JessB is rising to the top with her music career and there is nothing stopping her. She’s turning heads with not only her music but her trendy fashion styles and looks. She continues to remain humble and focused on her vision and being herself. Here’s a conversation we had with JessB where we discuss her life, her music and the influences behind it all.
Q. How has music influenced your life now in comparison to how it influenced you as a kid?
Music influences everything I do. The influence has allowed me to connect and relate to people and artists I could see myself in. When I first started, it was about me seeing myself in the artists I was idolizing and that’s what motivated me to start my career.
Q. When was the point in your life that you realized you wanted to pursue music?
There wasn’t a point where I consciously made the decision to pursue music. It wasn’t planned. I was always into music, always playing around and I was actually focusing on netball at the time, that’s what I wanted to do and the music was more of a hobby, something I did just for fun. Then I got dropped from my netball team and a well-known producer, “TMoney”, that had been in contact with me and liked what I was doing, contacted me about starting to really pursue my music. After getting dropped from my netball team, I had more time and I went straight into the music, it wasn’t something I thought was a viable option in the beginning.
Q. Who are some of the artists that inspired you most and why?
Missy Elliot.listening to her early 2000 releases and just the 2000 era, that inspired me the most. The sounds and styles at that time inspired me a lot. In New Zealand, there weren’t any hip hop female hip hop artists (at least none that I was aware of), that were doing what I was doing. I only listened to some new Zealand music at the time but American hip hop influenced me more than anything.
Q. What has been the biggest peak in your career so far?
I don’t think I have reached my peak yet, I believe I’m just getting started. I’ve had some “wow” moments but I definitely have not reached any peaks. This is only the beginning. I believe my music career isn’t one of those overnight internet sensation stories, It’s a foundation that I continue to build and feed every day.
Q. With success comes to a lot of testing and problem solving, What is something you struggled with at the beginning of your career? How did you overcome that?
I struggled with the idea of putting myself out there and being a public figure because with that comes public scrutiny and it can be hard to deal with but it comes with the job. I realized that and I should rather learn to cope with it. The bigger you get the more exposed you become and a lot of people criticize. I learnt to work at it and not let it get to me. I tried to stay away from reading comments online, especially the negative ones because those can really affect a person and I worked on controlling the energy around me. I did this by controlling the company I keep and friends outside of music as well as staying grounded and connected to the friends and family that have my best interests at heart.
Q. Your father is African (Born in Kenya), have you ever been to Africa and does that side of your ethnicity influence you and your music?
I believe who I am, overall, influences everything that I do. I find strength in who I am and I try to stand strong in that, as a person and in my music. I believe that it’s important to be proud and embrace who you are. I’d love to visit Kenya again.
Q. Does your upbringing and childhood influence your music, seeing as you were brought up by your Aunt and Uncle, not your birth parents. That can affect the average person in the long run, has that influenced you at all?
Definitely, it’s impossible for that stuff not to influence me.
Q. What positive traits do you embody that were advantages and helped you reach your goals throughout your career?
I have always been goal-oriented and I found the transition between music and netball easy. Both music and sport have the element of“high-pressure and high performance” so it was easy to find the relation between sport and music. It is also second nature for me to practice working towards my goals, so I simply channelled that energy and life skill from netball into my music.
Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for any young female artists that are following in your footsteps?
Being who you are and standing for your truth is the most important step. Present yourself as honestly as possible because people can relate to that, relatability is better when it’s genuine and honest. I believe that being yourself is always the best way to be. No one can do you better than you do you but people can definitely relate. No matter what you do if you stay true to yourself and stand by your values and beliefs it will help and encourage someone else to do the same.
JessB performs at the Milk and Honey Music Festival celebrating International Womens Day on March 8, from 12-6pm at Silo Park for FREE!