One to watch: Jessie Reyez

Sharing the credits on Calvin Harris and Sam Smith’s recent chart-topper is just the beginning for this distinctive Canadian singer-songwriter

Jessie Reyez’s smoky, sweet vocals might be familiar thanks to one of this year’s behemoth hits: she co-wrote and features on Calvin Harris and Sam Smith’s recent No 1, Promises. Her 2016 Kiddo EP made waves over in North America (she won best breakthrough act at Canada’s prestigious Juno awards), and her new EP, Being Human in Public, looks set to push her further into the limelight.

Born and raised in Toronto to Colombian parents, Reyez’s sound is distinctive: songs like the gorgeous Figures or Imported, are, loosely, beguiling R&B numbers, but she’s also got some gloriously propulsive, shouty pop-rap, as per Fuck Being Friends. It’s a device Reyez deftly uses to assist her storytelling: a case in point is Gatekeeper, which draws on her own experience to interrogate the harrowing realities for young girls trying to make it in the music industry. She goes from softly singing: “Girl, tie your hair up if you wanna be a star”, to spitting searing rap lines as the person in power: “Spread your legs/ Open up/ You could be famous.”

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