Singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez keeps momentum with “Being Human in Public”

Jessie Reyez, a 27-year-old singer and songwriter, exudes a brash, bold and unapologetic confidence. The Canada native’s contradictory laid back, yet intense presence comes across in her music. Her vocals sound soft, sweet and sultry, but then sucker punch you with cutting, screechy high notes that work cohesively with the narratives she executes.

Reyes is a no-nonsense artist who offers a lot of variety in her music, ranging from R&B to pop and soul. Her Colombian heritage adds a bit of flare to her music and expands her already diverse and seemingly personalized genre. She makes frequent references to her background in her lyrics. On Aug. 9, she released “Sola,” her first song in Spanish. Reyez  was also featured on “Un Vuelo A La,” by Romeo Santos in 2017.

Her authenticity is a breath of fresh air for the music industry. She’s a source of female empowerment and isn’t afraid to shed light on controversial topics. In her song “Gatekeeper,”  released in 2017, she discusses oppression, sexism and abuse  in the entertainment industry.

Similar concepts are expressed in “Phone Calls,” in which she discusses what it’s like trying to climb the ladder of success in an industry dominated by males who are more interested in women’s bodies than their talent.

She refuses to fall under society’s rules of what a woman “should be,” and takes shots at misogyny and the double standards between men and women in songs like “Body Count” featuring Kehlani and Normani. It’s a song that says people should be able to do whatever they want, free of judgment: “We don’t need no one, yo’, tryna take our freedom, yo’/ Time won’t let you stay young/ So, we don’t care what they say/ We gon’ love who we wanna love,” they sing.

She admits to being a little fiery, but doesn’t apologize for it. In “Shutter Island” she belts, “Goodness, gracious, I’m replaceable/ You say that I’m too crazy/ I guess you were right/ I guess you were right/ My straight jacket’s custom-made though.”

Reyez was recently featured in Eminem’s album “Kamikaze” on the song “Nice Guy,” and she sang on “Promises” with Calvin Harris and Sam Smith. But she also has her own impressive collection of tracks from her 2017 EP, “Kiddo,” as well as multiple singles and previous features.

Her music balances out nicely. It’s passionate without being too over-the-top, and she has a vibe to match. Being confident but not cocky is important, and she seems to understand that when she sings, “got an ego, but I’m never flexing it/ When you’re the truth, you ain’t worried ’bout replicas,” in “Dear Yessie.”

Jessie’s most recent EP, “Being Human in Public,”  was just released on Oct. 19, and includes seven tracks. Given her growing exposure in the industry, this EP has great potential to take off. I think it will grab people’s attention and receive the attention that “Kiddos” deserved in 2017. This EP might be just what Reyez needs to secure her place on the charts.

Email Katherine Kelley at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @katkelley26.

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