This week, we are featuring Colombian singer/songwriter from our hometown of Toronto – Jessie (pronounced Yessie) Reyez.
While in high school, Reyez discovered her passion for the arts, but not for music at first, rather for dance. While she focused on her passion, her academics suffered as a result. She says:
“I’d get out at school at 3:00 PM, show up to dance practice at 6:30 PM, practice for three hours till 9:00 PM, get home at midnight, and try to do whatever homework I could before getting back up for 7:00 AM. But I did it because I liked dancing, and I loved the music.”
…determination much? YAS GURL! While she continued to follow her passion for dance, she and her significant other broke up, causing Reyez to enter a phase of depression. Although suffering emotionally, she says that this time period is “when [she] started to write about real pain” and that “that time helped [her] create things [she] didn’t know [she] was capable of”. Her father was also a musician and, as Reyez says, was one of her inspirations for writing.
One day though, Reyez was hit with some tough news to digest: her family was moving from Toronto to Miami, and she had to either move with them or stay in Canada and live alone. She ultimately decided to move and while in Miami, “completely neglected [her] music”.
After recruiting a friend to shoot a music video with her to a track she had recorded before leaving Toronto, she was reminded of her love for music and decided to apply to Toronto’s Remix Project, an “art incubator for at-risk youth”. Once accepted, she moved back to TO to attend the program, and little did she know at the time, would be where she would catch her “big break”…
One day, before leading a workshop for The Remix Project’s participants, King Louie met with a school administrator who played him one of Reyez’s tracks. As Reyez passed by the office where they were, she heard her song so went in to speak to Louie…talk about being at the right place at the right time! The day after this occurred, Reyez met with King Louie before he left the city, and they created a track called “Living in the Sky”. What a story!!!!!
“Living in the Sky” – King Louie ft. Jessie Reyez
Through her journey, Reyez has tried to remain as authentic and raw as possible, writing lyrics about insecurities, dark fantasies and lost love. Besides King Louie, she has worked with artists and producers such as Skrillex, Murda Beatz, Chance the Rapper, Diplo and many more.
Make sure to check out Reyez’s debut EP, Kiddo, that she says is inspired by some of her most emotional experiences thus far, those that have evoked feelings of sadness, anger and even success.
“Kiddo – Jessie Reyez”
AND, you can catch Jessie on tour all summer! Click here for tour dates and to purchase tickets!
What do you think? Let us know by commenting/reacting below or tweeting us @umusic! 🙂