“No one knows who I am,” Jessie Ware said in our interview yesterday. The 28-year-old British chanteuse couldn’t be more wrong.
VH1’s April You Oughta Know artist may not be a household name, yet, but the April 15th U.S. release of Devotion is as promising as a new artist can hope for. Having already rode the waves of success in her native country she’s breaking the U.S. in the same way her fellow soulful Brits Emeli Sande and Adele did last year.
For someone who “no one knows” her U.S. stop is jam packed with shows, press and album promotion. One of those stops included a short show at Paper magazine’s annual Beautiful People party in honor of her first cover story for the mag. On the penthouse of The Top Of the Standard the shi shi foo foo crowd of industry elites sipped champagne after puffing their electronic cigarettes that were being passed out by the cocktail waiters. By the time Jessie emerged on stage in a white and black printed dress for her three-song set a crowd had gathered around the tiny sage to find out if her pipes could live up to the CDQ quality of her songs. It did.
Unlike her first American show at The Box in December (that was jam packed with die hard fans) only a handful of this crowd knew the words to “Running” or the lead single “Wildest Moments.” This didn’t deter a glowing, cheerful Jessie whose voice (and personality) can win you over instantly. Jessie smoothly delivered the low pitch of “Running” and perfectly sung about her best friend in “Wildest Moments.” The Bobby Caldwell “What You Won’t Do For Love” cover she performed matched her mix of eclectic soul sound.
As quickly as she appeared she exited the stage winking at those of us nearest the stage who sung along to the lyrics. Party-goers continued hobnobbing, and those who were only there for Jessie quickly headed to coat check. People do know the British singer/songwriter influenced by R&B, and those that don’t will soon.
Check Tuner all month long for all Jessie Ware everything as our April You Oughta Know artist.