Jesse J Sweet Talker Tour
Jesse J is not new to the music industry. She has been writing and co writing hooks and banger’s for some of the world’s biggest artists. The problem is that, she like many others in her field decided she wants to be front and center. And that transition has been a very rough and rocky road. Let’s start with the fact that she attended the BRIT School which is reknowned for its ability to kickstart the careers of many a musical talent. And that kickstart is soft launch giving the artist time to find their find footing during the love fest with critics and the industry. It is a formula that without fail has helped every artist but somehow it failed to work for Jessie J.
Jessie is an intelligent women, which is why when the fishbowl got too crowded in her native U.K, she left for the sunny shores of California. Although this fishbowl gives her more room to move, the industry is much more fickle here. And to compensate for that the people with whom she has surrounded herself appear to be navigating her up Schitt’s Creek with a broken paddle. Three albums in and she still has no identity, and no one’s sure really quite what to make of her. This is not lost on Jessie J she has said “As soon as I had a bob, my music sounded like Katy Perry’s. Now I’ve got short blonde hair, my music all of a sudden sounds like Miley or Pink. “As soon as I go dark, I’m sure I’ll have comparisons to Rihanna.”
In this respect, I totally understand and can feel for her on that front. Every attempt to change her look and style has her being compared to another artist currently dominating that trend. After watching her entire set at her first performance on Canadian soil I can see why. Sitting in the cheap seats, I didn’t feel as if i was attending or watching a Jessie J concert. More like I was at an improv, where they took the best parts of Beyonce, Rihanna, and Arianna Grande’s concerts put them in a blender and this was the result.
From the moment Cornish stepped on stage bathed in a spotlight reminiscent of a Beyonce entrance, wearing a Rihanna esque outfit. And she wonders why critics pan her. For me it took all of twenty six seconds to realize. First off, when I arrived I found out that for the first time ever attending a concert there wasn’t an opening artist, even as I write this I am still left wondering, was it because of financial reasons or worries about upstaging? After some research I found out that the backing vocalists that were there tonight are usually replaced by backing tracks during other tour dates.
Her stage presence seems forced and unnatural, her looks and wardrobe are generic and unoriginal. Her tour appears to be put together the same way her last album was, quickly and without any of her essence imbued into it. The most genuine and enjoyable part of the entire night was when Cornish wasn’t singing. She actually took time to engage the crowd and you actually got to see Jessie Cornish. Talking about personal trials and tribulations, asking if any in the audience were athletes or sports fans, stating she fancies futbol, favouring Tottenham cause it was a family tradition. When a fan asked to sing with her, Cornish lamented they only had one mic and she was under the weather, the fans response SO; Cornish was then handed a box of sani wipes, she wiped down the mic and passed it to the eager fan, who choose and obscure song of Jessie’s to sing and completed an entire verse acapella, before returning the mic. She then proceeded to sing the rest of the song and continue with the concert. At the end of her set she took off her mesh Toronto jersey and threw it into the audience. Her encore opened with her high atop the stage in booty shorts and a crop top that read Bang Bang, which was also the first song of her encore. And for the first time all night, Cornish seems relaxed and its as if a switch is flipped and she becomes Jessie J, the musican if only for a few brief minutes. She is smiling, nothing seems forced, the vocals are spot on and the energy in the room is amazing.
There is no denying that Jessie J has the vocals and vocal range. What is lacking is that Cornish needs to find herself, because her current persona needs an overhaul. There is no denying she is a talented songwriter, but if she doesn’t find herself, any songs she writes would be better off being shilled for income and let another pop artist imbue them with their persona, as so many other’s already have.