Hip-hop artist Jesswar has had quite the roller coaster ride since bursting onto on the Gold Coast music scene. After making waves with her first EP, she got some loving on triple j, hit the stages at Big Day Out, was nominated for several Gold Coast Music awards, and since then has been quietly working on her new EP, and herself. She had a frank chat with our cultural editor Natalie about what’s been going down.
It’s been ages since we last spoke! Can you fill us in what’s been happening in Jesswar’s world?
I’ve just been working on myself and my music. I had been struggling with my mental health issues since this time last year and just recently I’ve made a breakthrough and I feel the best I’ve ever felt and feeling positive again is reflecting on my music. I’ve been working with Tasmanian producer Disposition and we’ve created an EP that I am very proud and I can’t wait for people to hear it.
We can’t wait! When is it out, and what can fans expect to hear?
Dreams will be available on iTunes next month and it’s completely different from my first EP Peachy. The beats are produced by Disposition and the lyrical content is really positive and uplifting. You’ll be able to hear my progress and change from living a party lifestyle in Peachy to living a more mature and happy lifestyle in Dreams. I feel I’ve grown and learnt so much since my first release and feel I’m finally finding my feet as an artist.
How do you think you’ve evolved musically since your last release?
I feel like my lyrics have changed dramatically since Peachy. I am now writing about my experience with using drugs and how bad it was for my life when in Peachy all I was writing about was partying and drugs. Dreams is the aftermath of Peachy, what I’ve learnt and how I overcome using party drugs. I’ve also learnt so many lessons and gained so much knowledge from many new people in my life. I can’t wait to watch my career progress. I feel like if I can change my life dramatically like I have, I can do anything. I am ready to put in a lot of hard work and become a successful artist.
I last saw you killing it onstage at the Gold Coast Music Awards, where you also received a nomination. How was that experience for you?
I’m so grateful that Sam asked me to jump up on stage and it was an honour performing with Hanlon Brothers. It was an amazing experience and I felt so lucky to even get nominated. It was really cool to see so many of my friends win awards too.
Tell us a bit about Check it Fest that you’re playing at the end of the month.
Check it Fest is a music festival for young people and it’s organised by Headspace. It’s a free event that will be held at the Broadwater in Southport. There’s a heap of talent on the bill so I do recommend coming down for the day. We start at 10.00am until 3.00pm on the 29 October.
What are you thoughts on the Gold Coast music scene?
I think our music scene is really starting to make some noise. I feel like we just need more venues putting on live original acts instead of the same cover bands and DJs. If we had more venues to play then I think we would have a mass of people coming out to see shows but in a couple of years our music scene will be thriving like the valley in Brisbane.
Is there anything else you’d like folks to know?
I am launching my EP on 18 November at Escape Bar and Club, Surfers Paradise. We’ve got female rappers Miss Blanks and G Elenil on the bill as well as Being Jane Lane. The night will be hosted by one of the Gold Coast’s best drag queens Natasha St James. Doors at 6.00pm so come down for this wild night! Performers playing from 8:30pm.
Watch Jesswar laying a little something down here:
Catch Jesswar live
Check It Fest, 29 October, 10.00am – 3.00pm, Broadwater Parklands
EP launch, 18 November, Escape Bar & Club, Surfers Paradise