If you haven’t heard of JESSIA already, then we are afraid that you are missing out on a lot of fun in your musical palette. So quickly look her up right now, although just wait a little bit more until the end of this interview to know all the inside scoop we have got exclusively for you! *smirks*
Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, pop artist JESSIA is one of 2021’s most inspiring breakout artists with already garnering millions of streams and countless views in her name. She’s unapologetically honest and vulnerable in her music which reflects in her heart-touching songwriting blended with the vibey upbeat music. Yes, she’s going to make you laugh, make you cry, and make you fall in love. She’s going to melt your heart and remind you that in end, it’s all going to get better. So hold on all you music lovers out there, this is a rollercoaster ride. Just fasten your seatbelts and get ready to have the fun of a lifetime.
Since last year, TikTok has brought so much into our lives unexpectedly. For some, it became a comfort place and others found a platform to showcase their talent to the world. And something similar is what JESSIA experienced on the very first day of 2021 when she randomly posted a video on her TikTok not knowing that it will become the experience of a lifetime. She introduced an acapella hook for ‘I’m Not Pretty’ admitting, “I don’t know if this is total trash, or if it’s actually a bop.” Well, turns out, over a million people instantly resonated with the idea of a journey towards self-love and the emotions one can feel while on its path.
“This is about self-love and body acceptance for everyone–all of humanity. I’m singing about eating disorders and personal insecurities. If you’re struggling, definitely ask for help. I want this song to be a tool for people to realize how amazing they are, and how liberating it is to accept yourself. This song is not meant to seek validation from other people’s opinions. It is about your own relationship with yourself and your own body. It’s an important relationship that is not talked about enough. Be proud of who you are and know sometimes it’s a long journey to get there. Smile at yourself in the mirror, jiggle your belly, and be okay with being a human.”
JESSIA (via press release)
We are not the only fans of Jessia, as music powerhouses like Ryan Teddar and Bebe Rexha have joined her fanbase. In fact, Bebe joined forces on the remix version of this empowering body acceptance anthem ‘I’m Not Pretty’ and in between JESSIA’s hook, she passes on words of wisdom with an irresistibly fiery attitude.
“Your imperfections are what makes you beautiful…Goddamn it, you’re a prize.”
Since the release of her song ‘I’m Not Pretty,’ we have been itching to talk to JESSIA and finally, our dream came true! We spoke to her and got all the exclusive details on her new music, future plans, TikTok, and much more. Keep reading below!
You got what many of us wish every year, January 1, 2021, turned out to be the reset button in your life. One TikTok acapella video resonated with a million people and catapulted your stardom. What sparked the inspiration for you to make that video and what was your first reaction to becoming a viral sensation?
2020 took a toll on me as I’m sure it did with a lot of other people. I was scrolling through TikTok and I heard a viral sound that said “I’ve never seen two pretty best friends” and that got me thinking, all of my friends are gorgeous so maybe I’m not the pretty one in the group. I just wrote this little hook and posted it and within 24 hours it was already at over 1 million views. I was in denial at first because I didn’t want to jinx it. Then Elijah started producing it and that put even more pressure on to finish it.
Well, Elijah Woods worked on the production of this track and it must be terrific. How was your experience of working with him and did you think going into this would change your life?
Elijah is like a brother to me now. He not only is a genius producer but he is also such a great human being. He has really been my rock through all of this and always there to give advice. His ideas and the way he hears music is like no other! I never thought I would go viral. I hopped on TikTok hoping to get a few 1,000 fans out of it but never to this extent.
‘I’m Not Pretty’ is such an empowering body acceptance anthem and the lyrics talk about a journey towards self-love, we are absolutely loving the song. Can you walk us through the making of the track, did you already have it written beforehand, or did Elijah’s producing skills spark inspiration for the rest?
I just had the hook written and then I wrote the first verse and then within two days Elijah and I finished the song over zoom. I recorded the vocals in my bedroom in Vancouver while he produced in Ottawa.
The visuals for this single are so aesthetically pleasing, where did the idea come from? How was your experience filming the video and do you have a favorite scene?
The music video was inspired by a popular Roald Dahl book. Then I took this idea to my director, Benjamin Lussier, and he ran with it. It was a BLAST to shoot. I think the party the peach was my favorite scene to film. It really was just a big ol’ party on set!
Well, this sounds fun. Coming back to TikTok, it is rapidly growing as a platform for new talent, do you think that it is bending the rules of the music industry and becoming a new fame parameter?
YES! It’s crazy to think that a social media platform is ruling the music charts but like, what song that is charting is not also charting on TikTok? It’s so cool cause every time you post it’s like a first chance at being discovered. I really love that about the app!
How are you planning to use the platform yourself to continue growing your fanbase?
Dude, I don’t even know. Tiktok is so hard to crack and I’m still trying to figure it out haha! TikTok is a wild card so I’m just going to keep posting a bunch of stuff and see what sticks!
Sounds like a plan. How would you define your relationship with music?
It’s my therapy. I write to get me through the day and clear my head. If other people like it, then that’s just the cherry on top. It’s weird coming into this now, as my career is based on being vulnerable. Like, my job is to allow people to peek into my brain and my thoughts. I love it but it’s a strange thing to settle into.
Was there a moment where your heart told you, ‘this is what I was born to do?’
I think I always knew and wanted this but I was in denial for a lot of years. I didn’t want to let myself down if nothing came of it. You hear about so many struggling, talented artists that never get a break and that scared me. I worked my ass off for this to happen but I never actually thought it was going to happen haha!
We are currently rooting for team JESSIA and so is Ryan Tedder. And that also opened big doors for you in the industry, what was your reaction when you found out that he contacted you? Are you working with him on any upcoming projects?
To even say that Ryan freakin’ Tedder has heard my voice is insane!! Being signed to him is a dream come true. He’s a KING of songwriting. I am still a bit in shock honestly haha. We are working together but I can’t wait for the world to open up so I can actually sit in a room with him and just chill and write more music together.
Then we absolutely can not wait for it. Do you have any other projects lined up in the near future that you can share with us now? Is there a goal you want to reach by the end of 2021?
MORE MUSIC IS COMING!!! I can’t say when but YES! I am hoping to release an EP this year but whoooooo knooowwwwsss???? Like honestly I’m not just saying this, I actually don’t know when things are being released but follow me on socials and you’ll be the first to know! Hahaha!
Oh yes, we will and going to keep our readers in the loop as well, so stay tuned! It was a wonderful experience to chat with JESSIA and we want to thank her for taking the time to talk with us. We are going to turn this song up to max volume and just scream these words and are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for her!
Stream ‘I’m Not Pretty’ here! debut EP here!
Have you listened to the track before? Which is your favorite lyric? Be sure to let us know all your thoughts by commenting down below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP! We are also on Facebook and Instagram!
Featured Image: Graphic Design Team for The Honey POP
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Khushboo Malhotra works as a freelance journalist, digital marketing & media strategist, and content marketer featured in various global and national media publications and works alongside B2B, B2C, and eCommerce brands. A wide range of her work spans music and entertainment culture, sustainable lifestyle (including sub-niches), and SaaS. She enjoys writing novels and designing screenplays, grooving at concerts, or exploring new fashion and cuisines that tickle her taste buds when she is not working. Have a story? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org