Photo: Jessie Reyez; Flickr Collision_Conf.jpg
It’s not every day that you come across an artist who knows how to provoke the broad spectrum of human emotion. Jessie Reyez is one of those artists, and she does this very well. The 32-year-old Canadian-born singer-songwriter with Colombian roots sings her lyrics like a badge of honor.
Whether it was lyrics from her Grammy-nominated project, “Before Love Came To Kill Us,” where she sings in the intro of “Do You Love Her?,” “I should’ve f***** your friends / It would’ve been the best revenge for the fire that you started.” Or in another record from the album “Coffin,” where she sings, “You make me wanna jump off the roof / ‘Cause I love you to death, just like a fool I’d rather a coffin, handmade for two / ‘Cause I love you to death, just like a fool,” lyrics like these that are so raw and quite frankly honest are why her fans gravitate toward her so much.
Her latest project back in 2022, “Yessie,” is nothing short of amazing artistry. In the description of the album, Apple Music describes the artist after releasing this project, “Many R&B singers seek to mend their broken hearts; Reyez prefers to pick at the scabs, open up the wounds, and wince from the pain to prove she has the strength to withstand it.” Her intro, “MOOD,” sounds like a page from her diary or journal as she sings about what life has been like with fame and what she’s been personally going through. Another standout honest record is “EMOTIONAL DETACHMENT DEMO” where she sings about missing an old connection with a past lover and having to face the fact that they’ll never be able to work as friends or anything of that sort. Fans have been asking for a music video for the song, but she has since moved on from the album in general. Some other standout records from the album are “Only One,” “Hittin” and “FOREVER.”
She received a lot of fans and recognition for two of her biggest songs, one of them being “IMPORTED” featuring singer and rapper 6lack, which is certified 2x platinum by the RIAA. It also charted on a few Billboard charts during the year of its release. The song was initially released back in 2018 by Jamaican singer JRM, but it was re-released with 6lack on the remix as a single for her debut album “Before Love Came to Kill Us.” Her other popular song, “Figures,” was released in 2016 and is featured on the album and her EP, “Kiddo.” The song’s popularity had her performing at iHeartRadio Music Awards, BET awards and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2017. This is also certified platinum by the RIAA.
Jessie is very respected by her peers in the music industry. She is known for her phenomenal songwriting skills and for receiving praise from the likes of Beyonce, Kehlani, Eminem, Drake and more. She’s also written hits for Calvin Harris and Sam Smith. She opened for Smith on his GLORIA tour; she also opened for Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever world tour as well.
To add to her already gifted artistry, the singer released her first book last year, titled “Words of a Goat Princess.” The book features 43 poems ranging in themes of different emotions and subjects. For the release of the book, Jessie did a mini-book tour, hosting reading sessions with stops in Philadelphia and Boston. In an interview with TT Torrez on Hot 97, the singer/author explained how one of her first accolades ever was from a poetry festival when she was 11, and that playing with words has always been a tool for her expression.
In the same interview, Jessie said she hoped to release another project early in 2024. But in the meantime, you can check out her single, “Jeans ft. Miguel ” and her book!
Isaiah Ireland is a third-year Media and Culture major with a minor in Digital Marketing. II978280@wcupa.edu