If you are not familiar with Jessie Ware yet, then you should be – if for no other reason then the fact that her voice is amazingly beautiful. It always appears as though she is singing with such little effort and that the words flow out of her from a very heartfelt place. I had the opportunity to see her perform back in April, and can attest that she is also a very lovely, humble and real person. In between songs she was recognizing fans from previous shows, wishing another a Happy Birthday because he told her via Twitter that he’d be at the concert and waving to her mom in the balcony. She was honest and open and it felt that it was very important for her to connect with her audience, not just perform for them.
Right around the time that I saw her, Paper Magazine ran a piece on her. It was in this article that I learned that Ware had not intended on being a singer, but started her professional career in journalism. She was working for a media production company when Jack Peñate, an old friend, asked her to be a back-up singer for him on his tour. She ended up quitting her job, because she used up all of her vacation days working with him and wanted to continue doing so. Her experiences being a back-up singer eventually led to her recording her own songs and subsequently getting a record deal. In the interview she expressed the fact that she also had to learn how to write songs, and that it wasn’t something that just naturally happened but was a bit of trial-and-error. Experimenting and playing with sounds and lyrics till she felt that she had found her sound.
When you hear Ware sing it is very clear that it is a natural talent, but it also appears that she really enjoys what she is doing. What wouldn’t have been if she had decided that singing back-up for her friend wasn’t the “responsible” or “right” thing to do? If she said to herself, “I got a degree in journalism, so I really have to become a journalist.” As she states in the Paper article, “I only did it, really, because I was so unsure about not doing it.” It’s that little voice in the back of your head that speaks so softly sometimes you aren’t sure what it means or what it is trying to tell you – but just that you have to listen to it because you know, deep down, it is the right thing to do. It’s trusting in that instinct and having faith that by listening to it, it will lead us to where we are supposed to be. It’s accepting that taking that first step of being the back-up singer could very well mean that we will be headlining our own show some day.