Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
Canadian singer Jessie Reyez released her debut single Figures in August, with its first play on Zane Lowe’s Beats One show, but it took a few months for her to pop up on everyone else’s radar, including mine. Then, within the space of a few days in December, Figures appeared in my YouTube recommendations, I heard it on the Annie Mac show, and I was tipped off about Jessie by a Future Pop reader. So it was decided: She had to be my first featured artist of 2017! This sudden spike of interest must have been inspired by Jessie’s London showcase in November, but the 25-year-old has been around for a few years. She posted cover videos and collaborated with artists such as Chance The Rapper and King Louie, which got her noticed by Noisey in 2014. She’s also apparently worked with Diplo and Skrillex, and this video from a session with K-pop star CL is intriguing. The simple video for Figures showcases her emotional performance, a little overwrought but certainly impactful. The track was produced by mysterious Swedes, Priest and the Beast. My first instinct was to group her with Bibi Bourelly and Kat Dahlia, but the Amy Winehouse comparisons are also apt. She recently celebrated passing a million views with “no label yet” but this girl clearly has someone with connections on her side. I suspect she’ll have a few big features in 2017 and her distinctive vocals will be recognised far and wide by the end of the year.