- Smooth Jazz Network
Jessy J: Behind the Beats
Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Jessy J.
We sat down with Jessy J as part of our year-end BEATS magazine last month. Check out the magazine article below or keep scrolling for the extended version of our interview in text format.
Read the rest of the BEATS magazine here.
Jessy, thanks for taking some time to visit with us and be part of our BEATS Year-end magazine! I was very excited to see the new release this year. It has been a while since your last CD. This is your first studio album in 6 years. Tell us what’s been happening with you!
Hi Allen thanks for inviting me to be a part of the Year-end BEATS magazine! Since I released my last studio album 6 years ago, I got married and had two children. I decided to write new music during the pandemic and recorded two full projects. “Blue” is a retro project of music reminiscent of the 1960s, and my latest album “California Christmas, Vol. 2” is a collection of my favorite Christmas songs.
And this new album “Blue” sounds amazing. Congratulations on the release and the chart success as well. How does this album reflect your journey as a musician?
JJ: After 14 years of recording music as a solo artist, I believe it showcases my most powerful and emotional playing yet ! It was great being able to produce, engineer, record and write from home.
And you have collaborated with some solid artists on this project.
Jeff Lorber and I co- wrote two songs on this project. One of them is called “Dig It” and the other one is called “Malt Shop.” I first met Jeff in 2008 playing together in the Guitars and Saxes tour, he’s an amazing musician and I respect all of his work.
The past two and a half years have been surreal in so many ways. How does it feel to be out there playing live gigs again?
I really missed performing live shows and connecting with the audience. I feel even more grateful now to be back in front of people, sharing emotions and my journey through music.
Tell us about your latest single “Dance Beat”!
“Dance Beat” is all about the end of the pandemic and being able to party and get done with your friends. This song represents the end of the lockdowns and beginning to live again.
You hit the smooth jazz scene with “Tequila Moon” back in late 2007. Tell us about that time in your life.
2007 was an exciting time in my life because my first album was about to be released and the single “Tequila Moon” was being added on all of the radio stations (including The Smooth Jazz Network). It’s been an amazing journey since then playing and recording. I still love playing “Tequila Moon” live, it’s one of my favorites!
Your style reflects a passion for Latin music. Tell us about your musical roots and how that comes out in your music.
I grew up listening to all different styles of music and one of my favorite styles is Latin. I re-create a lot of the sounds that I heard in my early childhood with references to Cha-cha-cha, Cumbia, Salsa and Afro-Cuban jazz.
And you have an amazing Christmas album “California Christmas Volume 2”… Tell us about the single!
Thank you, the single is “What Child Is This” reminiscent of a straight ahead Jazz Quartet. Jeff Lorber is playing the organ, Gary Novak is playing the drums, and I’m playing tenor sax and we are just getting down with the music. When I recorded this song from home I was picturing being in a jazz club playing for the audience.
What is ahead for you in 2023?
JJ: I’m really looking forward to next year and connecting with all of the jazz fans around the world!
For the latest, visit her website.