Feature by Bailey Garno
Clicking through past interviews with Pitchfork, The Guardian, and VH1, I get the sense that south London’s Jessie Ware is very down-to-Earth and candid; an attitude that can’t be easy to maintain when you’ve got an award-winning debut album and legendary producers and artists popping in and out of your studio sessions. The self-proclaimed British, middle-class, Jewish girl is absolutely captivating in both interviews and in her songs, where her sultry vocals float atop often deep, clubby tracks. Recently, Ware, alongside the power duo Two Inch Punch and Benny Blanco (who together go under the guise of BenZel), has released the first UK single off her upcoming new album. Titled “Tough Love,” this song keeps the electronic, gritty edge characteristic of Ware’s debut album, Devotion. But this time around, Ware is experimenting with her range, and the higher register of “Tough Love” proves that she is more comfortable in the game now.
In an interview with Pitchfork this past June, Ware explains how “Tough Love” came to be. “I had just finished a busy American tour, and I was hanging out with BenZel for two weeks in New York last spring to suck it and see what happens.” “Tough Love” is about the problem of being away from someone you love, doing something you love. It’s a surprisingly downtempo track for a single, but it certainly is not lacking in impression. Ware explains to Pitchfork, “It’s realistic that it’s not always easy.”
BenZel has undoubtedly evoked confidence from Ware, but other famous faces have also helped in the production of this upcoming album. Miguel, James Ford (Arctic Monkeys producer), Ninteen85 (co-producer to Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home”), and Ed Sheeran have all collaborated with the R&B, pop songstress. With their help and Ware’s own talent, we should expect to hear more laid-bare vocals—as opposed to the layered effect often used in Devotion—but the same relaxed, dubstep elements that characterize this humble talent.
Jessie Ware makes clear that she has a “wicked job” but a job nonetheless. She is currently holding a ballot for tickets to her North American tour (shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, and NYC) and European tour. For more information on dates and ticket availability, visit her official site at jessieware.com.