She's not the next big thing – she's here, now, and superb
After finishing her English Literature degree at Sussex University, South Londoner Jessie Ware spent her time working with Camden Town duo Man Like Me and performing backing vocals for her old school friend, the XL-signed Jack Peñate.
She wasn't destined to play second fiddle for long, though, and it was on a US tour with Peñate that Ware discovered the music of Aaron Jerome's SBTRKT project, the future garage/post-dubstep producer who has remixed tracks for the likes of M.I.A, Radiohead, Modeselektor and Basement Jaxx.
In 2010, she lent her vocal talents to his Nervous, released by Scottish label Numbers (Perc, Ben Sims, Erol Alkan). From there, she went on to sing on Joker's The Vision and onwards, her own solo album, the Mercury-nominated Devotion of last August.
Produced by Bristol's Julio Bashmore, The Invisible's Dave Okumu and Kid Harpoon (Florence Welch and Calvin Harris collaborator), the album was universally acclaimed, drawing comparisons with Adele, Sade and SBTRKT.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
And, despite the immense expectations, the BBC described it as such: "Throughout, there is a well-measured, well-mannered elegance that engages with more efficiency than many an artist dressing their material up as The Next Big Thing. There's nothing 'next' about Ware: she's here, now, and superb."
Singles Running and 110% preceded Wildest Moments, a clean and soulful pop track which lands somewhere close to the sound of Alicia Keys' The Element of Freedom album, though with an undeniably British tinge to the R&B beat. It's a heart-warming, or perhaps heart-breaking, number about the tumultuous relationship she has with her best friend: "From the outside / Everybody must be wondering why we try / Baby, in our wildest moments / We could be the greatest / Baby, in our wildest moments / We could be the worst of all."
Though Ware ultimately missed out on the prizes, she's already had a successful start to 2013, having been nominated for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough at the BRIT Awards (the awards went to Emeli Sandé and Ben Howard).
Her spring tour sees her performing eight UK dates (including two at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire) before jetting off to Europe and playing shows in Germany, Poland, France and more, finishing off with a nine-date stint in North America, which includes two shows at New York's Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Support for this tour comes from Laura Mvula, herself an artist whose debut album has garnered much excitement. Sing to the Moon , released this week, is the full-length follow-up to last year's She EP, released by Sony subsidiary RCA.
Described as "gospeldelia" by one writer, Mvula is a soul singer at essence, though her latest single Green Garden seems to take influence from pop singers like Imogen Heap and Adele as much as bands like The Beach Boys and The Beatles.
Mvula has been short-listed for the BRIT's Critics' Choice award, nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll (in which she finished fourth) and has performed on BBC One's Graham Norton Show. It's clear to see she won't be playing support slots much longer.
Jessie Ware O2 Academy, Tuesday, March 12. See listings for details.