(images courtesy of JessLamarre.com)
Today, now more than ever is the best time to be a new artist. With the backing of a major label becoming less of a necessity to gain traction, the ability to build and maintain a fanbase entirely online on your own merit has inspired more artists to take advantage of their art, image, and brand.
The newest of the bunch to breakout is Detriot’s own Jess Lamarre (also known as JessLove). Described on her website as “exactly what the industry has been waiting on” the R&B/Pop singer is gearing up to make a name for herself on her own terms, with the help of multitalented choreographer Chris Grant, Jess Lamarre is prepping for her big debut.
Jess discovered her love of performing during a school talent show while covering Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” She took her talents to the main stage by touring with everyone’s favorite uncle – next to Snoop – Charlie Wilson, as a dancer during The Scream Tour and even joined Mariah Carey on tour for a full circle experience. Now, she’s ready to take center stage.
Her most recent single “Contact” dropped this past Friday which you can check out below!
If the good I can do in this world helps to make someone smile, feel empowered, feel not alone, find peace through my artistry, then I have done my job!
Get to know the talented Haitian-American singer/songwriter/dancer:
You were born in Detroit, which is held as one of the holy mecca’s of music, what was it like growing up in such a historical place?
Motown was and is recognized as one of the biggest urban musical movements we have had in our time, so it’s a blessing being born in a city with such culture and history. It makes me feel dignified and I carry a call to action, to live up to the standards set by the ones who paved the way for me. We got to see what good talent is and also the hard work that Berry Gordy and everyone put in, it’s very inspiring. They built it from the ground up. I’m sure that was huge for black people to do back then. They were fearless.
Do you feel any pressure living up to that historic standard?
Absolutely, not bad pressure only good pressure! It makes me work harder. I actually feel blessed because I only want to look up to the best in respect to my growth and Motown produced some of the best.
Not only are you from Detroit but you also come from a Caribbean background, can listeners expect a fusion of island music with R&B/Pop?
Yes, it’s in my blood and apart of my unique culture. Haitian music was some of the first music I listened to growing up so it will always be a huge influence for me. I love my music to always reflect me.
Although you’re a new artist, you’ve been at it for a while now, even dancing on the Scream Tour some years ago. Since dancing is a strong part of your artistry, do you consider yourself a dancer who sings or vice versa?
I consider myself a performer who is equally passionate about both. I can get on a stage and just sing with no dancing and vice versa. I find them both enjoyable!
You’ve also toured with the legendary Mariah Carey, what was that experience like?
I grew up loving Mariah Carey as a child, still do, [Editors Note: Jess Lamarre discovered her love of performing while covering “Hero” during a school talent show] so it was a really big moment for me. I remember being sooo nervous because it was for the NFL Thanksgiving football game and I was originally supposed to be on the field dancing. I was actually hand-picked with a dance partner of mine to be on stage with her. It was my first big gig.
Who are some of your dancing influences as well as musical influences?
Speaking on him as an “artist”, Michael Jackson would be one of my biggest influences. His passions run parallel with my own. We both like to incorporate music and dance in our artistry and use it as a form of expression. Can’t say Mike without saying Janet Jackson. Aaliyah, who is also from Detroit. Sade, Selena and some of the great voices of all time. Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, and Charlie Wilson. I also listen to a lot of gospel music that inspires me.
Also, you have been working with renowned choreographer Chris Grant, what has that been like?
Chris has such a profound gift of taking a performer and making them shine. He has an incredible resume working with some of the greats…MJ, Beyoncé, Brandy to name a few. I look up to him as a dancer and fellow performer so I hung on to every word he said to me. I turned into a student working with him and we created something really special.
“Wallpaper” and “OlThingBack” both tackle very different aspects of relationships, While “Wallpaper” covers leaving a toxic relationship “OlThingBack” is about rekindling things with a past flame; how did these songs come together?
Well, the common theme of a lot of the music I was producing seems to be about the rigorous ups and downs of relationships. Falling in and out of love with someone or however you may relate to it. It ties in all feelings that can be produced from a toxic relationship. I didn’t want to be shy about discussing everything that someone may go through. Being vulnerable enough to discuss feelings of loneliness or feelings of regret or feelings of happiness. It’s Something that all humans go through at some point in their life.
Did you draw inspiration from personal situations (directly or indirectly)?
Yes, both directly and indirectly. I try to be a good listener so when my friends share their personal stories I get inspiration for songs. I myself have been through most of what I talk about in my songs as well. May not exactly be a relationship but could also be feelings produced by things that I do every day. For example my relationship with the music industry. It’s not always beautiful but when you’re passionate about it, it’s worth it. So you start to have this love-hate relationship with it.
You currently have three singles out (“I’m Good, “Wallpaper,” and “OlThingBack”) is an EP or full-length project on the horizon?
Yes Yes! I def have other songs in this collection that I want the world to hear and love. I know the music industry is very different now. People sometimes just put out singles till they burn out and I do miss the days when it was all about albums. As I work to introduce myself to the world, I want the story I’m telling to make an impact through these singles. I appreciate the freedom in both as well. It’s more so about what you want to do and you have the ability to choose. There’s so much more to come.
What can you tell us about the project?
You’ll go on a roller coaster. Literally. Lol. It’s about relationships so you’ll find something to relate to.
Any dream collaborations?
Bruno Mars, I’ve always loved his style and perspective. He likes to live outside the box, I do too! I’d be curious to see what type of song we could create and even better, the type of visual. That would be fun! Honestly working with anyone would be so much fun. So much to learn from all the amazing artists out and when two minds come together creatively, it can create something magical!
Lastly, what do you want people to take away from Jess Lamarre and her artistry?
I’ve always felt like music has this incredible power. I hope that my music and artistry can influence people and change lives in a positive way. If the good I can do in this world helps to make someone smile, feel empowered, feel not alone, find peace through my artistry, then I have done my job! I couldn’t ask for more.
Stay tuned for more from Jess, also check out her singles “Contact,” “OlThingBack,” “WallPaper,” and “I’m Good” which are available on all platforms!