It’s A JGrrey World

Dive headfirst into the world of JGrrey - an artist who refuses to be trapped into a musical box and makes the kind of music you can cry while you dance to it.

Hailing from South London, singer-songwriter JGrrey has been causing waves with her vulnerable, sleek and powerfully honest songwriting and tracks. The refreshing thing about JGrrey is not the raw and evocative talent she is bursting like a supernova with, but it’s her honesty about how she views the world and herself.

 

Trying to describe the music JGrrey creates is not an easy task – it sits somewhere at the intersection of club music and R&B freestyles. What’s more, the visual world JGrrey has created tends to lean into the darker side of her psyche – an amalgamation of the anarchical punk days of London and a Wes Craven horror is probably where you’d find JGrrey.

 

Her upbringing inevitably influenced her frank songwriting and incredible style which has made her a force to be reckoned with. Intelligent and fiercely talented, her musical output was one that has been years in the making. It seems like 2019 was an incredible year for JGrrey with a strew of singles, two EPs and touring with Billie Eilish. So, who knows what’s going to happen in 2020 for this bright young thing who is simply doing her own thing and is standing tall with what she wants to say and how she wants to say it.

 

We caught up with the mega-talented lady to have a chat before she launches into a JGrrey 2020 with the video release of ‘Half Full’ to start the party off.

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How’s it going?

It’s going good, I’m excited about the fact that we just wrapped that shoot because it’s super fun and super exciting.

So, It looks like you had a crazy 2019 and you released so much music in your EP, on reflection, what was that year like for you?

2019 was one of the craziest years I’ve had in my career. I mean I haven’t had many years in my career because I’ve only been doing music for a short time. Obviously, I toured with Billie Eilish, I released two projects, I worked with some other amazing artists that I look up to and wrote with some cool people. Yeah like, it was just a mad year, I just did a lot of shit that I didn’t think that I would ever do you know? I feel like 2019 was the year that I really was like ‘oh shit, I do music’.

So, does it feel less surreal?

Yeah, and then now I’m like ‘okay cool, we did 2019 what’s the next shit I’m going to do’?

Your music weavers between party music and vulnerable freestyles. How do you differentiate between those two moods with your writing?

It depends how I feel on the day, if I’m in a shit mood I make a song about feeling shit. If I’m super excited to go out on the weekend, if I’m in a super optimistic mood, I’m going to make some upbeat shit about how life is great you know. It just depends on how I’m feeling I guess.

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What is the creative process behind your music in general?

I didn’t necessarily sit down and try and work on a project, I never really do. It just happened, it was songs I’d made since 2017. It was just like me thinking ‘oh that songs sits well with that song and that song sounds good next to that song’ and just throwing together projects and calling it ‘UGH’ which is how I felt at the time, I was over everything.

Tell me about your new video for ‘Half Full’.

I can say that it’s like the sexiest video I’ve worked on. Most of my music videos are normally this cryptic bullshit. Whereas this one is not even a huge budget and I kind of like directed it with Remy who is an amazing director.

And would you say you’re evolving into a different chapter this year?

Definitely, yeah, I think so, to be honest with you the beginning of 2020 didn’t start the best for me because of my personal life and stuff and when I got over all that shit I was like ‘lets fucking go’. Life could be worse, I’ve been through worse shit so let’s us keep it pushing.

How do you best describe your sound in your own words?

I use the word honest a lot and I use the word experimental a lot which my manager hates because as soon as she put the word experimental next to music, everyone expects some acid jazz or something. But, I think it’s just because all of the music I make, and still am making, is an experiment – I mean all music is an experiment. You put two people in a room, a producer and yourself or people that have sometimes never worked together and make shit happen. That’s a fucking social experiment at first and it is like a platonic experiment as well because you don’t know these people. So, yeah just definitely it’s experimental and honest.

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So, how did you find yourself walking down the path of a musician?

When everyone else started calling a musician when I walked into rooms and people would be like ‘Oh you’re so and so’ and I was like ‘okay I am then’.

Do you have Imposter Syndrome?

Yeah, I don’t know… I still don’t see myself as a singer, songwriter or a musician.

Really?

Really. It’s just some shit I’m doing that’s working out.

What are some of your first memories of music as a kid?

My Dad’s and DJ, so he DJ’s disco and he’s got his own company. When I was a kid he’d be like ‘Right Jen you’re going to come to this disco with me because it’s a kids party ‘and then I’d just watch my dad play. It was pretty cool.

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Who are some of your musical hero’s right now or when you were growing up?

Frank Ocean is great, Amy is great, Erykah is great, Lauryn Hill is great, Sadé is great, MF Doom is great, Wu-Tang, I love Black Sabbath, who else do I love? I love Marvin Gaye. If you make some good music, if you make some shit that sounds good. Beyoncé, I always love Beyoncé she can sang. Yebba Smith, so many people.

You tend to gravitate towards the darker side of things – has it always been this way?

I think it comes through… well, I’m the only girl – I just have brothers. So, I’ve just been listening to, be it heavy metal or grime or rock or like punk, my mum loved punk music. I don’t mean to but again it’s just what the fuck I want to say or how I want to feel.

What else have you got planned for the year? You seem like you’re letting your intuition guide you. Do you have any milestones for your personal life?

Yeah, just trying to let people definitely know who the fuck JGrrey is. I think that is something that I have done yet just because maybe… there’s this whole bullshit that I realise now with music. You’ve got to have branding and you’ve got to be consistent with your branding so people get it and I haven’t really done that. So, at this point, it’s like ‘okay make a song and let’s do a music video’ and I’m just thinking everywhere instead of think what would JGrrey do? But I think that’s some shit in 2019 which worked out for me you know but this year I’m definitely just trying to let people know that I’ve got my own shit going on.

Do you ever get time to switch your brain off?

Not really, I think I’m an overthinker. That’s just me, I’m super observant and it’s hard work because I’m always trying to soak everything up, not on purpose, its just something that I… I go insane if don’t notice everything, if I’m not aware of everything. It’s a good thing.

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As you said you kind of want to cement who JGrrey is? How would you encapsulate that yourself? What do you actually want to get across?

When I was growing up, I was listening to people like Amy Winehouse, I was listening to people like Adele, Kate Nash, and some really terrible artists that had like one-hit wonders that are instilled in you because its good music and it sounds good. I’m just trying to bring that shit back man, I don’t give a fuck about my Instagram, I’ve met some artists that I think are really sick artists and then I meet them in real life and then I’m like ‘you suck as a person’! What the fuck is that about? Right? And I just think I’m not really not trying to be an artist; I’m trying to make music. I figured out that making music a lot of people resonate with what I’m saying that’s the shit I’m trying to do.

Watch JGrrey's video for 'Half Full' below!

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