Train taunts haunt singer but in­spire her smash hit Girl

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - KATHY McCABE

POP-star-in-wait­ing Jess Kent knows what girls like — and it isn’t be­ing ha­rassed as they go about their daily lives. Her lat­est sin­gle Girl, which is blow­ing up world­wide on 85 playlists reach­ing 4.5 mil­lion peo­ple, was in­spired by a bad day head­ing to the stu­dio on the train from down­town Los An­ge­les.

The Lon­don-born, Aus­tralian­raised singer was rag­ing when she got to the stu­dio to work with hit-maker Justin Tran­ter, the co-writer of smashes in­clud­ing Justin Bieber’s Sorry and Ju­lia Michaels’ Is­sues. “I got ha­rassed on the train and that was the fi­nal straw. I was liv­ing down­town and the com­mute is so long. I had a car but I wanted to catch the train be­cause it was quicker,” she said. “But every day I went on the train, I would be fol­lowed or cat­called or ha­rassed, there would al­ways be this thought that if I was a guy it would be safe to catch the train home but as a girl I have to Uber. “I went into the stu­dio rag­ing, I was so sick of it.”

Back in Aus­tralia to open for Aus­tralian pop shapeshifter singer-song­writer Holly Rankin, who per­forms as Jack River, Kent said the song’s mes­sage of fe­male em­pow­er­ment had been sim­mer­ing in her cre­ative con­scious­ness for some years.

The 24-year-old, who kicked off her ca­reer in Ade­laide as an 11-year-old busk­ing out­side clubs she was too young to per­form in, had faced down plenty of men who wanted to dic­tate what she sang, how she sounded and what she should wear.

She now works with Aus­tralian pro­ducer and man­ager An­drew Klip­pel.

Ris­ing Aussie pop star Jess Kent in Syd­ney last week. Pic­ture: Sam Ruttyn

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