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

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay council places 60-day protection order on Island Road house

Developer pulled heritage agreement over ‘exorbitant’ $417,000 fees

Saanich council to dig into long-awaited garden suite study

Detached suites keep families close, provide financial flexibility, mayor says

BIPOC artists come together to paint mural highlighting racial injustice in Bastion Square

‘More Justice, More Peace’ to go beyond cycle of hurt and sadness

Victoria man charged in stabbing death of Vancouver overdose prevention worker

Maximus Roland Hayes, 23, is facing one count of manslaughter in connection to the killing

Firefighters tackle medium-sized grass fire on rural Saanich property

Saanich Fire Department issues warm weather fire safety reminder

VIDEO: Greater Victoria police officers try bhangra dancing with social media star

Gurdeep Pandher leads bhangra lesson on front lawn of the BC Legislature building

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Most Read