Now Playing: Jessie Reyez
Written by Alexandria Yip
Jessie Reyez’s incredibly confident presence in her music is evident of her personality- she’s bold, fun, and doesn’t give a fuck. She didn’t start out with a passion for music however, she had a spirit for dancing hip-hop when she was younger. Nonetheless, after collaborating with rapper King Louie in 2014, Reyez sparked her career as a pop singer-songwriter. Since then, she’s released a full length album titled Kiddo, as well a single which she wrote and recorded with Sam Smith and Calvin Harris. She’s also written Dua Lipa’s pop hit “One Kiss” and has worked with many other prominent figures: Skrillex, Diplo, Daniel Caesar, and Chance the Rapper.
Reyez’s lyricism can be best described by her twitter bio: “I sing about shit I don’t like to talk about”. Her songs are filled with lost romances and insecurities, delivered with a unique, shrilling voice.
Not only does Reyez release her personal matters within her music, she is also vocal about sexual violence and abuse. Reyez’s 2017 short film + song “Gatekeeper” spreads awareness to the subject. During the three minute film, Reyez stands up for the wrong in sexual exploitation in the music industry, condemning a man (unnamed at the time) for raping and abusing his power over female musicians. The video eventually played an important role in the incrimination of music producer Detail - whom worked with Beyonce and Nicki Minaj - just months after the release date. Reyez’s music and message spread the word to millions,including Bebe Rexha, who came out to the public about Detail’s sexual assault after “Gatekeeper” was released.
More recently, Reyez was nominated for the title of “Push Artist” and “Video with a Message” at this year’s VMA awards. She also gave a breathtaking performance of her song “Apple Juice”.