefighters use drone for first time in live situation

Still, the fire was something that Lou felt she couldn’t really talk about, so instead she turned to her music.

“The fire inspired me to write more songs because it’s a very rare thing to happen to someone, so there was no one that could relate to it to talk to,” she said.

Losing all her possessions also pushed Lou to follow her dreams and move to Nashville in September.

“It was pretty easy, I had nothing to pack up when I moved so I just drove 36 hours,” she said.

Since she arrived Lou has been working none-stop at performing, networking and making friends.

“Nashville is such a great place, you make friends with people and all of a sudden learn some of their music has cuts from Tim McGraw,” she said.

ALSO READ: Teen Victoria brothers receive award for saving family from house fire

Just this week, Lou received a publishing deal for her music, which will allow her to perform and record her music full time, and perform in downtown Nashville in iconic venues such as Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, which saw stars like Willie Nelson, Roger Miller and Terri Clark come through.

“It’s just amazing,” Lou said. “Now I’m just gonna be down here playing as much as I can.”

To hear some of Lou’s music, you can visit her Facebook Page or head to jennyloumusic.com

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Premier John Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

Victoria participates in ‘period poverty’ research project

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Victoria Youth Empowerment Society join province-wide efforts

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Most Read