Not only is it great to chat to emerging artists, but it’s so exciting when they’re female, too. The industry needs to shout about women in the business more often, so without further ado, let’s say hello to Jessica Luise.
Hey Jess, how are you?
Hey, I’m really good, though I’m missing the sunny weather!
How is the slightly eased lockdown treating you?
It has been such a wonderful time, being able to finally play live again after months of streaming from my bedroom, which has been so exciting! I’m so happy that we can begin to go out and support small businesses again. It makes me even happier to know that I can help out by providing live music as well! Things seem to be returning to a slight bit of normality and I am so grateful for that.
Couldn’t agree more! Let’s talk formation — when did you first come onto the music scene and how?
I have a musical theatre background, so I have also loved performing! I studied drama at university and performed in shows there, but I also began to write a bit more of my own music in my final year. After attending and hosting a few open mics in the north-west, I decided to take the leap into being a solo musician with my own material!
I was welcomed with open arms by the WArrington Music scene, with the likes of Filthy Tricks and A.V Club becoming inspirations immediately. The organisation [WAM] — or Warrington Music — supported me from the get go and that enabled me to start to make my mark in Warrington! It’s been just over a year now since I went solo and I have loved every minute.
Who have been your biggest musical influences?
My mum brought me up on big female stars such as Kate Bush, Madonna and Blondie. Both my parents dabbled in music when they were younger and, although they aren’t involved in it now, their taste in music has definitely become a major influence on my own and, therefore, my writing.
I also grew up listening to bands like the Police and Thin Lizzy, while I love the Beautiful South and I think you can definitely hear my appreciation for them in my newest single. Stevie Nicks is also an idol of mine.
Obviously, this pandemic has taken its toll on so many industries, but the entertainment sphere has been one of the worst hit. How has lockdown impacted on you personally and musically? Have you had to cancel or postpone gigs?
At the beginning of lockdown, I was honestly so disheartened about my future in this industry. I see myself as almost a baby learning to walk in such an enormous community full of talent and knowledge, and I almost felt that slipping away before it began.
I had a lot of gigs cancelled and it just gave me time to sit back and focus on what I needed to improve on. I have written a lot during lockdown, but working with a producer has been difficult — the backwards and forwards of it all has been a struggle, but I think that is why I’m extra proud of my new single. The industry itself has taken too many hits during this really uncertain time, so I just hope that we can come back from it.
We feel the same. Tell us about your experience of the #WeMakeEvents march…
I’ve always been unapologetically politically opinionated on my social media. I couldn’t attend the BLM marches due to living with my parents still and having the responsibility to protect the bubble at home. I recently moved to Manchester, so as soon as I was told about the march for the future of my industry, I knew I had to attend.
It was a respectful march that honestly took my breath away. Everyone wore masks and socially distanced. It brought together so many people from all areas of the industry and it was poignant to witness a sea of industry workers in their uniforms that they have been unable to wear for the past months.
I think it’s vital to be fighting for the jobs of everyone in this industry; we cannot be swept under the carpet or pushed aside with empty promises anymore. It’s people’s livelihoods. I think people often forget just how many people go into the creation and success of any live art event. It’s not just the people who perform — without the talent of crew, there would be no events!
I just hope that someone finally listens and appreciates the arts and the effort that’s involved. We are known in this country for the vibrancy of art and music that we have had through the ages. We cannot let that die.
You’re on the roster of Petty Management, who recently posted that you’re looking for band members. Which positions are you advertising?
Yes! I recently advertised that I was looking for a band and I had a few people in mind to join me to take my music to the next level, and I was overwhelmed by the response… That’s all I’m going to say because there may be a few interesting announcements in the very near future!
Exciting times ahead! Big things are also happening for you this week — can you give away some info about your upcoming release?
I am so, so, SO excited to say that my new single ‘Television Mister’ is being released on 20th August! I am so proud that I wrote this during lockdown and can finally release it! You can find all the information here, including where to find my new merch!