JESS GLYNNE is Living Her Moment

Words By Denise J. Mallabo

As the first British female solo artist who has the most number 1 singles, it can easily be said that performer Jess Glynne is on the top of her game.

The UK-based singer whose soulful voice is featured in songs like “Rather Be” with Clean Bandit and “My Love” with Route 94, has been a consistent powerhouse in the charts with her solo releases.

Jess is currently on tour promoting her 2018 album Always in Between and as if that’s not going to keep her preoccupied, she is confirmed as a special guest for the highly anticipated Spice Girls reunion stadium tour.

We caught up with the busy songstress and ask her about her childhood, songwriting process, and Ed Sheeran.    

PHOTOGRAPHY:  ANDREW DAY

PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDREW DAY

You’re currently on the road and packed with shows all over the world. What’s keeping you sane from your grueling schedule?

It's pretty crazy but I have good people around me who make me laugh every day and keep me in good spirits. Plus, I get to do what I love everyday which isn't too bad.

 

A good number of your songs are very uplifting. Where do you get your inspiration to write tracks to make people feel good about themselves?

When I write, I talk about personal things that I've gone through and a lot of the time it's a healing mechanism to do so. I never like to leave things on a bad note in general, so I always try to find a positive or hope in any situation.

STYLING:  ZU SB , MAKEUP:  FAYE LAUREN , HAIR:  CECILE HILDEBRANDT , PHOTO ASSISTANT:  JONATHAN PIVOVAR

STYLING: ZU SB, MAKEUP: FAYE LAUREN, HAIR: CECILE HILDEBRANDT, PHOTO ASSISTANT: JONATHAN PIVOVAR

You’ve also had your share of disappointments in life and love. How did those experience manifest in your songs?

I guess writing is a form of reflection for me—looking where I went wrong, forgiving myself or a situation. It's quite a nice relief getting it out and off my shoulders in my music, as I'm not so good at talking that deep in person. A piece of paper doesn't have an opinion and can't judge me, so I guess it's easier to speak my mind there.

 

Take us back to when you were growing up in North London. How was your childhood like?

I grew up in North London with my family. My childhood was good. I had a loving family and great friends. I was a cheeky kid and had a lot of back chat growing up, but I learned a lot from the people around me.

Who influenced you to create music and how did that make an impact to your sound today?

My parents introduced me to music from a young age and I was heavily inspired to sing. Listening to artists like Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston made me fall in love with big voices. They helped mold my vocal ability and later on Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse inspired me to write about what was important to me. All of these things impacted my sound today.

 

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How can writing songs be therapeutic for you?

They allow me to be honest and release a side of my emotions that I wouldn't necessarily show on a day to day basis.

When you were asked to collaborate with Route 94 and Clean Bandit, what was your initial reaction? Did you expect the tracks to be that popular?

I was intrigued by collaborating as it was so new to me and I had never done it before. I never expect anything in life, but I always work in hope and belief that it will work out for the best.

 

How was it like releasing your debut album I Cry When I Laugh, which hit number one at the UK Albums Chart? 

It was such an overwhelming feeling, it was a dream that became a reality. It's a very gratifying feeling when you work so hard for something and it is accepted and pays off.

 

You have been performing in music festivals. Does it still make you nervous to be in front of so many people? What’s the best way for you to calm your nerves?

I am always nervous, and I don't think that will go away as long as I love and care about what I do. I just roll with the nerves and use the adrenaline for my performance as best I can.

After three years, you’ve released another album called Always in Between. In terms of how you crafted this album, how is it different from the first one?

This album is grown and honest and very true to me. It's a lot more about the vocal and the lyric rather than the production and the upbeat-ness of the first album.

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The track “Thursday” you co-wrote with Ed Sheeran. How was that experience like?

It was really nice to collaborate with another artist who really understands the pressures and the emotions you go through being in this industry. We connected and wrote two really honest songs.


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Who would you want to collaborate with now on a track to sing with and write with and why?

I can't speak for the future, but I really wanted to work with H.E.R and I'm so glad I got to do that on a new version of “Thursday”. She's really pure and real in what she does and reminds me of why I loved music in the very beginning.

 

What are you looking forward to the most this year?

Touring the world seeing my fans and taking my music further than before.

If you were a book, what kind of book would you be and why?

I'd be a thriller with a hint if romance because I like adrenaline and I love love.