Ris­ing star tak­ing the mu­sic charts by storm

“I pitched a song to Brit­ney”

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - MUSIC SCENE - By Andy Welch

WITH a mix­ture of de­light, hor­ror and shock, ris­ing star Jessie J screams: “Could my face get any big­ger?” We’re stand­ing be­side a large round­about in Lon­don and the 22year-old has just seen a gi­ant – and we mean mas­sive – bill­board of her­self for the first time. To ev­ery­one but the singer it makes per­fect sense. She’s just won the Crit­ics’ Choice Brit Award – given to the new artist most likely to suc­ceed in the com­ing year. Her de­but sin­gle Do It Like A Dude went to No 2 last year, while the fol­low-up Price Tag went one bet­ter last month and topped the charts for two weeks. Her de­but al­bum, Who You Are, comes out on Mon­day. Jessica Ellen Cor­nish is now a bona fide pop star and it seems likely her per­son­al­ity, tal­ent and looks will keep her in that po­si­tion for as long as she wants. “Ha ha, you called me a pop star,” she says, gig­gling. “And my looks? Peo­ple tell me I’m beau­ti­ful, but I just laugh at that. It’s noth­ing but a good hair­cut and some nice foun­da­tion, mate.” What­ever she might say, Jessie, push­ing 6ft tall, is stun­ning, with a pale com­plex­ion, red lip­stick and a sharp bob of raven hair that makes her look like a cross be­tween a geisha and Mor­ti­cia Ad­dams. Al­though she’s clearly a prod­uct of the MTV-watch­ing gen­er­a­tion, there’s still some­thing de­fi­antly Bri­tish and old­fash­ioned about Jessie J. There’s her self-dep­re­ca­tion, for a start, to­gether with an out­spo­ken, play­ful streak many Amer­i­can stars just don’t have. “Ev­ery­thing’s such a whirl­wind at the mo­ment,” she ex­plains. And the fact we’re do­ing this in­ter­view way af­ter nor­mal work­ing hours is proof of that. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for Jessie right now. “It’s a bit like tak­ing on 10 more jobs at the mo­ment. I wanted to be a singer, but now I’ve had to be­come a model, a spokesper­son, a good in­ter­vie­wee, ev­ery­thing. “You have to take it step by step and not get over­awed. “A jour­ney is way more im­por­tant than your des­ti­na­tion. And I have to en­joy this part be­cause I know it’s go­ing to get harder – but I’m more than ready for it.” To many, it will ap­pear as if Jessie ar­rived, fully formed,

the day she

re­leased her de­but sin­gle, but in mu­sic there is no such thing as an overnight sen­sa­tion. Jessie first started tak­ing mu­sic se­ri­ously when she was 15 and was signed to a record la­bel as a solo artist just af­ter turn­ing 17. “I’d been in a girl band for two years be­fore that,” she ex­plains, “but that didn’t come off.” Af­ter Jessie’s first solo record deal came to noth­ing, she be­gan try­ing to sell the songs she’d writ­ten for use by other artists, with a great deal of suc­cess. She’s writ­ten for Justin Tim­ber­lake, Ali­cia Keys, Christina Aguil­era and Mi­ley Cyrus, who had a No 1 in Amer­ica with Jessie’s song Party In The USA. “I’m re­luc­tant to call my­self a song­writer,” she says. “It’s kind of come across in my in­ter­views like that’s my main thing and be­ing an artist is sec­ond, but that’s not it at all. “Song­writ­ing is a byprod­uct of me want­ing to be a solo artist that has con­trol over what they do. There are lot of artists out there who are just dum­mies – get­ting dressed by man­age­ment, be­ing told what to say and sing and wear – but I’m re­ally proud of the fact that I write songs and pitched one to Brit­ney. “She might not have used it, but I’ll just write a bet­ter one.”

IN CON­TROL: Singer Jessie has writ­ten for Christina Aguil­era. TOP TAL­ENT: Jessie J with her Crit­ics’ Choice Brit Award.

STAR: Jessie J is set to re­lease her de­but al­bum.

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