Jess Glynne is no doubt the UK's breakthrough pop act of the year so far. Although yet to unveil her debut single, the singer has reached the #1 spot twice in 2014 already, with her starring performances on Clean Bandit's 'Rather Be' and Route 94 'My Love'. I caught up with Jess to learn more about the successful but still (for now) mysterious chart-topper.Hi Jess! With already two UK #1 hits featuring your voice, that must be a massive jump start to your solo career? Hello! and yes it's a massive jump-start and a really exciting one at that! How does that affect your personal expectations for your solo career? I feel I've set the bar quite high for myself, but it will have always been the same. I believe so much in what I have and what I'm doing that I don't feel like it's expectation, I just feel like it's something I need to do.
Does your own sound differ from that you've sung for Route 94 & Clean Bandit? Have you found your personal sound yet? My own sound is very different from the likes of Rather Be and My Love, as my influences are from a different place. My music represents exactly what I'm grown up with, what I love and who I am. It took a while for me to find that; I've written a lot of songs with a lot of different people but I think now I have found the sound that represents me as a person and what I want people to love me for. Going back, who were your musical influences growing up? I have so many, but let me try to whittle them down! Let's start with Amy Winehouse, who is a massive inspiration musically. As a British girl the boundaries she pushed showed a lot of girls trying to do it what the possibilities were. Her album Frank was the moment for me when I knew I wanted to do this. Lauryn Hill, writing-wise, showed me that I could write songs not only about love but about life experiences. People like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, even Jay Z...growing up listening to those kind of sounds has been a part of the journey of me reaching my own. How were you found by your label? I wasn't sending my music around at all, I'm very precious! I was working with Bless Beats and Jin Jin, and I didn't have management so I was just creating with these two people and not getting much guidance. I then had interest from publishers so I started to meet a lot of industry people who were really supportive of my sound. It was through meeting these people that I came across my management who were soon having talks with people about me working with them. Someone at Atlantic heard me through my management and wanted to meet. They loved what I was doing and still do [now I've signed]. They haven't tried to change me. 'Home' produced by BlessBeats is your first offering as a solo artist, will this be an official release or a taster? This is just a track to set the tone for me. Being on 2 tracks so big and so different to me, I felt like while they were out there I needed to give something that was about me so people can understand where 'm coming from and set the tone for my own artistry. Festival season is coming up...are you going to perform with Route94 & Clean Bandit? I'm going to be doing my own stuff festival-wise - Lovebox, Wireless, Great Escape and Bingley off the top of my head - but the odd appearance here and there with those guys may happen, and why not?! What can people expect from Jess Glynne in 2014? People can expect to hear Jess Glynne, nobody really knows me yet and I think 2014 is the introduction to me. Do you get recognised in the street yet? No, and I'm enjoying that! I've purposely hidden, as I don't deal too well with talking about me. I'm a very casual person and I love to just be with people, and obviously people want to talk about how amazing things are going but sometimes it's nice to just talk about food or television so I'm really enjoying the fact people don't know who I am or what I look like yet. I'm going to try my best to keep that enigma! LIVE DATES ANNOUNCED: May 9 - Great Escape Brighton July 4 - Wireless London July 6 - Wireless Birmingham July 12 - Wakestock Wales July 19 - Lovebox London August 3 - Kendall Calling, The Lake District August 30 - Bingley Live + MORE TBA Twitter | Facebook