Live in-Studio: Jessie Ware

Interview and Performance

Friday, April 19, 2013

South London is like the Brooklyn of Britain. In the past few years, that part of town has churned out pop stars like Adele, Florence Welch (who made a big splash with Lungs), and now Jessie Ware, whose album Devotion finally comes out in the United States this week after great success in the UK.

Unlike Florence and Adele, Jessie Ware never saw herself in the spotlight. She made a slow transition into music from journalism, first singing back-up for friends, then breathing heavily over dance tracks by London DJs, to writing her own songs. Eventually, her small steps won her a record contract. “I had a bit of a freak out, but it meant that I just had to get on with it,” she tells Kurt Andersen. She’s still conquering her unease with the stage. “I was quite an apologetic performer at the beginning,” she says, wondering, “‘Is it self-indulgent? How do I keep them interested?’ Now I’m selling out shows, so hopefully they know some of the songs and they like them.”

With the help of a few choice collaborators, Ware was able to realize her vision — a winning combination of soulful singing and highly polished beats influenced by her roots in the UK’s thriving electronic dance music scene. But Kurt notes that her style harkens back to 1980s divas like Whitney Houston and Annie Lennox, artists she grew up listening to in the back of the car.

Being friends with stars Adele and Florence can’t hurt; Kurt suggests they form a supergroup. “Who would get lead?” she jokes, before conceding. “It would have to be Adele. I’d be happy to be backing singer.”


Video: "Wildest Moments" live in Studio 360

    Music Playlist
  1. Wildest Moments
    Artist: Jessie Ware
    Album: Devotion
    Label: Interscope/Cherry Tree
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. If You're Never Gonna Move
    Artist: Jessie Ware
    Album: Devotion
    Label: Interscope/Cherry Tree
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Wildest Moments
    Artist: Jessie Ware
    Album: Live in Studio 360
  4. Running
    Artist: Jessie Ware
    Album: Live in Studio 360
  5. My Name Is Not Susan
    Artist: Whitney Houston
    Album: I'm Your Baby Tonight
    Label: Arista/Legacy
    Purchase: Amazon


Jessie Ware

Produced by:

Julia Lowrie Henderson and Sean Rameswaram

Comments [3]

Roger Fischer from 59715

Where can I get a copy of the acoustic versions of these songs? I like them more than the album edits. Thanks! Love your show!

Apr. 25 2013 10:37 AM

Just had a classic NPR moment: I was enjoying my first listen to Jesse Ware's DEVOTION cd that I got from Amazon when I decided to switch-over to Studio 360's 4:00 p.m. broadcast on WNYC ... lo&behold, I find Jesse's the featured performer-interview. It was great to learn more about Jesse, her background and her music. Thank You, Studio 360!

Apr. 20 2013 05:12 PM
Vic from DC

The chick on the show today is lame! Marginal voice, very weak song writer!

Apr. 20 2013 02:58 PM

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