Jess Glynne

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Since the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011, the entertainment press, especially in Britain, has been in a perpetual search to crown her “successor.” Jess Glynne actually came up through the UK dance scene, providing exuberant vocals for chart topping hits by Clean Bandit and Route 94 in 2014. Her debut solo album, I Cry When I Laugh, is scheduled for Stateside release this September. While “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” taps familiar dance culture influences, other tracks like “Take Me Home” and “Gave Me Something” mark her out as a formidable neo-soul talent.

You’ve already had two # 1 hits in the UK (including “Rather Be” with Clean Bandit) – did that put a lot of pressure on you when making your debut album?

When making the album I just wanted to be creative and enjoy it. So I tried not to put too much pressure on myself.

The album is titled I Cry When I Laugh. Is that true?

It’s very true, I always cry when I laugh, no matter what!

Who are some of your biggest influences?

Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill were two of my most significant influences when it came to writing and creating melodies. They both inspired me to write about life.

You had surgery on your vocal chords earlier this year. Can you say what happened?

Yes, I had a polyp. And that was affecting my talking and singing massively.

The US doesn’t always take to UK dance music. Do you have any expectations for your 2015 American tour dates later this year?

You know what…my album isn’t a dance album, it’s full on soul and funk and good pop. And I am just so excited to jump on stage and have fun over here! You guys are such great audiences and I’m sure it’s going to be really exciting.

If you could describe Jess Glynne in three words, what would they be?

Humorous, loving and controlling.

You were turned down for The X Factor when you were 15. Does your success feel like a bit of sweet vindication?

I don’t think it does, to be really honest. I walked away from The X Factor producers, as it didn’t feel right, and it wasn’t the road I wanted to take. I’m so glad I made that decision.

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text by kenneth scrudato