JES. Photo Courtesy of Stark Profiles PR
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter JES chatted about her new double album “Memento.”
On the song selection approach for the LP, she said, “I was working on an eleven-song album, and we began releasing some singles before the pandemic. With those releases, we started to get some amazing remixes of my more well-known tracks. When the pandemic happened, I got a bit more reflective, and the idea to make a double album showcasing my musical journey came up.”
“That’s where the sentiment of ‘Memento’ came into play. As it grew, we decided to combine these new remixes with some new songs and made this collection,” she added.
She listed “All Or Nothing” as her personal favorite song on there. “It is kind of an ode to myself,” she said. “I’ve been working on my songwriting with a passion for years. From an early age, I instinctively knew what I loved to do and never had much interest in anything else. I have that approach to my life and art, and I love this song because I feel its strength.”
“The production style really resonates with me, and it has a groove that makes you dance. It has the elements of a hands-in-the-air vibe, but it still has sexiness. These are all the elements I love in music. Usually, I never listen to my music once I have finished it, but this one, I do,” she exclaimed.
She opened up about her music and songwriting inspirations. “The best things always come to me from some emotion I am feeling or from something I am listening to. Being aware and present and looking around and processing what is happening around me,” she said.
JES continued, “Life situations and relationships are big inspirations. I draw from all different environments to write. I will sit and think or play around on the piano or guitar. I might experiment with some loops and beats and see what I feel is going on in my head.”
“I try to do that every day, but I don’t always get that luxury,” she admitted. “I like to capture ideas at the moment and revisit them at a further date. If I am collaborating with another artist, I always look for people who excite and inspire me to reach outside my own vision. It drives the desire to do something great and keeps me excited about the process.”
“That challenge can get me in the right frame of mind even when I am not really in the mood. It helps me to get past whatever is blocking my creativity. I don’t always succeed, but my desire to make great songs that we all feel are universal is what inspires me the most. That connection drives me to write more,” she added.
On her future plans, JES shared, “‘Memento’ is out now, so I will be pushing and touring the album and promoting the beautiful new box set we created. There are many more singles, remixes, and videos coming, so I will be promoting them for months to come.
“I also have some acoustic versions of the songs on ‘Memento’ coming,” she hinted. “I have been working on an acoustic EP of songs I wrote when I first got to Los Angeles. They are very different from the style people know me for, so I am very excited to see the response. Some new big collaborations are on the way too.”
The digital age
On being an artist in the digital age, JES said, “It presents challenges and freedoms we have not experienced before. It can feel a bit overwhelming with algorithms to maintain and the ferocious appetite for content! It’s also an ever-changing terrain. Every day there is something new to learn. It is no longer just music, you have to create so much more. You are everything all the time now.”
“With so much music and information coming at people, you have to find your way within it. The positive side is the tools for getting your music and art out there are at your fingertips. There are so many ways to connect with fans now. But it can be overwhelming and mentally exhausting. It is a time like no other,” she explained.
“We can make what we want and put it out there. You have become your own puppet master. The industry has forever changed, and we must change with it,” she added.
Regarding her dream duet choices in music, she responded, “That is a tricky question. There are so many artists I admire I love working with people that are genuinely excited about their craft and making art. It is always important for me to stretch the idea of the song and try to find a new way to present it. Some of the voices I love to listen to at the moment are The Weeknd, Richard Bedford, Hayla, Khalid, Jem Cooke, H.E.R, Lewis Capaldi, Skyler Grey, and Alicia Keys.”
On her definition of success, JES said, “Success is having a purpose in life. It is knowing that I keep trying to do my best and be my best. It is believing you can create a life that means something to you and knowing who you are.”
“Being a good human being that strives to grow and evolve to be better than the day before physically, mentally, emotionally, and creatively. Hopefully, your passion can support you financially so you can continue to create and work towards creating the things you believe in,” she elaborated.
For her fans, JES remarked about her new album, “During the short time the world shut down, I got to share and be close to many of my listeners and fans. It had a profound effect on me, and those experiences went directly into making the new songs.”
“I want to thank them for continually supporting me and rooting for me. It is only because of them I can continue my creative musical journey. We shared this journey together, and they are my favorite collaborators. ‘Memento’ grew out of that shared experience. This one is for you. I hope you love it,” she concluded.
To learn more about JES, follow her on Instagram.
JES talks about her new album ‘Memento’
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