The Vindy’s Jackie Popovec talks Women Who Rock benefit concert


Photo by Kylie Thomas

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

On October 16, Women Who Rock held their fourth annual benefit concert for Magee-Womens Research Institute featuring big rock industry names such as Rita Wilson, Sheila E., Orianthi and Lauren Monroe with special guest Rick Allen of Def Leppard. Among this lineup of powerhouse females was Jackie Popovec, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the Northeast Ohio band The Vindy’s.

The Vindy’s are an alternative-rock band out of Youngstown, Ohio. With The Vindy’s, Popovec’s main goal was to introduce the local music scene to more original music. After coming back home from a music production school in Florida, she saw an array of cover bands in her area but no production of personal music.

“I slowly introduced people to our original music and people kept asking for it,” Popovec said. “So we put out an EP that we made in the basement and it got picked up by The Summit radio station in Akron and we just kept growing from there.”

Now she has taken this passion for original music to help empower women in the industry. Being a female frontwoman in a male-dominated industry, Popovec jumped right on board as soon as she heard from Women Who Rock.

“I don’t usually partner with too many fundraising functions,but this one in particular really hit home for me,” Popovec said. “The fact that it supports women is my whole goal as a musician. I just want to pay it forward to females.”

All of the money raised from the benefit concert went to Magee-Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh, the first and largest research institute for women’s health. Popovec felt a drive to help raise money for this institute as she’s very passionate about the lack of research surrounding how medical practices affect women.

“Magee-Womens Research Institute is changing the women’s health industry,” Popovec said. “Prior to 1992, there was no research institute for women’s health. Even today in health studies on medication or other things, women make up only 10% of the subjects. I really want to see more done about this, and I’ve been so glad to be a part of this benefit. I’ve had so many amazing donors donate to my page for Women Who Rock, and it’s just been awesome to see the support.”

Besides the fundraising aspect of the event, the concert was also to show that women truly rock and help encourage women in the industry who often face stigma due to their gender, something that Popovec has faced herself for many years.

“There is like this men’s club [if you will] that you might feel intimidated by as a female but those are the kinds of things that I have to ignore,” Popovec said. “I try to pay it forward, have female-fronted and female bands open for us, and bring more women onto the stage.”

Not only is Popovec a big proponent of breaking the stigma for women onstage but she also wants to help break the stigma for women off-stage in the music industry as well.

“I recently heard at an Alanis Morissette concert that women make up only like one percent of music producers and that just blew me away, I couldn’t believe it,” Popovec said. “So I’m someone who’s always in the studio, and I’m working with my engineer really listening in production mode. I have to have a voice in that.”

To help fight this stigma, Women Who Rock had put together an all-star lineup of female frontwomen who rock the stage. Popovec had the honor of performing alongside these stars in the industry with huge names that she grew up hearing.

“I’m thrilled to share a stage with them, I’m a big fan of Sheila E., Orianthi, and Rita Wilson,” Popovec said. “You know behind the stage we’re all doing our own thing and focused on getting onstage to where you don’t realize you’re among all these great people till after. It’s like when you see a movie and you don’t realize it hit you so hard until like three days later.”

Popovec hopes that the rally to inspire women in the music industry doesn’t just stop here. She wants to see the industry become a place thriving with women where she goes backstage and sees a slew of them working. But in order to increase the number of women in the industry, Popovec said that women have to first believe in themselves.

“To anyone getting involved in music, let go of any insecurities you have and just go for it,” Popovec said. “Keep producing, keep making because sometimes there’s a paralysis in your brain that stops you from continuing your craft because you think it sucks and it’s stupid but so many other people think that it’s very good. Let your art speak for yourself and don’t be afraid to put it out. I see so many young girls look at super talented kids and then just don’t even try. We have to shield ourselves from the voices in our heads and just don’t listen to the haters.”