Jessie Ware is (in the wise words of Amelia Lily) standing on ‘the razor’s edge’ of success right now. Having already received huge critical acclaim, her current single Wildest Moments is on the brink of cracking the Top 40 on iTunes. But you’re probably thinking who is Jessie Ware and why should I listen to her? Here’s an introduction to the new Princess of British Soul.
Before releasing her own music, Jessie collaborated with both SBTRKT and Sampha, on their singles Nervous and Valentine respectively. Due to these underground dance collaborations, she has received comparisons to Katy B. Then, at the end of last year, the teaser single Strangest Feeling dropped. Fusing this dance sound with a new soulful edge, Strangest Feeling did enough to get the critics excited. However, this track has been somewhat overshadowed by her newer material, and is also not included on her début album. Since then, Jessie released the brilliant Running, which is a further side-step towards a more soulful sound. Her beautiful, rich vocals soar on this eighties sounding track ( a timeless eighties song though), and there is more than a hint of Sade in this track.
Just to confuse people more, Jessie released the perfect 110% in April. Without doubt the best crafted song of the year, this track positions Jessie’s sweet vocals against a hip-hop-esque beat reminiscent of Kelis’ Millionaire. This is currently her biggest hit, but that is soon to change. Current single Wildest Moments is the best Leona Lewis song not by Leona Lewis. A beautiful, restrained ballad about a turbulent relationship with a best friend, this is also the perfect song for an Olympic montage (yes the BBC, try this rather than Spectrum for the millionth time).
Her début album Devotion is out later this month, and as a preview of the album, she recently premièred Sweet Talk, a song about falling in love. Much like Running, this track suggests that comparisons to the likes of Sade and Lisa Stansfield are more relevant than the aforementioned Katy B comparisons. If Delilah’s album From The Roots Up (a similarly soulful album) can go Top 5, there is no reason that Devotion won’t do the same. She might even be on for a Mercury Music Prize with this one.