Raised in an environment where both sides of his family were artistic and musical, he was constantly surrounded by an eclectic, creative energy.
Jacob would frequently sneak out of bed and peak in on his old man’s blues jams in the basement of his childhood home. His father, a songwriter in his own right, introduced iconic songwriters like John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan to his burgeoning, songwriter son. Vanko’s musical lineage also includes figures like his grandfather on his mother's side, who was a local jazz drummer and his aunt on his father’s side, who was a nationally prominent classical pianist. As a teen growing up in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the raw and rebellious artist gravitated towards the furious, dark and heavy sounds of groups like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Tool. The melodic and unique sounds of grunge with the gritty guitar tones, aggressive vocals and well crafted songs were major contributing factors to the evolution and development of Vanko’s writing and live performance energy. Jacob found himself coming into his own as a singer/songwriter in his early 20's. The early seeds of traditional blues, folk, country and bluegrass have collided with the bold sounds of grunge and rock influences forging an Americana style with a ferocious stage presence.