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:

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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.

For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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7 Reasons 'Starset' Deserves To Get Big

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do.


Starset consists of four members, Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. The band was formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Their music has influenced my and several others lives.

Here are a few reasons why they deserve to go down as one of the biggest bands in history.

1. They're the most original band I've heard in awhile.

Starset's content is unlike any other band I've heard or seen before. They classify themselves as "space rock", creating a type of music that many have never heard of before. They use your regular guitar, bass, and drums, but they also incorporate the use of violins, cellos, and synthesizers to create the unique, one of a kind sound. The lead singer, Dustin Bates, even created his own microphone that distorts his voice to use in live shows, so that you feel as though he's speaking to you through a radio in a space station.

2. They're all a bunch of nerds/dorks.

Starset is the kind of band that you'd love to be friends with. Not only are they wicked smart, they also have an amazing sense of humor. They incorporate their knowledge into the songs that they write, leaving you wanting to learn more about what it is they write in their songs.

3. Their songs are lyrically and melodically beautiful.

Ricochet is one of their most impactful and meaningful songs. When you first listen to it you can hear the emotion in Dustin's voice, but as you take a minute to listen to the lyrics, you realize it has so much more meaning than what you assumed. It represents the struggle of a relationship gone sour, the internal struggles within yourself, and the effect it has on both people in the relationship. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I find that amazing.

4. They interact with and care about their fans.

Nyah Kite

Before their shows, they do eat and greets where they hang out with their fans, eat pizza, perform some acoustic songs, and take pictures with them. They have genuine conversations with them, asking us our names, what we like to do, and just keep up small talk. My brother, pictured here, had a conversation with Ron, the bassist, before the show started and they got along phenomenally. I don't know many bands who take that much time to get to know their fans and they even interact with them on Twitter.

5. Have comics with Marvel.

The Prox Transmissions - Marvel Comics


Not only does Starset create music, they also have their own comics with Marvel. The comics are based on an alternate world they created through their music. Each album has a story, but now it's come to life through their comic, The Pros Transmissions. How dope is that?

6. Created their own society to inform the world of various things.

The Starset Society is a mission, created by Starset, to inform others of the up-coming technological advances happening in the world today. The main goal of this society is to make sure we're well aware of the things happening in the world, and it's not just aimed for the fans of Starset. It's influenced by the idea of Thomas Jefferson that says the first step toward a guided future is an informed public.

7. They love what they do.

Nyah Kite

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do. They put so much work into making their shows interactive and enjoyable, and they spend years working on albums so that they and their fans are pleased with the final product. Knowing that they put so much passion and effort into their work makes it obvious that they deserve to be one of the biggest bands in history.

After learning more about this amazing, influential band, aren't you intrigued to hear more of their music? To learn more about their society and their comics? They're great people with a great purpose driving them to continue creating some of the most unique, epic rock sounds in history. Check out Starset. You won't regret it.

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