Are 21st century musicians all nostalgic for late-70s New York, when decadence, mink coats and cigarette holders were all the rage? Following the release of a first EP with the group Bruises, whose tones inexorably recall the hottest scenes from the James Bond saga, London singer Jessie Ware is back with her fourth studio album, What’s Your Pleasure?. An unprecedented plunge into lust and disco.
1. A thousand and one lives
In 2012 Jessie Ware’s voice resonated for the first time in ears around the entire world. Devotion, her first album, went straight to number 5 in the British top ten. In the tradition of a Kate Bush or a Sade, the Londoner’s music radiated pure desire punctuated with slow, sexy rhythms behind her languorous voice. In no time, she became the soundtrack for bars everywhere with soft velvety banquettes and even permeated into works of erotic fiction. In 2015, an exclusive Jessie Ware track was used for the film adaptation of the smouldering novel Fifty Shades of Grey, where the young Ana discovers the joys of bondage in a completely ridiculous relationship with businessman Christian Grey. A hard knock for feminism, but not for the singer, who continued to be associated with a luxurious and aphrodisiac music.
Over the years, the albums and the collaborations became more and more prestigious. In 2014 Though Love, Jessie Ware’s second record featured the ballad Say You Love Me, co-written with a certain Ed Sheeran. The track remains the singer’s biggest hit with more 120 million streams on Spotify. As the singer’s collaborations multiplied so her career diversified. After offering a track to pop icon Britney Spears, without ever hearing back from her, Jessie Ware was invited to participate on The Pinkprint, Nicki Minaj’s third album. At the same time the artist was working on Table Manners, a culinary podcast that she animates with her mother, Lennie. A hit with celebrities, everyone from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to the pop star Dua Lipa regularly tunes in. Jessie Ware also launched her own brand, published a cookbook and was chosen to be a UNICEF ambassador. But in spite of her multi-talented career, her insecurities still kept her awake at night.