Jess Glynne’s stadium pop brings together millions of listeners in uplifting simplicity. Originally born in Hampstead, London, the singer-songwriter began her climb to international acclaim when she signed a publishing deal with Black Butter Records, cultivating a team of collaborators. In 2013, the then twenty-three-year-old Glynne signed a record deal with Atlantic Records, and in the same year, collaborated with Route 94 to produce “My Love,” her first number one on the UK Singles Chart. From there, Glynne collaborated with the likes of Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran, and Macklemore, achieving a total of seven number one hits on the UK charts– the first for a woman in the UK.
Glynne’s brand of brashness is illustrated not only in her musical achievements, but in the towering production of her music, her videos, and of course, her flaming red tresses. “I’ll Be There” makes no pretense at vulnerability, with Glynne’s quavering belt untethered amidst pummeling synths. Even as she sings lines such as, “Wrapped up / So consumed by all this hurt,” Glynne sings this vulnerability with boldness and exhilaration– which gives her millions of Spotify listeners inspiration in their own lives. The music videos of Glynne gracing scenic destinations– singing in dusty desert landscapes, riding on horseback in an arena, standing artfully with a single tear sliding down her cheek as a shack burns to the ground behind her– fit the stakes that her music provides. But it’s videos such as “Ain’t Got Far To Go,” where viewers find Glynne dancing joyfully in the streets with friends and strangers, that give a glimpse of the girl behind the words, and galvanize her fans to want to know her, too.
We spoke to Jess Glynne about her new album, her career path, and her inspirations.
Jacket & Pants by Bryce Barnes
If Always In Between had a muse, what would it be?
My personal experiences and emotions are what inspired this album.
“Thursday” is such a beautiful ballad. What is triggered in you when you sing it?
“Thursday” was written from a very personal place of insecurities and personal doubts and this song helped me overcome a lot of these things. When I sing it now I feel empowered and like I am enough no matter what and I’m not alone in the feelings I feel.
I love that Ed [Sheeran] is on the song as well. You guys seem like you have such a great friendship, can you tell us about it?
Ed is a lovely guy who is super talented. We get on really well and wrote 2 really great songs that I’m super proud of. We understand each other and I think that’s so important when making music that’s honest.
When you started out in music, did you ever imagine that you would have such massive success? What is that like?
I never knew what would happen but I’ve always believed in what I do and I will never give up. The success I have had so far is overwhelming and I’m so grateful, it’s still sometimes quite hard to comprehend but it’s amazing to be where I am and doing what I love every day.
How have you grown the most since I Cry When I Laugh and Always In Between?
I’ve learned a lot about myself since my first album and I think I’m the most secure in myself now than I have ever been.
You have put out 2 bodies of work but are the only British female to achieve 7 number 1 singles in the UK. Does that ever boggle your mind?
It boggles my mind on a daily basis!
What do your parents think about your career trajectory? Have you ever collaborated with your mom? Has your relationship changed much since you rose to stardom?
My parents are so excited about what I do and have always supported me. My relationship with my parents has always been very close and it’s no different now, they come to as many shows as they can and are there every step of the way.
Who are the closest people to you?
That’s a hard question, my family and my friends are of course the people closest to me but the people I work with are too. My band and my team who I’m with all the time are like my second family. I’m very lucky to have so many great people around me.
What do you love most about the pop world right now?
I love that it is so unpredictable!
You, of course, have gotten to collaborate and work with some incredible people: can you tell us, anyone, that you are dying to work with?
I would love love love to work with Kanye.
What makes you the most blue?
When someone close to me is upset.
Where do you feel most at home: touring or in the studio?
I feel like they come hand in hand it’s hard to love one without the other. I go in the studio and pour my heart out and make music and then I go on the road and bring my songs to life and meet all my fans. I love them both.
Your voice is just incredible. Can you talk to us about honing your craft and natural talent? How often do you practice singing, how much was trained? How much is God just saying, “Oh here, you take everything?”
At the moment I’ve been on tour and singing a lot so I do exercises most days as I need to make sure the muscle is strong. When I’m on downtime I make sure I rest my voice but still have to do exercises and sing during the week to make sure the muscle doesn’t get weak.
What is an area in your life you feel like you have reclaimed?
I guess when everything took off it was hard to have control over everything and I guess it was extra difficult as it was all so new to me. Over the past 2 years, I feel like I found a way to take back some of that control and I’ve learned that I can’t do everything and anything. Trusting my team and the people around me has been a massive help in reclaiming a healthy balance.
What is your favorite part about being a celebrity and the most annoying part?
I love that I get to do what I love every day. I struggle with the world knowing who I am and wanting to know everything about my personal life.
Do you remember the first song or experience that made you fall in love with music?
I think when I heard “Say a little prayer” by Aretha Franklin I fell in love with music. Her voice melted me. I just love her.
What do you think you would be doing if you never found your voice?
I have no idea! I’m really glad I did find my voice cause there’s not much else I’m that good at haha.
What do you listen to when you are alone? What are the last three songs you listened to?
I listen to lots of different things, I love a bit of RnB and Hip Hop. The last 3 songs I listened to were by Anderson Pakk and Jayden Smith.
Is it hard or easy for you to fall in love?
I don’t think it’s easy for me to fall in love.
Who is the most influential musician to you dead and alive?
I have so many artists that I could name I couldn’t just say one! Erykah Badu, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, Kanye, Aretha Franklin the list goes on and on!
You have three questions you can have answered like a Genie gives you wishes, what would you ask and to who?
Is there life outside of earth? Is there life after death? Who was the first person to realize music was music?
Suit by Músed .Bodysuit by This Is A Love Song
Outfit, Músed .
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