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

UPDATED: Heavy police presence in Victoria had part of Bay Street blocked off

Bay Street east of Quadra Street was blocked off on Saturday

Hundreds of foreign species still washing up on B.C. coast, eight years after tsunami

The Royal BC Museum is home to thousands of samples collected along the west coast of North America

Victoria first Canadian city to join United Nations tree planting challenge

The City of Victoria pledges to plant 5,000 trees by the end of 2020

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read