New For '19
We're shining a spotlight on the best up and coming New Zealand artists set to dominate 2019. Meet Auckland rapper JessB.
Ticketmaster New Music is your one-stop destination to discover the best emerging live acts before they explode. These are the artists we’re expecting to make waves in the live music scene, and we want you to know about them first.
Fierce, razor sharp, confident, and empowering are just a handful of words we’d use to describe Auckland’s newest queen of rap and hip hop JessB. Self-assured and unapologetic are another couple – this powerhouse isn’t afraid to speak her mind, creating open and inclusive spaces for women and women of colour in a heavily male-dominated field.
She started writing her own music when she was 15, but it was a career as a professional netballer that Jess had her eye on. Jess was still playing netball when prolific NZ hip hop producer P-Money discovered her music on Soundcloud, but when she was dropped from the ANZ Championship’s Central Pulse she moved from Wellington to Auckland to work with him, and that’s where things really took off.
In 2017 she became the first female guest on Red Bull Studio’s 64 Bars series, she’s also taken over stages at festivals like Rhythm & Vines, Northern Bass, Soundsplash and Auckland City Limits, and last year she released her highly-anticipated debut EP Bloom.
Balancing the light and shade of life – from socio-political issues around race, gender, and representation to fun, party jams. Take note, JessB is here to stay – so let’s get to know her.
From the beginning
“I first started writing my own music in high school. I would use instrumentals/beats from artists and songs that I liked and write my own raps to them. Once I left high school was when I first started experimenting with original music.”
What you’ll hear
“I would describe my sound as energetic and fun. I like songs that have a groove to them and make myself and others want to dance, so this tends to come across in the music that I make. I came to find my sound after many years of experimenting with beats and figuring out what I sounded best on, most enjoyed writing to and just felt right.”
Influences & inspiration
“My biggest musical inspiration is Missy Elliot. My biggest life inspiration is my Mum.”
For the love of music
“My biggest love about making music is the ability it gives people to connect. I’ve been lucky to meet some of the most important people in my life through music, and I’m inspired by people who are inspired by what I do, and how I express.”
“My biggest career highlight was performing on the VNZMA’s in November 2018. I performed in Spark Arena with over 20 dancers on live television. It’s the most nervous I’ve ever felt for a performance, but it was equally as amazing.”
The hard yards
“I think that the biggest challenge in my career has been finding the confidence in letting go and being vulnerable musically. Sometimes it can be easy to hold back for fear of putting something so close to us out into the world – but I’ve found that the openness and honesty that music can hold space for is part of why I love it so much. I’m still working on it but I’ve been learning and growing with every new song I write.”
The year ahead
“I have new music planned for 2019, and I would love to head overseas and do more shows internationally.”
JessB – Take It Down
“One of the first times I’d ever hung out with my now good friend Silva MC (AKA Rubi Du), was the same day we wrote this song. We brought a bottle of wine one sunny summer afternoon and had heaps of fun together. This song was the result. It was the start of a beautiful friendship and it’s a song I will always be grateful for.”
JessB – Set It Off
“The music video for this song was conceptualised and directed by two of my good friends, one of them is also my current DJ.”
Check out the rest of our New For ’19 feature artists here.
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