If 2020 is going to be anyone’s year – it’s Jessie Reyez. A week into the new decade, it has been announced that the singer/songwriter will head to Coachella and take the stage, “the same day as Frank Ocean.” At the end of January, she will have the chance to take home the award for Best Urban Contemporary Album for her work Being Human in Public. Secret deodorant tapped her for an inspiring campaign. And of course, new music. All of these ventures come after a successful 2019 that saw her making hits with Karol G and Eminem, meeting, fangirling and then working with Beyoncé, and turning all of her pleasures and pains into music that has earned her over 1 million social media followers.
“The journey has been a trip so far,” the 28-year-old tells HOLA! USA. “It’s just been wild. It been a lot of what I was hoping for and a lot of extra bullsh—t that just comes with it. You just got to take the good with the bad.”
Introducing Jessie Reyez. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada (she’s a girl of The Six), a Colombian beauty and someone who knows a thing or two about heartbreak and how to channel that energy into music that has left many (including herself) inspired. Keep reading for more on what inspires her music, what happened when she met Beyoncé and what 2020 has in store for the rising star.
HOLA! USA: What inspires Jessie?
Jessie Reyez: “What inspires me is my real life. I feel like heartbreak and joy hit the body like cake. For me, something that's good to you, you don't really want to throw it up. But when you eat something that's poison, like heartbreak, it's just natural that your body wants to get it out. I guess that's why real-life pain inspires me.”
Your writing credits go beyond your own records, do you prefer to write for yourself or other artists?
“I love writing for both because the process doesn't change. It's always just a vibe, like a freestyle or whatever comes out. I just like having that outlet. I like knowing that even if a song doesn't find a home with me, it's going to find a home with somebody else. I'm really fortunate to be able to look at other people's processes and other people's methods and be able to take little bits and pieces and be able to just create.
In addition to your singles, you have worked with Karol G, Eminem and Normani to name a few. How did all of those opportunities come your way?
“Honestly, I've been blessed. A lot of them have come to me through other people reaching out saying, ‘Oh, this person wanted to connect with you.’ It's just been wild. It means a lot to be able to connect with people that I have admired forever, like Calvin Harris. I've been a fan of him for a long time. I used to hand out mixtapes at his raves.”
And then came Beyoncé!
“To have been included on the Lion King project that Beyoncé executive produced is bananas. I was not even a Beyoncé fan. No, I am a Destiny's Child fan. I'm like from back then. I'm calm and collected and chill. But there's only been two times in my life where I like had to check myself to calm down. And one of those times was Beyoncé.”
Your latest single Crazy is not only a sample of a classic but came with empowering visuals as well. How did you tie the song into today’s political climate?
“It was inspired by just a regular conversation I was having with the producer in the room about a long-distance relationship. Once the song was done, I was sitting back and thinking about visuals and I wanted to make sure that it was going to be deeper than that. As a Latina it seemed natural for me to want to make sure that there was a moment where it's almost like I see you, I feel you. When you see kids on TV that look just like you, crying about their friends, crying that the government is separating their parents, it's just easy for me to feel like that could have been me if my cards were dealt a little different.”
It’s been an amazing year for Latinos in music. As a creator and Latina, what has it been like for you to witness and be a part of the success?
“As an artist, I think it must feel dope to see that sort of diversity. But, as a Latino, it's pride. I’m proud. I'm happy.”
What do fans have to look forward to with your next album?
“With the album I did something with the idea of life and death. But instead, I replaced it with love and life. So, it’s love and death. It’s the idea of the positive side of death and the dark side of love.”
Finally, what’s next?
“The video for Crazy is out. Tours that haven’t been announced yet and more work for me. That’s it. That’s 2020 summed up!”
New, Now, Latinx shines a light on those who are making waves through music and entertainment. Sometimes a rookie, sometimes a vet but always Latinx.