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It’s not surprising that Jess Glynne’s voice brings back memories of Amy Winehouse. The soulful, British singer has been highly influenced by her, but with Glynne, she’s paired her R&B-infused voice with dance music. In fact, her collaboration with Clean Bandit on “Rather Be” is what really helped put her on the map – at least in the U.S. With a worldwide song feature in a Coke commercial and one debut album under her belt, Glynne is doing pretty well for herself. In fact, Glynne’s debut I Cry When I Laugh sounds awfully positive for stemming from a breakup. It’s something that makes her music even more enticing, and Glynne herself is somewhat of a ray of sunshine.
With a ton of tour dates this fall in both the U.S. and the UK, it doesn’t seem like Glynne is slowing down anytime soon. We caught up with Glynne about heartbreak, dreams and the surprise success that came from “Rather Be.”
The surprise hit: The success of “Rather Be” has gone so far beyond what both myself and Clean Bandit could have imagined that it’s still very, very, very surreal. The collaboration came about simply because they heard my voice on another song (Route 94’s “My Love”) and asked me to have a go—neither of us had any idea of how big the song was going to be and the level of success from it.
Best piece of style advice: Be comfortable! It doesn’t matter what brand or designer I wear, so long as I’m comfortable, then I’m all good.
Handling heartbreak: My last breakup was a pretty hard one but I did my best to pour all of that energy into my music and just focused on the positive. I was starting to live my dreams of working on my debut album and would write about hope, joy and happiness as a way to release everything that felt wrong in my heart. I was essentially speaking to myself! Going through that showed me life is full of ups and downs but if you have good people around you and look for the positive in everything, then you can get through it.
Finding herself in one of her songs: I would probably say “Ain’t Got Far To Go” [most describes me] as it was one of the first songs written for the album.It’s about never giving up, believing in yourself, not letting people get in the way of what you want and making it happen. I’m all about the positive vibes!
Dream collaboration: I have way too many so I’m going to have to give you three: Timbaland, Frank Ocean and Jazmine Sullivan.
Hearing herself in a Coke commercial: I guess that it reminds me of my childhood. I would always get so excited when I saw the Coke advert at Christmas, that was like the realization that Christmas was coming! To now have a song on it is just so surreal!
Her biggest inspiration: My life my family and my friends inspire me the most when it comes to writing songs. Without them and without living I would have no experiences or journeys to talk about.
Virtues and vices: My biggest virtue is probably that I have a strong hard working ethic and never give up. My vice is that I’m too controlling and find it hard to let other people do things for me, and I guess when you’re living this crazy life, you have to let some things go.
Music idols: Again I have a few but I would have to say Amy Winehouse had the biggest affect on me musically & artistically. Her ability to talk about real-life issues over gritty hip hop beats but with a jazz/soul vocal, spoke volumes to me, plus once you add in the fact she was a Jewish teenager from North-London, just like me, I knew that I could really go for it as a full-time singer.
A lesson learned: I was once told that in order to find my sound, I needed to write 100 songs. At first I though that was a bit mental, but it really helped me find my voice as an artist. All of those songs, whether good or bad, helped me to grow as a person and in turn led to me writing the demo for “Home.” That song literally changed my life as it led to me signing my record & publishing deals. Without that challenge, I wouldn’t be here!