Caturday with Jess Glynne

Photography:
Jo'Lene Henry
Words:
April Ru Wan

With the recent announcement of her summer 2024 tour, pop star Jess Glynne is set to bring her vibrant new music to the stage. Renowned for her fiery red hair and dynamic presence, Jess has spent the past few years prioritising self-care and personal growth. Her commitment to putting her own needs first is a journey she continues to embrace. Her latest single, “Friend of Mine,” is a dance-pop anthem that delves into the theme of rekindling a connection with a long-lost friend. As a native of North London, Jess balances her passion for music with maintaining her health and well-being, ensuring she does what truly brings her joy. Continue reading the interview below to discover Jess’s inspirations, aspirations, and her specially curated Caturday playlist!

April Wan: How did the creative process behind your recent single Friend of Mine inspire you, and what inspired the song’s narrative?
Jess Glynne: Having never worked with someone in the drum ‘n’ bass world, it was quite nerve-racking to me entering the room with Sub Focus. However it turned out to be one of my favourite sessions I have done. The process of making this song felt so smooth. Me and Jin, my best mate and long time collaborator, met Nick and Ollie for the first time that day and the song began by us all connecting on a personal level, and this isn’t always an easy process or even possible at times. We got deep real quick and the melody and the message came to us within the first half an hour, which is so rare. This industry can really make you feel insecure at times and moments like this really remind me why I do it and why I love it so damn much.
AW: Can you give us a glimpse into the overall sound and themes that we can expect from your upcoming album?
JG: This album is me wearing my heart on my sleeve and channelling my most authentic self. My life has taken so many turns over the past few years that were unexpected which have taught me so much about myself but also meant that I’ve had to be vulnerable, which isn’t easy for me. I’ve put all of this into this album and given you Jess.
AW: Over the past few years, how has your approach to creativity and music production evolved, and what has influenced these changes?
JG: I think the creative process always evolves as I evolve as a person and I love being more involved in the whole progression of making a song. From the writing to the comping of vocals and piecing the music together.
AW: Since signing with a new record label, you’ve begun to release music channelling your most authentic self. What have been some of your favourite moments so far?
JG: The best way I can describe the moments is that I have been given space to be myself and take my time. Having a team that want to win with you makes the whole journey so much more special but being heard and understood is even more so.
AW: You’ve returned with this new era after taking some much-needed rest away from the public eye, did you discover any new hobbies during your time away from music?
JG: It’s so crazy as the time off was never planned to be this long but I’ve really enjoyed learning to be with myself, be present and see the world without rushing around it. During my time away, it was still important for me to keep music in my life, which included learning a new instrument.
AW: With the announcement of your upcoming summer 2024 tour, what excites you the most about performing again, and can you provide some insights into what the audience can anticipate from your shows?
JG: I love singing. I can’t wait to get in rehearsals and bring this album to life. I haven’t started that process yet but I just can’t wait to feel it all. Expect the unexpected and you’ll never be disappointed.
AW: Having spent your formative years in North London, do you envision yourself residing in a different location in the near future, and how has your hometown influenced your musical style?
JG: I no longer live in North London but it’s all a part of life and evolving and being in different environments is important to me to keep life exciting. My hometown was a massive influence on my musical style. I grew up in area surrounded by musicians Amy Winehouse being one very important artist to me growing up. I was heavily inspired by her voice, her journey and who she was and what she represented as an artist. Being authentic with a raw vocal and real music and wearing your heart on your sleeve.
AW: As a vocalist, how do you find the balance between maintaining your health and delivering powerful performances on stage?
JG: Looking after my voice is a high priority to me, it’s my life and who I am and if I didn’t have that then I wouldn’t be a happy person. I try to keep balance in my life with being healthy and working out, however it’s important to me to have fun and also do what makes me feel good.
AW: When you have free time on the weekends, where do you typically find yourself, and how do you unwind from your busy schedule?
JG: I’ve always struggled with putting myself first and it’s something I have forced myself to work on. When I have free time I make a conscious effort to put my phone and work to the side and be present. Always make time to go gym, eat in good places, cook, go see my family, go to my local pub and find new places to go out with my friends and let loose is always a priority.
AW: You’ve worked with a diverse range of producers like P2J (Beyoncé, FKA twigs) and DJ Sub Focus (who produced ‘Friend of Mine’) on your singles this year, are there any exciting collaborations coming up or dream collaborators you’d like to secure in the near future?
JG: I feel so blessed to have worked and continue to work with such talented producers and artists. This album has been a real special process and I’ve been in rooms with such inspiring people who help bring my vision, my sound and my story to life. I really can’t wait for people to experience my new album.

Click to check out Jess Glynne’s playlist

Words: April Ru Wan
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