We're so obsessed with Jess Kent. Her songs are so catchy and she has so much attitude. She's everything we want to be. We caught up with her about her new music and things to come.
Tell us about your latest singles. What was the inspiration? What was the creative process like?
Jess: Bass Bumps is a commentary on the subcultures and goings on at the parties and raves I used to go back in Sydney. It's totally fun, and a melting pot of influences. The art + music scene at the time was thriving with so many eclectic and exciting producers and DJs and fresh talent.
No Love Songs was written because up until that point I had not yet specifically written a love song. I'm always weaving it into my stories and such but the day I wrote this I couldn't avoid it- all I was thinking about was this particular person and whether they were checking on me too. It hit me because I made a point of being as vulnerable and honest as I can on this record and it kind of caught me off guard to admit that I was into this person and thinking about them.
Tell us more about your debut album. What is the vibe? What can fans expect?
Jess: I'm so proud of my first full length body of work. I've poured my heart into this and drawn from every influence and thought and story to make sure I'm giving my fans a complete story. A world to dive into. I have synesthesia so colors and visuals are extremely important to me. It's straight out of my diary, how I see the world. In the process of making the record I've experimented with sounds, drawn from my core influences (Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morrissette, Lauryn Hill, Blondie) and my contemporary peers, and ultimately put together a dream-pop sound that I think is my own. I'm so excited !
You’re a self-taught musician. Tell us more about that and why you chose this career?
Jess: Music has always been my escape. My vessel for connecting and communicating and my creative outlet. I used to study my idols just purely out of curiosity and just be in awe of how they created an album, how they put together a show. I think this whole thing has been born out of pure passion and drive to find out what that's like to experience in person. I have to pinch myself to think that my job is to sing and entertain and that people are starting to show up to gigs and connect because of the music.
What are some of the biggest challenges have you faced in your career?
Jess: I've faced rejection and doubt. I've thought that one path was for sure the way to go and had to rethink my place in this industry at every step of the way. At any given time this is an industry that is already chock-full of incredible talent and plenty of people chasing the dream. In the very beginning truthfully I had no contacts, no money, not even a proper plan. I just followed where my gut took me. Some days I'd be walking in the rain with my guitar knocking on doors to get a gig so that I could pay my rent for 1 more week thinking- is this really what I'm meant to be doing? But I think those experiences become the building blocks of your character and the perseverance makes the outcome that much more rewarding.
What is the best moment of your career to-date?
I had a pinch-myself moment, at the end of the runway in the middle of a stadium somewhere in Asia (touring with Coldplay) and I'd taught the crowd to sing the chorus of my song back to me. I remember trying not to freak out because this sea of people were singing my song so loud ! That was pretty cool.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
Jess: A dream collab would be Kendrick, Pusha, Travis, Post Malone. Something in the hiphop space, would be dope. And I’d love to collab with some amazing female pop artists like Ariana, Dua Lipa, Charli xcx, Rita Ora
What advice do you have for young girls aspiring to be a musician?
Jess: I've been told a thousand times how I should behave, look how I should handle my career. I was even told by my own guitar teacher that girls don't really play guitar !! I think girls are under so much more pressure than guys to also be pretty and sexy and not say too much to ruffle any feathers. But things have changed a lot in recent times and if I could give you one piece of advice- if you make art or music anywhere, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, share your gift and speak your truth. You will find your tribe and your place and ultimately the world can only be better because of it.