Jess Glynne wanted to sing about something real. Music has always been part of the London native's life, but she was in pursuit of the perfect way to express herself authentically.
"When I started to take things seriously, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Frank were two of my biggest writing inspirations," she told Maxim. "Both of their lyrical contents are so deep and they inspired me to write about life and my experiences, and not just about love."
Unless you've been living under a rock, chances are you've already heard the 25-year-old dominate on Clean Bandit's chart topper, "Rather Be" - a precursor for what's to come with her own debut album, I Cry When I Laugh, out September 11th. As Jess was piecing together the final pieces of her 2-year project, she took a moment to realize how far she's come in her life. "As I was coming towards the end, it felt kind of amazing," she says. "It was like, 'Wow, I actually have an album that's mine. And that was most gratifying memory for me."
Though she was dealing with a bad break up at a time, each of the 11 standout tracks on I Cry When I Laugh are so much more than a typical heartbreak anthem. "It's based on hope," she says of her album. "I never wanted to write a heartbreak album. Instead I wanted to write an an album that gave people hope and didn't make them feel alone. It's about seeing the light inside the darkness."
Jess talked with Maxim about never getting bored of John Legend, thinking outside the box, and getting to work on 'Rather Be.'
1. For a favorite curse word, I think 'fuck' is a good one. It puts a lot of emotion into things. It also provides a lot of feeling when you need it to, like, 'Fuck, that’s funny’ or ‘Fuck you.’
2. Clean Bandit heard my voice on another songand just became obsessed with it. They wanted to work with me, and had a song they thought my voice would be perfect on. The rest is history.
3. My dream in life was to work with Amy Winehouse. After that got shattered, I don't think there's a replacement for that.
4. I usually sleep or eat when I have some downtime, but if I do have a drink, it's usually a gin and tonic.
5. I love John Legend, he's a favorite of mine. I've listened to 'Get Lifted' a million times and I don't think I've ever been bored of it.
6. For a guy to get my attention, it's different every time. Just make sure you're nice and be humble.
7. I never expected half of what 'Rather Be' turned into. I never usually expect anything from what I do, I just hope people will love it. I put things out there that I believe in and love and I hope people will feel the same.
8. At the moment, the best place for me to relax would just be at home. Spending time with family or friends when it's been crazy is the best. I try and make my way back to the UK on and off.
9. I like guys who are caring and thoughtful, and think outside the box. It's the other stuff that's important, not just caring about my looks. I want someone who is going to look after me.
10. As for what's next, I'm really looking forward to spending time in America and going on tour all over the world. I love feeling supported and being able to promote my album. I've only just begun.
Photos by Simon Emmett