Quickly making her mark on New Zealand hip-hop, Jess has already racked up over 1 million streams, collaborated with award-winning legends SWIDT, and secured the first female appearance on David Dallas’s ’64 Bars’ – a Red Bull backed project whereby MC’s are invited to take the mic and freestyle over a fresh beat. “She came in and handled it first take. She’s got a vibe, and she’s super confident” says Dallas.
JessB has already conquered New Zealand’s biggest festival stages, Rhythm & Vines, Northern Bass and Soundsplash and most recently Auckland City Limits. She was also selected to open Stormzy’s two NZ shows in 2017.
Of Kenyan descent, JessB grew up in Auckland and naturally gravitated towards hip-hop from an early age. Raised by her adoptive parents, hip-hop offered an avenue to explore her identity in a way that felt natural – providing a cultural touchstone as a minority in New Zealand.
After meeting renowned producer P-Money through SoundCloud in 2014, the two began what would go onto be a solid friendship and musical partnership. As well as producing Jess’s debut release ‘Soul Free’, P-Money has become a mentor to Jess as well as playing his hand in producing, mixing and engineering a number of the tracks on the ‘Bloom’ EP.
Speaking about her latest single ‘Take It Down’, JessB describes it as a reflection of writing music that blends the significance of discussing serious issues with the necessity of having a good time with the people you love:
“I am very passionate about my role as a female artist and what I want to be saying in my songs. I think it is super important to have a balance between talking on serious issues that affect myself and other people of colour and women of colour, but I also think it is so important to remember that we also need to have fun with life and our friends who we cherish.”