Jessie Reyez: Unapologetically Authentic

Jessie-ReyezPhoto Credit: Mabdulle

Jessie Reyez is a Canadian singer-songwriter who draws inspiration from different influences. She mostly expresses her musical talents in both R&B and pop. Fresh to the music scene, Reyez has generated millions of streams across music platforms and hasn’t even released a full-length project yet. Reyez embodies the spirit of an empowered woman who isn’t afraid to say what she feels.

Born in Toronto, Canada to parents that emigrated from Columbia, Jessie was influenced my music at an early age. She discovered the guitar through her dad and would sing along with it. By high school, she learned how to play the guitar and started writing her own music. During a hard breakup with her first boyfriend, Reyez poured herself into music. She spent hours on end singing and playing the piano.

When her family members were granted the ability to work in America, she moved to Miami, Florida. Reyez returned to Toronto because she was accepted to the Remix Project’s Academy of Recording Arts. The Remix Project is an educational program for low-income families to learn about the arts and music. Hip-hop artist King Louie reached out to do a collaboration with her. In 2014, they released “Living in the Sky.” This song launched Reyez into the spotlight to begin working with other stars like Diplo, Chance the Rapper, and Skrillex.

In April of 2017, Reyez released her first EP, Kiddo with the label FMLY. This featured her track “Figures” which became widely popular on music streaming platforms. Kiddo features songs that show Reyez isn’t scared of exploring difficult issues. The directness of her lyrics and authentic feelings are all throughout this new-school hip-hop album. Since being released, Kiddo has had over 30 million streams.

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She also released a short film titled ‘Gatekeeper’. This short was based off her experience with a music producer. In the film, a young woman meets a music artist that attempts to force sex on her in exchange for gaining stardom. Reyez released the song “Gatekeeper” and the accompanying film to show people how someone can grow from emotionally traumatizing situations.

Reyez continued to gain attention from listeners in 2018 for various projects and collaborations. She won the Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the year. She collaborated with Daniel Ceaser on “Figures, A Reprise”. Reyez also appeared on Eminem’s Kamikaze album in “Nice Guy” and “Good Guy.”

Being Human in Public was released October 19, 2018. This was Reyez’s second EP under the FMLY label. The seven tracks cover emotional experiences that many people go through and can relate with. Reyez purposefully released an EP to get listeners to connect with her music before scrolling past to the next thing. Being Human in Public combines R&B and pop in a way that many listen to Jessie Reyez for. If anything changed, it was Reyez’s strong lyrical approach by getting directly to the point. The EP featured several artists, including Kehlani on “Body Count” and 6LACK on “Imported.”

It’s believed that “Imported” will be one of the singles from Reyez’s upcoming debut album with Island Records. Although, at this point in time there hasn’t been an official release date mentioned yet. Over the spring and throughout the summer Jessie Reyez will be on tour performing music that will eventually lead up to her upcoming album. There’s no telling when Jessie Reyez will slow down because she’s creating such a buzz for herself. Scoring collaborations with popular artists has generated even greater avenues for this talented singer. Fan and new listeners are sure to see more deeply emotional, “drop-the-bullshit” liveliness that Jessie Reyez provides for years to come.

Written by: Carlton Rolle

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