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The introspective storyteller finds truth in the present.
JESSICA LUISE is not one to shy away from her emotions, especially when it comes to songwriting. The indie-folk singer shares tales of love, loss and hope through her tracks after emerging onto the North West music scene in 2019. Stories of teenage romance, angst and the awkwardness which fill those adolescent years make her songs the ideal soundtrack to any indie rom-com binge. Yet, for her, music is more than just catchy lyrics and heavenly melodies – it’s a form of therapy.
“I use writing as a way of getting my thoughts and feelings out into a physical form,” says Jessica. She is open about her mental health and reveals that she often finds it hard to rationalise thoughts due to having generalised anxiety disorder. “Writing it down helps me to be raw but also balance out the overthinking.”
From an early age, Jessica knew she wanted to perform after watching Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny. Those starry-eyed nights spent watching performers in their natural habitat resulted in Jessica immersing herself in musical theatre before she finally decided to become a singer-songwriter at the end of her educational tenure – a process that arrived naturally from introspective storytelling. “I used to write little stories about how I was feeling and then they just became songs,” she admits.
Influences on her songwriting come from an array of situations, including previous relationships or something as simple as passing a random person in the street. Her latest single, Nice Try – a blend of acoustic and dream-pop tones underneath the raw lyricism – was written as a form of closure from a personal experience.
Due to the intimate nature of her songs, it can often leave her feeling vulnerable, especially when performing live. “I write a lot of music about my situation at the time,” she continues. “Some songs can change from being my favourite to actually being quite hard and emotional to sing live.”
Although lockdown measures have prevented Jessica from performing live, they haven’t stopped her from getting her name out there and collaborating with other musicians. In 2020 she organised Rock the Breadline, a virtual charity concert bringing together 24 artists to raise funds following the free school meals debate.
Music plays a huge role in Jessica’s everyday life, admitting she “can’t go a day without listening to music or writing a little riff or a little verse”. Her love affair with music cannot be underestimated and runs deep. “There is a song out there for every mood. It knows how I feel, and it knows how to help.”
Jessica’s passion shines through the breezy warmth in her voice as she sails through the narrative of each of her songs, set against the traditional blissfulness of indie-pop hits. “The response you get when you have worked so hard on something, that moment when someone understands you because your words relate to them is magic. If you could bottle that up, you would make millions.” !
Going In Blind is available now.