Jessie Ware stormed the U.K. (and ended up on more than a few "best of" lists here in the states, too) with her debut album, Devotion, a sophisticated, downright sensual collection of R&B-enhanced pop that translates equally well to both the dancefloor and the bedroom.
And yet, despite her catalog of cool, coital songs, in person, Ware is about as bright and bubbly as they come (she even does her own hair before interviews) ... and as she prepares to bring her show to our shores in 2013, she took a moment to look back on a year that was, in her mind, "pretty wicked."
"Well, 2012 has been bizarre but kind of wonderful, too; lots of good news after good news," she said. "My album came out in the UK and Europe in August, and people liked it, and now I'm doing my own tours and people come to it just to see me, so, it's been wicked to have have such fun with my debut, and to have gotten really positive reviews from it, too."
To gear up for a run at Stateside success, Ware has just released If You're Never Gonna Move, an EP that collects some of the best tracks from Devotion (including the sonorous single "Sweet Talk"), a cover of Boby Caldwell's classic "What You Won't Do For Love" and, of course, the title track, which was originally called "110%," but had to be retitled — and reworked — after she couldn't clear a sample from Big Pun's "Dream Shatterer."
"Yeah, we had to change that," she sighed, "but it happens ... it's odd, too, because I basically wrote the song based on the idea of trying to get [Big Pun] out of his chair and onto the dancefloor ... you know, this massive kind of guy who just won't budge, even though you really want him to."
Ware has also been tapped as one of MTV's "Artists To Watch" for 2013, and she'll perform along with a handful of other network picks at Wednesday night's kickoff concert at New York's Highline Ballroom. She'll then cross the U.S. for a handful of shows, and prepare to drop a full-length debut here in the spring. And from there, well, the sky's the limit; though Ware knows what she'd like to accomplish in America, and we wouldn't bet against her, either.
"I hope that I'm given the chance to be able to come back here; I love America, and it's such a big place, there's so much to see. And American music's been such an influence to me that I feel like if it works out here, it would be really cool," she said. "But I just want to play some festivals here. I want to see what that's like; I've never been to festivals here and I would really love to play festivals and see what it's like, because we've got such a festival culture in the UK, they go for it, and I want to see if American's go for it."
Head to MTV's Artist To Watch page for more on our picks for 2013!