Music Feature

R&B Soul Singer Jessie Munro Interview Feature

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Twenty-three year-old Toronto born, LA-based rising singer-songwriter Jessie Munro is turning heads in a positive way with her R&B and pop infused music.

She began her musical journey with classical music and musical theatre back home in Toronto, Canada, when she was growing up leading her to becoming a musical theatre major at Etobicoke School of the Arts for high school in Toronto. After years of gaining substantial experience, Jessie auditioned for a role of CBC’s search for Dorothy in the Over The Rainbow series in 2012, that was produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and came in sixth place.

She tells on the experience, “I love music theatre, it taught me so much. Yeah! I was on Over the Rainbow and placed 6th on the show. It was a great experience, theatre is a very structured craft and working on that show and with all of the girls taught me a lot about professionalism and learning material quickly. I think eventually I will make my way back to theatre in some capacity but for right now I am really focused on making my own music.”

Besides the experience with musical theatre, Jessie began voice lessons at the age of eight. Her music teacher gave her pop songs to learn for each class. But, her parents put her into classical voice training to learn proper technique when singing. All in all, the world-win experience rolls on to find the songstress using the foundation of her musical past to see her transition all her skills into her current musical tastes to date mixing R&B, pop and rock.

Jessie enrolled in the Berklee College of Music, where her musical and songwriting abilities matured greatly. Since then, the songstress has been working hard and has performed worldwide to sold-out crowd’s and to critical acclaim.

There wasn’t music of a decision to why she decided to pursue music as a career, she tells, “It was the only direction I was going to go in. I never really had a second choice or backup plan, I started working in music and it stuck.”

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This year, Jessie is ready to take the next chapter of her musical endeavour with the release of her debut six-track EP entitled On My Way. Themically, the body of work discusses stages of post break-up. The bleakness of heartbreak and healing, with beautifully poetic melodies on the relatable lyricism prove the songstress has that special something. Throughout the EP, there’s moments of contemplation and reflection; she narrates the brutal feelings of being alone, the unrequited love, and finding yourself in the bold moves to move on. There’s an authentic story about lost love and the pain endured.

Influenced by artists such as Carole King, Daniel Caesar and Charlotte Day Wilson. Jessie tells on how important the old school feeling was in her new music, “We were trying to harness old school classic sounds and marry them with modern sounds,” when talking about her forthcoming EP. In general, she goes on to say more about her influences, “ I am a really big fan of her songwriting and storytelling. I’m also a big fan of artists like Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, and Rex Orange County. Right now I’m really into the “left of center”, “anti pop” sound.”

Leading single of the EP, ‘Under Fire’ is stunning featuring her soulful, sleek vocals with modern-electronic instrumentation. The catchy bassline, poetic lyrics to perfect melodies, over a warm drum kick add a certain flavouring to the track. The theme of the track focuses on the pressures of social expectations and constantly feeling scrutinized by others. She reflects that other people’s opinions don’t always be definitive, she tells, “The intent of the lyric is brought to life with a melody that evokes that same emotion.”

“At the time I was feeling a lot of pressure from the people around me to be what they wanted. I was tired of ignoring myself and realised that it was a lot easier to not try to impress everyone and just do my own thing,” she tells about the inspiration behind the track.

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She went on to discuss the writing and production process of the aforementioned track, she says, “I worked on this EP with a producer named Jonah Summerfield and we wrote the tracks together, our process changes track to track but for this one I remember writing all the lyrics then really focusing on the bass sound that drives the song.”

On My Own, is Jessie’s forthcoming EP. There seems to be a lot of emotion captured during the making of it, she tells, “I was post breakup at this time and it was the perfect outlet. As cliche as this sounds it was really therapeutic and when we finished it was like a weight was lifted.

Jessie will be performing in Toronto on October 4, 2018 at Revival. Make sure to bag yourself your tickets. Available here.