Get “Devoted” to MTV’s latest Artist To Watch: U.K. soul songstress Jessie Ware.
U.K. soul singer Jessie Ware is not your average pop star. With her low-key, nu-soul singles and cascade of long dark hair, Jessie is a refreshing change from her U.K. pop familiars; she’s got much more Frank Ocean-brand introspection and Solange-inspired retro throwback in her than, say, Emeli Sandé or AlunaGeorge cheek ’n’ sass (not that we mind those things). And despite all her obvious talent and should-be showmanship, Jessie’s on and offstage persona exudes a charming warmth, grace, elegance, and humility that instantly endears her to fans and critics alike.
Read more about Jessie Ware after the jump.
Perhaps her approachable nature is due to the fact that Jessie never originally intended to be a famous singer — in fact, she had every intention of going into journalism like her dad, BBC TV journalist John Ware. After writing for the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle and Daily Mirror, folk-rocker Jack Peñate, an old friend from school, asked Jessie to sing backup for him for a radio session (who would say no to that?), and before long, Jessie was on tour with Jack as a backup vocalist, which later led to future collabs with artists like Joker, Sampha, and SBTRKT (check out their fabulous “Right Thing To Do“).
Signed to Cherrytree Records, the Mercury Prize-nominated singer’s catalog is a unique blend of laid-back soul, electro, pop, R&B, and dubstep (think Sade-meets-Eurythmics-meets-Robyn-meets-Whitney Houston-meets-Sinead O’Connor). Jessie dropped her full-length debut Devotion overseas last August, unveiled its follow-up EP, If You’re Never Gonna Move, in January, and is currently readying Devotion’s U.S. release for April 16, which will include two previously unreleased tracks, a remix of “Wildest Moments” featuring A$AP Rocky and her latest “Imagine It Was Us” single.
While you wait to hear Jessie’s new material, get a taste of her work on the jazzy “Sweet Talk,” the politely yearning “If You’re Never Gonna Move,” the mournful “Devotion,” or her highest-profile single, “Wildest Moments.” Which reminds us, stop everything immediately to watch the “Wildest Moments” video, a slowly revolving one-take clip that’s directly inspired by Sinead O’Connor’s famous “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
When she’s not prepping new material or making adorable videos starring adorable children, the MTV Artist To Watch is slated to go on a U.K. tour with soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula. Before that, she’ll hit Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 3 and Manhattan’s Webster Hall on April 5. Um, race you to the box office?
+ Watch Jessie Ware perform “Running” live.
+ Watch Buzzworthy’s Q&A with Jessie Ware.
Photo credit: Interscope