Chances are that if you listen to mainstream radio, you’ve heard Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’ once or twice. The debut US single from the 22-year-old Essex girl has swept the country – as well as the rest of the world – and set her up for a long and and extremely successful career in this country as well as abroad, where she had already begun to stake her claim.
And she’s not your run-of-the-mill popstar, either. A graduate of the infamous BRIT school (she was classmates with the likes of Adele and Ellie Goulding), Jessie secured a publishing deal with Sony ATV while still a teenager and has penned tracks for several artists, most famously Miley Cyrus’s ‘Party In The USA’, which we all know is a total jam. (Admit it!)
It was only last August that I first heard the name Jessica Cornish. I’d paid an absolutely outrageous $18 to see Step Up 3D with a friend (shut up) and she was the voice behind the film’s inspirational ballad ‘Who You Are’, though I didn’t think much of it at the time.
It wasn’t until late last year that I remembered hearing that voice – which is a powerhouse, to be sure – when Jessica, actually known as Jessie J, hit the scene with her UK debut single ‘Do It Like A Dude’ (warning: explicit content). Originally written by Jessie for Rihanna, she ended up keeping the track for herself and for good reason – it’s an absolute killer. Especially when she does it acoustic. I mean, damn.
If all of that wasn’t enough to make you love her, she’s got a personality to match all that talent. She’s by far one of the most positive and encouraging people out there and hasn’t let anything – not even a minor stroke at the age of 18 – hold her back from doing what she wants. On top of that, she’s incredibly silly and not afraid to make a fool out of herself just to have a laugh. And just as Lady GaGa has her ‘Little Monsters’, Jessie also has her own name for fans – her ‘Heartbeats’.
I was immediately hooked. I devoured absolutely everything I could on YouTube, and there’s quite a bit – lots of homemade webcam videos uploaded by Jessie herself which show her belting out her songs from the floor of her apartment or the bathroom of her hotel room with the most basic of backing tracks. It’s impressive, to say the least.
In January, I had the opportunity to get up close with Jessie when I was invited to a private gig here in NYC where I stood about two feet from her all night. I may or may not have freaked out just a little bit when she came and sang on my side of the stage. What can I say? I’m a massive fan of this girl.
In any case, ‘Price Tag’ is one of Jessie’s most conventional pop tracks with an infectious melody and a great hook that’s lots of fun to sing along with. Even 7-year-old Glastonbury-goer Shay had fun singing with her on stage on Saturday!
This autumn, she’ll be embarking on her first headlining UK tour. She’ll also be supporting Katy Perry on her California Dreams tour for a few dates in the US. Check her out – I promise you won’t be sorry.