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Jessie Murph

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Alice Gee | 24/06/24

A: Hi Jessie! How are you?

J: Hi, I'm well! How are you?

A: I'm super excited to talk to you! But first, OMG, can I just say that those photographs from your cover shoot are gorgeous?

J: Aw, thank you, aren't they?

A: How's your morning going?

J: Good. I'm calling from Santa Monica, California. Where are you at?

A: I'm in London.

J: You're so lucky.

A: Do you like London?

J: Oh, I love London. It's my favourite place on Earth.

A: I might be biased, but I think it's the best city on the planet. Where has home been for you over the years?

J: I'm from Alabama.

A: I grew up in the countryside, and I'm all about horse riding, wellies, and everything countryside. When did you move to LA?

J: Last week!

A: Oh my god, you must be exhausted from it all.

J: I moved from Nashville, so I still need to get all my stuff. I'm still in the very early stages of moving, but it's been good. It was a significant change, but it was all positive.

A: If it makes you feel any better, I moved into a new flat two months ago, and I'm still sitting on a blow-up mattress as my new sofa hasn't arrived. If you’re like me by the time you get that artwork up, you'll moving out.

J: Oh god, not the blow-up mattress!

A: Nashville sounds incredible. I've always wanted to go to Nashville as a musician.

J: You should go!

A: What's it like?

J: Nashville is unique. It's a blended culture, which is really sick. Overall, it's a pretty country—I'd say city country. There's just such an aura of country music there. Of course, pop has a space there now, too. But country music is what you hear and what you feel.

mattyvogel_lead-press-photo .jpeg
mattyvogel_lead-press-photo .jpeg

A: Did you find it influenced your music living there?

J: Not necessarily. I still work with the same people. I have a tight-knit crew I work with now; half live in Nashville. So sometimes the music would happen there. There tons of country music in my music, but a lot of that comes from what I heard growing up and the culture of Alabama.

A: Your music is genre-bending. There's no set genre, and I love it when artists explore different genres and combine them musically to create masterpieces. What drew you to making what produce?

J: Growing up listening to different music, specifically in middle and high school, my music tastes expanded so much. I got into so much rap. I was so obsessed with all these different genres; they would come out in my music.

A: Do you find it freeing?

J: For sure!

A: It gives you more leeway to explore what you want rather than expect.

J: 100%. I've always liked to consider it a feature of my zone. I can do that if I want to write a sad song or something, but I want to have a rap verse. And that's cool.

A: How has your identity fed into your music? Because your songs are so emotionally driven and vulnerable?

J: It's such an extension of me. When I'm writing something, it is coming straight from my heart. I have a tough time writing something I don't feel or haven't experienced. It's such a therapy outlet for me. If I go too long without writing, I feel like I'm losing it. It's always just been there. For me, it's like a way of helping myself not go crazy. I get to feel that side of myself. I don't like confrontation, but I get to confront things in my music. And that's become my outlet.

A: I feel that! I'm a people pleaser, and it can be terrifying to put boundaries in place. I say that, but when I hit 28, I suddenly put alot boundaries in place. With music, no one answers directly to you when you express your feelings. You don't have to please anyone. It must be nice to say what's on your mind and not worry about what comes back in judgment.

J: That's a really good point. I've never even thought about it like that. But you're so right. I get to say what's on my mind, and there's nothing that they can do about it.

A: Recently, someone told me that you can't control what others think about you but can control how they speak to you. With your music, you can control how you express your feelings.

J: I've never heard it put like that, but that's spot on.

A: What's important to you when pushing boundaries with your music?

J: It's not something I overthink about, but I do notice myself with everybody doing country, it makes me want to do something different. I've got to figure out what's next for me and not necessarily be different, but how can I do something else and reach out into other genres? I like to be ever evolving. I'll never stay in one place. I'm just exploring all these different sides of myself musically right now, and it's so enjoyable.

A: There is nothing wrong with wanting to be an individual and do things that work for you. I love that you follow your heart. How has music, in terms of your mental health, been a form of therapy for you?

J: I've experienced my mental health struggles. I found that music has always been there regardless. I started going to therapy, which was helpful. I've started learning how to deal with things. Something I've learned is to focus more on the idea of gratitude. I've found that that has helped me get out of my head. It's an ever-changing experience with struggles and traumas that you have to deal with, but since I learned about it, it's helped ground me.

A: I'm a big therapy advocate. They talk about positive affirmations and speaking kindly to yourself. I love the idea of gratitude. Even in bleak scenarios, finding something to make a positive in the situation, even if to try to cling on, is essential.

You recently came off tour, and you did a lot of dates—40 if I'm right! How do you manage the stressors and burnout?

J: That's a thing, but I love it so much. I'm passionate about it, making me feel I have a purpose. Specifically with touring, I feel a sense of getting to help people let out whatever they're going through. That is so fulfilling, and it keeps me going on the road. I struggle with not writing on the road because of my voice and because I try not to lose it. I'm very susceptible to losing my voice, so I don't write, and that sometimes makes me go a little crazy. So, when I get home, I start writing and shut off from the world.

mattyvogel_lead-press-photo .jpeg
mattyvogel_lead-press-photo .jpeg

A: You started by doing a lot of videos on TikTok, so I imagine being able to be in front of people that there's magic to being at a gig and having the atmosphere and fans in front of you. Seeing all your fans at arm's reach must be so magical.

J: 100% is a different game. Social media has been such a blessing for me, and I wouldn't be where I am without it—but being in the room and feeling that energy was a whole different thing.

A: Social media has its benefits, but it's also tricky to navigate. How do you navigate people's responses online? Because people, you know, whether or not we like it, always have expectations or beliefs, and I find it quite tricky to navigate. That could be because I take everything so personally.

J: I feel you on that. I also take everything very personally. I have yet to deal with it. It's a new experience for my feelings, not hate, but like negatives for the first time. That shit pisses me off because you wouldn't walk up to me and say some of the stuff I read. But I also feel very connected with social media.

A: When it comes back to boundaries online, there needs to be an obvious, more apparent boundary because everyone can access everything, and often people can't visualise the lines they are crossing. It's overwhelming for anyone. On a positive note, I hear you have new music on the way!

J: I have new music coming out. It's my most artistic body of work. It's very authentically me. It's very soulful. There's a lot of hurt in it and tones of anger and sadness, which I am excited to give to the world. Whether we like it or not, I feel a prominent emotion in many people. I'm ecstatic to put it out there and give it to people because I've been holding it for so long.

A: It's a valid feeling, and we aren't taught to express it enough.

J: Nothing is better than letting it out. Sometimes, there's nothing better than having a song that perfectly describes that situation. Sometimes saying, fuck you, feels so lovely.

A: Sometimes people need permission, encouragement or inspiration to let it out!
We love to ask people what brings them joy, those moments when they feel warm and at home.

J: One of my little particular joys is like making coffee in the morning. That always makes me feel at home.

A: There's nothing like a coffee to start your day right! Well like all your fans I can’t wait to hear something so special to you!

Jessie’s latest single ‘Cold’ is out now

Jessie is set to play festivals and headline shows, including one at O2 Kentish Town in London, over the UK and Europe this summer

Words Alice Gee
Photography McLaren Ray
Styling Ali Mullin
Hair Caylee Jolene
MUA Brittany Lambert

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