Jess Glynne is one of the UK’s most successful singers and songwriters, who has won a Grammy Award and received nine Brit nominations. She is also the only female artist in the UK to score 7 number one hits on the UK singles chart. On 26th April, Jess will be releasing her third studio album, ‘Jess’.

Jess, you’re releasing your third album this month. Tell us more about what what can we expect
from it.

I’m so excited that this album is coming out at the end of the month. Excited feels like an understatement. This album is full of raw, authentic vulnerability. It’s honest, it’s real and the songs on it are very intimate vocally. I’ve worked with some incredible people on this album, some old timer collaborators, some new ones I’ve never worked with before, some names I’ve just dreamt of working with. It’s a really exciting moment for me and I can’t wait for the world to have it. 

Why would you describe this album as the most personal work you’ve done so far?

Firstly I’d just like to say that everything I do is always incredibly personal. I think this album feels very close to home right now as it’s where I’m at this stage in my life. The hard work that has gone into this over the past four years nearly has been so incredible. There’s been ups and there’s been downs and so much has changed. I think it has been my most vulnerable, honest, authentic real piece of work that has wholeheartedly come from me. I couldn’t be more excited to showcase this side of me. As much as it’s still Jess, it’s the Jess right now. 

This album also marks your first album in 6 years. How has your creative process changed for this new work of art?

I’ve never really claimed to have specific creative process, it’s just what I’m feeling at that time. Every time I write a new song, I always think about what makes me want to make music and what inspires me. In making this album, I feel like the biggest change has been in how much freedom I’ve been given musically, artistically and creatively. No one has set any boundaries on me and it’s allowed me to be free and make ‘Jess’ the album I truly want it to be.

What inspired you the most in creating this album?

My life has been the biggest inspiration in creating this album. Everything that has gone on, the highs, the lows, the turnarounds, the emotions, has been brought into the studio and poured out onto paper, into microphones and now on a CD that is soon to be yours. 

If you had to pick one song from the album as your favorite, which one would it be and why?

Choosing one song as a favourite on this album is really difficult, just like it would be on any other record. However, there are standout songs personally for me, just because of how they came to light and how important they were, being the skeletons of this record.

Firstly, I’ve got to say ‘Lying’ is a personal favourite of mine. The message, the vulnerability, the honesty and what it’s done for me in my emotional state of mind. I also have to say ‘Enough’ is a really important song written for this album. It was the first song that I decided to be on the album due to the message, what it means, and what it meant to me, reminding myself that I am enough.

Your career skyrocketed in 2013 when you were featured on hits like Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’ and Route 94’s ‘My Love’. How do you look back on these two particular collaborations?

When I look back at these two collaborations I smile incredibly and couldn’t be more grateful for the moments that these two records changed my life and changed my career, and set me off on a road to be what I’d always wanted to be, the artist I am today, to perform, to sing, to release my own albums.

Thinking about these two songs and the journey I went on with them is incredible to look back and be like yeah that was me. Seeing ‘Rather Be’ come up on socials and re-ignite now, just like my own song ‘Hold My Hand’ that is having such a viral moment on TikTok right now, is incredible.

Your work has garnered you a Grammy award and nine Brit Award nominations. What do you personally consider the biggest reward for your work?

This is a really an easy question to answer. The biggest reward for my work is to be able to stand on stage in front of thousands of fans and perform these records. To be able to do that for the rest of my life and be present in this world, this crazy music world that I work in that is so heavy and so hard and so male dominated, but somehow get to stand up as a woman and a strong woman at that, and do what I do for as long as I possibly can. That is the biggest reward. 

How and when did your love for music begin?

The love for music started since before I can remember to be completely honest. My family, my mum and dad in particular, was always playing music around the house, from every era, from Aretha, to Eva Cassidy, to Prince, to The Staple Singers, to The Temptations. Amy Winehouse was introduced to me by my parents and I fell in love with music from a really young age. When I realised that I could sing, I quickly became obsessed by vocal talent and vocal ability, listening to big vocalists like Whitney and Mariah and Aretha. I could only dream of being them or in their world or a version of. 

This summer, you’ll also be going on a tour. What are you most excited about it? Are there any surprises in store for the fans?

The most exciting thing about this summer is that I am getting back on stage with my band. I have a treat for you and I can’t wait to put this new set of new songs together and show you what I’ve got to give. My favourite thing about going to shows is being immersed in an experience which takes you out of my real world for an hour, hour and a half. I can’t wait to be that person for all the thousands of people who are coming to my shows and giving them a moment outside of their minds for the period we’re together and they can walk away from that with a smile on their face. That’s what I can’t wait for.

editorial director & interview JANA LETONJA