Just Met Up With: Jess Glynne
    • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2016

    • Posted by: David Pitz

    British soul music is having itself a nice little moment. There is of course Adele...the reigning queen of the scene who likely won't be giving up the throne anytime soon. Smooth singing Sam Smith might be several years removed from his massive debut, but you just know he's lurking on the fringes somewhere, waiting to croon his latest velvety tales of woe into the ears of the masses. Then there are artists like Years & Years, Hozier (OK, he's Irish...but in the vicinity I guess), John Newman, Banks, Jessie Ware, which we could get into. For the sake of time, let's not...I think you get the point.

    If you dive into all the aforementioned artists you're likely to encounter a lot of sadness...heaps of it, in fact. Which is one reason why the music Jess Glynne has been assaulting the charts with of late is so incredibly refreshing. Yes, there is obviously melancholy there too...there has to be when you slap the title I Cry When I Laugh across the cover of your album. But there is also something euphoric about her personal musical style. The bouncy beats, handclaps, and call and response choruses don't fit with what so many of her sad sap contemporaries are doing.

    Sitting in a hotel room in NYC's Lower East Side, the 26 year old artist ponders the label "euphoric heartbreak" that we've presented her with. "That's a really cool way of describing it," she decides, reasoning, "I could have easily written an album about feeling low and broken and hurt...but for me it was about writing an album that made people feel good and hopeful."

    Which, as we've discussed, is one way Glynne distinguishes herself from her peers. But it also might be why so many people have taken to her tunes, with mind boggling results. Let's geek out on some numbers for a bit, shall we? In the event you don't think you know this titanic newcomer (because, let's face it...you're probably American. She's gangbusters overseas), give Clean Bandit's "Rather Be" a spin. I'll wait...

    Oh, you do recognize that voice? Thought you might. Since its release in late 2013, "Rather Be" has racked up some 273 million plays on YouTube and gone platinum twice over in the US. I Cry When I Laugh, Glynne's proper debut, was released last summer, going platinum in the UK in only 10 weeks, producing 5 (!) number-one singles in her home country, selling over 10 million singles worldwide, and adding another 1 billion YouTube views to Glynne's already healthy tally. In other words, the girl's an absolute force.

    In our latest Just Met Up With, we score a little time with Glynne, fresh off appearances on both The Today Show and The Daily Show, and mere hours before leading a sold out party at NYC's historic Webster Hall. Here Glynne gets into the personal motivations that drive her music; how difficult circumstances have inspired tracks like "Hold My Hand" and "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself", but don't define them, and a determined spirit has guided her through her career to date. It's an inspiring chat with an inspiring artist the whole world is getting to know.

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