The name Jessie Reyez might not be familiar to you yet, but the moment you press play on one of the rising singer’s tracks, you’ll have her on repeat — trust.
The Colombian-Canadian talent has been roaring through the music scene with her ripping croaks and brutally honest lyrics all year. In April, the 26-year-old dropped her debut EP “Kiddo,” filled with gut-wrenching joints like “Figures,” a tear-jerker delving into the complexities of heartbreak and infidelity, and “Gatekeepers,” a hair-raising track that shines a light on the sexism and sexual harassment that occurs in the music industry.
Reyez, a pure and raw performer, has captivated audiences at the BET Awards, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “TRL” and various sold-out concerts throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Next up, she’ll be dominating your 2018 playlist.
Ahead, five reasons why you need to be tuning into Reyez ahora mismo.
1. Jessie Reyez is pure talent.
Often compared to the late Amy Winehouse, Reyez’s voice is potent, delivering soft R&B arrangements before belting dark raspy growls. And her lyrics are equally enthralling. She is honest, vulnerable and energized, an artist fans trust and relate to, especially on topics of love. Her skill is spell-binding but her humility gives you the feeling she’s your homegirl from around the way who just happens to be killing it on the stage. That’s probably why the songbird’s November performance at New York’s Bowery Ballroom sold out in just 60 seconds.
2. The singer has mad Latina pride.
Reyez is always reppin’ her Colombian origins. From interviews to performances, she thanks her parents, who emigrated from the South American country to Canada before she was born, and even includes “Colombian King & Queen,” a voicemail the pair once left for her, as a track on her EP. She also sprinkles Spanish within her lyrics, and even expressed solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico before performing at Tidal’s benefit concert in October. How can you not love someone who sings to you in Spanglish?
3. She has no problem calling out sexism and misogyny.
In “Gatekeeper,” the colombiana confronts the sexism and exploitation of women in the music industry. “We are the gatekeepers. Spread your legs. Open up. You could be famous. You know we’re holding the dreams that you’re chasing,” she sings in the riveting track, and accompanying short film. The song is personal, and speaks to an experience she had with an industry insider who made sexual advances while she was trying to break into the scene in South Florida. The encounter almost stopped her from continuing to pursue a singing career, as she was unwilling to do what she thought was a perquisite into the field. “We never had a blueprint and we never set out to make something super impactful or heroic. Dropping something like this would be for my benefit,” she told Clash Music of the song back in June. “But also for the benefit of anyone who had been through it.”
4. Our faves love them some Reyez.
Music history. Years ago when I was 14, my first bf took me to see my first concert, #Aventura A few months ago I got the chance to work with this legend @RomeoSantos and his talented team and we made a song called #UnVueloALa I'm honoured to be on this project #Golden ❤ Ps Shout out to @nicorosas1 for taking me to my first concert lol
While still new to the game, Reyez has already proven herself as someone our fave artists want to collaborate with. When mega dance producer Calvin Harris dropped “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1” in June, he featured long-time acts like Snoop Dogg, John Legend and Pharrell Williams as well as newer superstars like Ariana Grande, Kehlani, Frank Ocean and Migos and the up-and-comer Reyez. “Doesn’t that sound like bullshit? Doesn’t that sound like a lie? Bitch, what? Like, you’re lying. It sounds like a lie,” an astonished Reyez told Spin earlier this year about her part in the album. But Harris isn’t the only big name she has worked with. Romeo Santos’ “Golden,” which debut a month later, includes “Un Vuelo A La,” a song about two very different sides of a breakup, which features Reyez singing in Spanglish.
5. She is going to shine even brighter in 2018.
Jessie Reyez has spent 2017 climbing, and she will undoubtedly reach higher peaks in the new year. Just a couple of weeks ago, the artist, who is signed to Island Records, debuted a new song, “Cotton Candy,” an ear-worm about heartbreak. And at the start of next year, she’ll be continuing her Europe tour, before returning to North America with an even larger base of fans dedicated to help elevate the up-and-comer to the next level. If you haven’t already, stream and purchase Jessie Reyez’s “Kiddo” EP now and follow the singer on Instagram and Twitter.