A Q&A With Jess Glynne

A Q&A With Jess Glynne

British pop-star chats with Odyssey about her career.

I had the fabulous opportunity to conduct an interview with Jess Glynne , Grammy winner with a historic string of No. 1 singles in the U.K.

Her vocals are most well-known for her feature on “Rather Be,” a song on the debut album of British electronic group Clean Bandit , which also earned the artist the “Best Dance Recording” category at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Earlier this year, she released solo chart-topping singles "Hold My Hand" and "Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself."

The English singer-songwriter recently underwent surgery to remove a polyp from her vocal cords to prevent hemorrhaging, Glynne told Odyssey. She used a doctor recommended by old friend, fellow English singer-songwriter, and Grammy winner, Sam Smith, who endured a similar procedure earlier in the year.

With a birthday coming up on October 20th, the release of her debut solo album "I Cry When I Laugh" earlier this year and an upcoming "X Factor" appearance, we anticipate a lot of excitement in the artist’s life.

What’s up in the world of Jess Glynne

Congratulations on the Grammy Award for "Rather Be"! What did that feel like?

Thank you so much! What a night! When our names were called out, my manager, best friend all just sat there in shock. I still find it quite mad to be honest!

How have you been since the surgery on your vocal cords? What did you do during the recovery period?

I’ve been great — Dr. Zeitels is a genius! He literally brought my voice back to life even better and stronger than before. The initial process meant I was on complete vocal rest for 3 whole weeks — no talking or singing at all! I had a little white board which I took everywhere with me. After that, I slowly brought singing and talking back into my daily life alongside a mix of warms and exercises to keep it healthy.

What would you say inspired your latest album, "I Cry When I Laugh"?

It was a bit of a bittersweet moment when I first started writing for the album. I was going through a pretty hard break up but at the same time I was starting to live my dreams of working on my debut album, so I tried to pour all of that energy into my music and stayed focused on the positive. In the studio, I would write about hope, joy and happiness as a way to release everything that felt wrong in my heart. I was essentially speaking to myself!

Does your music carry a particular message or is it meant for pure pleasure?

I guess the message I have put together so far is one of hope through sadness.

I've read that you will be joining the "X Factor"'s guest judge panel next season. Are you excited or nervous?

Yes indeed! I was both — I was shocked when I got the call and then everything moved very quickly! I literally hopped on a plane after my Troubadour show in LA straight to Italy, then back on a plane off to Japan! It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest!

Your birthday is coming up – what are your plans?

To spend quality time with my family & friends!

Have you been working on any projects? What can we expect?

I’ve simply been focusing on taking my live show across the globe and playing live to as many people as possible. I haven’t even started thinking about my next project!

Some Jess Glynne-spiration

Can you talk about that one defining moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve always loved music but it was when my Mum & Dad introduced me to the music of Amy Winehouse, I knew it was something I could do. The FRANK album really inspired me and my songwriting and is one of my favourite albums.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the world (in the music industry or not), who would it be?

This question is always tricky because I have so many, but I will say Timbaland, Jazmine Sullivan and Frank Ocean.

If you weren't producing music right now, what do you think you'd be doing in your life?

Probably still writing / collaborating with other artists in some way or horse riding! I absolutely love horses!

What advice would you give to future musicians — we have a bunch of them at Cornell!

I was once told that in order to find my sound, I needed to write 100 songs. At first I thought that was a bit crazy, but it really helped me find my voice as an artist. All of those songs, whether good or bad, helped me to grow as a person and in turn led to me writing the demo for “Home.” That song literally changed my life as it led to me signing my recording & publishing deals. Without that challenge, I wouldn’t be here!

It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to interview Jess Glynne and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Wishing her a great time on tour these next few weeks, and a happy and healthy 26th birthday!

Check out "I Cry When I Laugh" on iTunes or Spotify if you get the chance and listen to this preview below:

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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