Self-Portrait: Jessie Ware | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Self-Portrait: Jessie Ware

The Plant Killer: A Self-Portrait 

Dec 18, 2017 Issue #62 - Julien Baker Photography by Jessie Ware Bookmark and Share

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We asked Jessie Ware to take a self-portrait. We also asked her to write a list of personal thingsinteresting facts that fans may perhaps not know about her.

The English R&B/pop singer/songwriter (and one time sports journalist) first turned ears with her 2012-released debut album, Devotion, which was mainly produced by Dave Okumu of the London-based The Invisible. The critically acclaimed full-length was nominated for the prestigious 2012 Mercury Prize, given to the best British album each year. 2014’s sophomore album, Tough Love, was also well received and now she’s back with album number three, Glasshouse, which continues to refine her keen pop instincts, aided by her powerhouse vocals.

Glasshouse was recorded with Benny Blanco and also features collaborations with Felix and Hugo White (The Maccabees), Ed Sheeran, and Norwegian DJ/producer Cashmere Cat. The album was influenced by the birth of Ware’s first child in 2016. “It became an album for my husband and my baby,” said Ware in a press release announcing the album. “It’s an apology, a confession, a love note, a declaration. It shows all my fears and all of my emotion.” The album’s first two singles, “Midnight” (which was Under the Radar‘s #1 Song of the Week) and “Selfish Love,” were released prior to the album’s announcement via interconnected film noir music videos starring Ware that were purposefully shared in reverse order. Filmed on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the stylish clips told a tale of infidelity that turns violent.

Read on as Ware reveals her teenage celebrity obsessions, the board game she masters, her daughter’s musical tastes, how her thumb isn’t exactly green, and the late musical legend she missed out on a chance to work with.

1. I’m an impatient personI hate waiting for people. I burn stuff when I cook. And don’t come to a festival with me because I won’t wait for you to go to the toilet.

2. I’m pretty excellent at backgammon. I whoop my husband every year when we go on holiday to Greece, but I let him have a pity win once in a while so he keeps on playing with me.

3. My child is a junglist baby. My husband and I met againwe went to primary school together-at a drum and bass rave. Neither of us was interested in each other, as we were too busy watching Andy C. My baby seems to be into it too. She particularly likes the Goldie remix of my track, “Midnight.”

4. I was obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio and used to have posters of him on my ceiling, as I’d run out of space on my walls. He was alongside The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill poster and plenty of Robbie Williams and [former Manchester United football player] Ryan Giggs.

5. Prince once asked me to support him on tour but I couldn’t as I was in Greece planning my bloody wedding.

6. I kill plants. I have never been able to keep one plant alive, not even a cactus, and yet I still spend a load of money, returning like a fool. I never learn.

7. I tried to be a vegan for a month, I lasted 12 days. It was broken in New York on a Tenement Museum walking tour of the Lower East Side’s food with a slice of salami and a chunk of Parmesan.

8. I really want to be in a musical. When I was in school I was in Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes and I still have this niggling desire to break into song with a choreographed dance at any opportunity.

[Note: This article originally appeared in Under the Radar’s Fall 2017 Issue (October/November 2017), which is out now. This is its debut online.]

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