Five minutes with… Jessie WareThe south London singer talks Kanye, opera and her fear of being too happy…
Jessie Ware is up there with Florence Welch and Adele when it comes to London vocalists making it big on both sides of the Atlantic: following her debut album Devotion in 2012, famous fans include Solange, Katy Perry and Russell Crowe. But despite her hectic schedule, Ware took a well-earned break from a recording session at Red Bull Studios London to curl up on a leather sofa and chat.
Red Bulletin: Do you think of yourself as a ‘pop star’?
Jessie Ware: I’m a pop singer, but someone like Ariana Grande is a pop star, in the best way possible. She just looks like a pop star! She sings, she dances, she wears cute little dresses. I love all that, but that’s not the sort of pop star I am.
Does fame faze you?
I’m not really in the paper in a 3AM, gossipy kind of way yet. But I do mag shoots and covers like the Red Bulletin, and it’s still strange. It’s weird when friends text and say ‘saw you in The Evening Standard last night’. I always think ‘There were definitely more famous people there who they could’ve picked.’ It’s very sweet though.
How did you find writing and recording your upcoming second album Tough Love?
It was actually very relaxed. I wrote a lot of it while I was on tour, then I recorded a lot of it at Red Bull Studios in London. It feels like home now, I could spend days here. The other half of the album was made in New York with Benny [Blanco, of production duo BenZel] in his apartment, so that was sitting on a bed and playing with his dog.
Who would be on your fantasy list of future collaborations?
I’d like to work with Pop Wansel, I recently did a session with him in the Red Bull Studios New York and really liked him. I’d like to work with Chance the Rapper, his production is amazing. I like Kanye West, I’d love to have the experience of working with him. D’Angelo is amazing, and Prince, though there aren’t many people who wouldn’t want to work with him.
What do you worry about?
Everything. To the extent I worry that I might get too happy or content to write good, emotional love songs. And that I hope I’ll have a baby in a few years, and will everyone want to hear an album about being happily married and having a baby? You wonder, but then it’s like sod it, what can you do? I’d prefer to be happy. I’m not about to hit the bottle in the name of emotional song writing.
Where do you get your talent from?
Neither of my parents sings, so it might be a bit of a fluke. Actually my granddad sang, he was a really good opera singer, so maybe I got it from him. He was never allowed to be an opera singer, because his family wanted him to get a proper job, but he had a beautiful voice. He’d sing in the synagogue instead.
What have you learned?
Don’t lose your voice singing along to Chaka Khan with your mates the night before a gig.
What’s your most embarrassing trait?
I snort when I laugh sometimes. It happens quite a lot.
Tough Love is out on October 13th in the UK. Get the album here