#FridayFeminist: Jessie Reyez
“I want to help everybody come up. I want to just do good by others. I want to make sure that I am staying consistent and, when times are hard, to be my own friend. Just to love myself more so I can lift up others.” —Jessie Reyez, to Exclaim!
Jessie Reyez may have been born 1991, but as she blows out her candles today, it’ll be us wishing she gets what she wants – the opportunity to lift our spirits with the sound of her voice – on her newly released album Before Love Came to Kill Us.
Recently profiled in the Summer 2020 Exclaim! by Ryan B. Patrick, Jessie talks about her Juno awards and Grammy nominations. She says, “I want to help everybody come up. I want to just do good by others. I want to make sure that I am staying consistent and, when times are hard, to be my own friend. Just to love myself more so I can lift up others.”
Born in Toronto to Columbian parents, Jessie found a place to collaborate and work on her music, starting with an acceptance to The Remix Project’s Academy of Recording Arts in 2014 where she was mentored by Daniel Daley, from Dvsn, and began recording.
In 2017, her song Kiddo was placed on the Long List of the 2017 Polaris Music Prize and lead to four nominations at the 2018 Juno Awards – R&B/Soul Recording of the Year, Breakthrough Artist, Video of the Year, and Juno Fan Choice Award. She won the Juno for Breakthrough Artist.
If you didn't catch Jessie the 2017 BET Awards or on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, it was those performances of Figures that had her ringing in the new year with a signed recording and publishing deal with Island Records.
By 2018, Billboard named Jessie one of the “10 Hip-Hop and R&B Artists to Watch in 2018”.
The same year, she received a SOCAN Songwriting Prize nomination for the song Cotton Candy, and released her second EP, Being Human in Public, which she toured across North America.
Her dedication to her music paid off.
Being Human in Public won the R&B/Soul Recording of The Year at the 2019 Juno Awards and Jessie received her first Grammy nomination ever, for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
In 2020, we were hopeful to catch Jessie opening for Billie Eilish on her Where Do We Go? world tour, but the dates have been postponed due to COVID-19. As has the Coachella festival, where she was also scheduled to perform.
Luckily, we can stream her new studio album, Before Love Came to Kill Us. Released on March 27, 2020, it debuted at #13 on the Billboard 200, and includes collaborations with Eminem and 6LACK. Check it out! The deluxe edition includes additional features from Rico Nasty, Melii, JID, and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie.
Main photo @jessiereyez instagram; photo from Exclaim! article by Philip Harris