Ware to now for modest Jessie? Jess; With her critically acclaimed second album out now, and a tour about to start, Jessie Ware is set for a busy 2015. The sassy singer talks to ANDY WELCH.
JESSIE WARE is just about to start getting ready for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, where she's going to "look at a load of super-hot women in their lingerie".
"My husband has never been so jealous in his life," cackles the singer. "I didn't realise until recently the invite said I could take a guest, but he's busy. Poor him."
This happened, of course, at the tail end of last year, and let's hope Jessie enjoyed herself - the night off came during a rare week of down-time, and it might have been her last for a while.
Last year was taken up with not just writing and recording her second album, Tough Love, but also getting married to the aforementioned Sam, a fitness instructor.
"There was a very intense three months, where I was promoting the record just after getting married," says the London-born 30-year-old. "And of course, as soon as I got a week off, I got a cold, but that's just how it goes. At least A it shows I worked very hard."
There's something quietly old-fashioned about Jessie and her career. On one hand, she works with the likes of The Invisible's Dave Okumu, with whom she wrote most of her debut and invited back for Tough Love, as well as Miguel, Ed Sheeran, Dev Hynes, Benny Blanco and Japanese duo BenZel; cool collaborators in anyone's book. On the other, she earns comparisons to queen of late-night vibes Sade, and seems to avoid being hugely hyped.
"It's really quite exciting. I think the record is there for people to discover and it still hasn't reached everyone," she says. "I have people that I never expect to like my music come up to me and say they like it. Maybe they only know one song, but either way, it's building all the time, and I can feel it," Jessie continues.
"The first thing I did when starting the release of this second album was put the song Tough Love out on the internet. Straight away, there was a reaction from fans. It felt really nice to have music people were receptive to."
" It's a stark contrast to the reaction she got when releasing her first album, when she wouldn't have blamed people for "wondering who the hell the serious girl in the polo-neck was, semi-vogueing and miming in videos", as she did in the promo for Running.R "It's very easy to forget what you're doing and working towards, and what's happening, because you're so engrossed in the day-to-day work. I think I appreciate it most when I see friends who tell me what they've seen or heard - you know; songs on adverts here, posters there, that sort of thing.
"Tough Love made me realise I have a bit of a fan base who would hopefully want o hear new music, nd hopefully there'll e more new people stening second time round too."
Jessie's modesty interesting. She eems racked with oubt, explaining she was nervous about her voice appearing as clearly and high in the mix as it does on Tough Love, compared to her more subdued performance on her debut.
When it's suggested her voice is likely her best asset, and fans might even be happier that it's more audible, she blushes, and says she hopes she didn't appear "cocky" having her voice as a focal point.
Compared to her debut, Devotion, released in 2012 and nominated for the following year's Mercury Prize, Jessie says making Tough Love was easier, in the sense that she worked on it consistently. With her debut, she snatched days here and there while working as a musician for other artists, namely school friend Jack Penate, and featuring on tracks by another school friend, Florence + The Machine.
"I felt so much more confident this time, and I didn't overthink it. Some of the best songs on the album came from when I didn't even know I was writing an album, so it was definitely freer with Tough Love, before I started putting myself under immense pressure because I'm such a worrier," Jessie explains.
"There was something very nice about being able to think about a band playing the songs, and what the songs might be like live. It definitely feels like I've developed and achieved something better through having some experience under my belt."
Her collaboration with Sheeran - they wrote Say You Love Me together - happened while in New York.
"We have mutual friends, but we'd never hung out," she explains. "But one of the guys from BenZel had worked with him before and contacted him, and he said he'd come over for the afternoon after he'd finished his day, just to hang out.
"Then we started writing. I didn't expect anything, really, you never can when writing with someone new because it just might not happen, and we only had a really short amount of time, but it worked a dream."
The track is among Jessie's best, along with You & I (Forever), about her and written with Miguel.
"I worked with Miguel on his remix of Adorn, so I asked for the favour to be returned on my album. He's on the video too, as he was in London that day, and now he's a real mate."
Jessie tours the UK this month, moving on to Europe - "We're playing Paris on Valentine's Day, which seems pretty perfect" - and will perform in Russia for the first time.
"Then I'll be off to America and festivals, and basically touring for the next two years, before doing it all again. In the meantime, I want to keep writing and stay creative," she says.
"That's the plan, anyway." Jessie Ware's album Tough Love is out now. She begins her tour on January 20. Go to jessieware.com
Jessie Ware and her second album, Tough Love