Jessie Ware is a proper pop star. With her soulful, melancholy vocal, effortlessly elegant songwriting skills and, of course, that striking slicked-back hair, she marks a new era for pop.
It was a chance phone call from her old friend Jack Penate that changed the direction of her life completely. Jack took her on tour with him, at first around the UK festival circuit, then to America where Jack’s guitarist introduced her to the music of producer SBTRKT whom she wrote ‘Nervous’ with. It was here she then hooked up with Sampha to write ‘Valentine’, one of last year’s sweetest tracks. Armed with those two songs and riding a growing wave of hype, she was snapped up by brand new label PMR.
Her debut album ‘Devotion’ contains effortless poise within 11 laid-back, soulful pop songs that run the spectrum of sweet and dark – from the upbeat nu-soul swing of ‘Sweet Talk’, to the shimmering layers of ‘Night Light’, and the powerful choral melancholy of ‘Taking in Water’. ‘Wildest Moments’ is of particular significance to her; “It's about my relationship with my best friend. She's the person who told me I was an idiot and asked me why I wasn't singing when I have a voice.’’
Pulling it all together with a uniquely Jessie Ware sound were her producers Dave Okumu, Julio Bashmore and Kid Harpoon. “I like that they all bring something different out in me.’’
With one of the year's finest albums under her belt, the only way is up for Jessie Ware. “I want to be a pop star, in the classic sense, like Annie Lennox, or Sade, or Whitney.”