Jess Thristan is a wonderful talent, and last year at the age of 18 began created her debut album, working alongside Steve Crisanthou and Jonny Wright amongst others. Releasing debut single 'Little Bird' last October she saw some great support from Clare Balding at BBC Radio 2, and now having worked with a 22-piece orchestra, the album has almost been completed, ready for official release next year.
We caught up with Jess to chat all about the album, her new Beatles cover-turned-single and much more - find out what she had to say below.
For those who may not yet have heard your music, how best would you describe yourself as an artist?
A singer/songwriter but with influences of folk, country and pop. It's a difficult question to answer because I don't believe my music slots into just any one category, I love to take influence from lots of different genres that I love to listen to.
Where do you draw influence or inspiration from for your material?
My inspiration can come from anywhere when I write a song. I draw inspiration from my own experiences, but a lot of the time I won't realise that I've used my own experience for a song until I hear it afterwards and I think, 'hey, that's about this situation!'. Other times I'll take inspiration from things my friends have gone through or stories I've heard throughout my life, sometimes from films I've seen or books I've read.
You're releasing new single 'From Me To You' in November, what can you tell us about the decision to take on that track by The Beatles?
I've always been a huge fan of The Beatles, ever since I can remember, and when I got the opportunity to record a cover for the album I knew it had to be a Beatles song. Of all the options I had thought of, 'From Me To You' really stood out to me as the song I should choose. The original version is so fun and upbeat, but when you listen to the lyrics they're so sentimental, and so I knew what kind of version I wanted to do of the song straight away. I worked with my producer and we came up with the arrangement and it just felt right. I'm so proud of this song.
How important do you think The Beatles have been to your career in music and the industry in general?
I think they've been extremely important! The Beatles basically changed music when they were around and changed the industry along with that. The fact that they're still as celebrated and have millions of fans who weren't even alive when they were making music just shows how special they really were. They've been a huge influence on my career as they're one of my favourite bands, I take a lot of inspiration from their songwriting and the way they use melodies.
Who would you love to collaborate with or work with in the future?
I would absolutely love to work with Sir Paul McCartney one day, that's my ultimate collaboration! Carole King would be an amazing person to collaborate with, she's had a huge influence on my music as well. Oh, and Coldplay - they're incredible.
You're gigging around the country this month and next, what should those coming to a live show expect?
My live shows are me, that's what you get. I absolutely love performing to people and I'm so proud of this music. There are times in the show where you can sing along and dance, but also moments of real emotion and heartfelt music. I'm so excited to perform these songs to people all around the country and I hope people come and they relax and have a great time!
Do you have any definitive aims or goals for your career going ahead?
One of my goals was to record or perform with a full orchestra, and I just got to record on three of my album tracks with a 22-piece orchestra, which was absolutely incredible. I would say my goals going forward are to tour the country, and eventually the world one day. I'd love to sell out an arena like Wembley or Madison Square Gardens one day. I saw a video of Eric Clapton playing MSG and was totally blown away. That would be amazing.
We know you've been working on your album, to be released next year - can you tell us about the creative process behind the record?
It's been really organic and special. I've been so lucky to have had the process I've had throughout the past couple of years working on this album. It's really something I can say I'm extremely proud of and the songs are so special to me. I've worked with the most amazing people, who I'm now lucky enough to call my close friends. My team are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. Throughout the whole process it's always been about being myself, which I think is so important and something that not all artists nowadays get to be.
Finally what's next for you?
My new single 'From Me To You' is released on November 27, which I'm so excited for! After that we go into next year ready to release the album! I can't wait for everyone to hear it and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I've enjoyed making it!