a chat with: JESSB

made the New Zealand Hip-Hop scene take notice in 2017 when she delivered a crazy performance as the first female MC to perform on David Dallas'
 Red Bull 64 Bars, and backed it up with powerful tracks to show that she was here to stay. She has been expanding her world, spending time with creatives in London, Amsterdam, LA and New York, performing at Venice Biennale, in London and across Australia. When she's not travelling around the world, JessB has continued to grow in the New Zealand music scene touring with artists like Ladi6, SIX60 & Fat Freddy's Drop as well as international acts YG and Lil Simz. Now, with 3 mixtapes under her belt we are excited to see what's next! We had a chat with her about the biggest thing she's grateful for, what she wants people to take from her music and what inspires her to create.

Tell me a bit about yourself, when and where did your musical path first start?

My name is JessB. I started writing raps in high school and performing them at parties with my homies. Eventually it turned into me getting recording gear, and chucking stuff up on Soundcloud. P Money found it and helped me start recording stuff more professionally. Everything grew pretty organically from there. I left my job 3 years ago and have been pursuing music as my full time ting since then.

What do you want people to take from your music?

People are multifaceted, layered beings. You really can be all things at once. There are no rules. I hope people see me as someone who is equal parts reflective, deep, serious as I am light, fun, and a dumb ass. There’s room for it all! Take inspiration from whatever you want. If it speaks to you, then yay ! I guess I want to move people…physically and emotionally lol, either or is great to me.

What’s the biggest thing you’re grateful for?

I’m grateful for being able to have my dream job, and I’m even more grateful for the people I get to experience the ride with. I have been so blessed with people who make my experience as a musician so much better & more fulfilling. 

Any upcoming kiwi artists you’re most excited about?

There’s hella talent around atm. There’s tonnes of artists I could list but I am really excited to hear the next releases from Deadforest & Jujulipps

Big facts! The scene's growing, so dope to see. Would you say you always wanted to make music and did you grow up in a musical family? 

I always had a huge interest in music, and did dream of being a performer but I never really thought it was an option. My family wasn’t particularly musical so most of the initial interest in music and particularly rap I found on my own as a kid.

Who or what inspires you the most to create powerful music? 

Music has gifted me with a sense of self & community - and it inspires my to live / speak my own truths. I am inspired every day by the people around me , across so many creative fields. There really is so much to be taken from the interactions and experiences we have in life. My friends are lit. I’m also really inspired to create music that allows me to express & makes me ~feel~ something , in the same way that so much other music I listen to does.

3 songs you’ve been jamming on repeat lately? 

Sinner - Adekunle Gold , Lucky Daye 
God’s Work (feat. iLL BLU) - IAMDDB
Fuck Him All Night - Azealia Banks

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Outside and out this god damn pandemic!!!!! Lol but nah in the next 5 years I would loved to have travelled and toured more extensively outside of Aotearoa. Have a business up and running. Couple hits in the bag. Couple mills in the bank.

Lastly, what’s your favourite “THATS A FKN WRAP” moment? 

I reckon the Flying video for BLKCITY gotta be up there. Was a crazy location & turned out so dope.

Yea that was a full on shoot fr. Thanks for taking the time to chat Jess!! Is there anything upcoming you can tell us about? 👀👀

New single out October 29th

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