CREATIVE DIRECTORS - Derrick Odafi, Diego Martinez Chacon
CREATIVE PRODUCER - Jessica Rushforth
PHOTOGRAPHER - Diego Martinez Chacon
VISUAL DIRECTOR - John Serunjogi
STYLIST - Clea Brockes
STYLIST ASSISTANT - Adena Gordon
SET DESIGNER - Jessica Rushforth
GAFFER - Derrick Odafi
MUA - Aoife Hipkin
HAIR STYLIST - Amanda Toto
STUDIO Take More Photos Studio
Hi, How are you?
I am good just adjusting to lockdown.
We can imagine, are you recording during this time?
Yeah, I am going to the studio on Monday, so that makes it a bit better this time around.
What is the earliest musical memory you have?
Ohhh my god. There are two that are really close together. The earliest, when my mum and her three best friends formed an acapella quarter. I was really small, like before school so around 4. They would just get together in our living room every weekend and just sing arrangements of harmonies over popular songs and originals. And I would just lie on the floor looking up at them building songs from their voices alone. It was always such a magical feeling.
Do you think having that around you so early had an influence on your path.
Definitely, it was never pushed on me. But it was around me in all aspects, both vocally, and instrumental wise - with my dad being a sound engineer. It definitely gave me a natural education for songwriting and music production. It's hard to know what else I would've done had I not been around music all my life, because I grew up quite shy, especially when it came to singing, and still I get nerves. But i have always loved performing and being an entertainer, so i definitely would have done something creative regardless.
You used to do backing vocals for the likes of Cee Lo Green,what was it like transitioning from behind someone else's vision, to stepping into your own?
I joined Cee Lo for a show at Wembley and it was so surreal. I had such a delayed reaction to taking part in that as well. He was someone that I admired and looked up too for so long and the whole thing, to do such a big show, was such a massive learning experience and confidence builder. But it was almost too big that it didn't feel real at the time and one day months later i just sat up and was like “wow i really did that.” Everyone just looked like little dots at the time and it just didn’t feel real.
“ It's just about being as honest as possible in each scenario. That's something I have found comfort in and people relating to it as well just encourages me and reminds me to keep going with making the music I do.”
How did moving to London so young impact you as a person, or did you always have a sense of knowing and independence?
I have always been independent, I am an only child and used to being in my own company. I was so determined and hungry, to just expand on what I wanted to do that the initial move was very exciting. Meeting people and immersing myself with new people was really positive. Obviously, you grow and learn a lot being independent outside of home. Everyone I have met here has really accepted me and taken me under their wing, so it's just home away from home.
In your opening line of “I Wanna Know”, you say “step outside yourself, you will find it helps,” can you speak a little on what inspired that lyric?
Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall? Like just sit on the wall and gain a better perspective on things. I love the whole fly on the wall concept, but I think especially during lockdown, I was by myself and constantly creating. Living, working and breathing in the same space after a point, it got quite hard to see the bigger picture at times. And the only way I could explain it to myself was to step outside of myself quite literally and look up what it was from the outside to sort of gain a perspective without having anyone there to guide.
How has this period and the pandemic impacted your approach to your work and general life?
I am an introvert-extrovert….. She explains, I enjoy being around people and bouncing off others, but equally I relish being alone and in my own company. So at first, it was like, this is great not much has changed. But having the choice of either or, taken away is psychologically different, well for my psyche anyway ... knowing that I didn't have the choice to be free after the first few months started to take its toll. By the 4th month, I started getting over it, it was a bittersweet feeling especially because it was during summer.
What would you say inspires the sonic of your sound?
J: I think it is an unconscious thing, I love a lot of different types of music. I love the idea of albums and there are some I love from beginning to end, but I'm also a single person. I feel like everyone is moved by different things, some people moved lyrically, sonically, melodically etc, I’m moved melodically like chore progressions and sounds of instruments really move me. And one thing I have noticed is I love hearing a film-like element to a lot of the production of my music. I am a visual thinker/creator, I like watching things that move and trigger feelings in me and they're very prevalent in the creating process just by being around me. I say cinematic landscape is a big thing for me.
Jetta Exudes Musical Excellence On Issue IX
26 year old singer-songwriter and producer, Jetta is a force to be reckoned with. She writes and produces most of her music herself, has worked with the likes of Cee Lo Green, and draws a lot of inspiration from cinematic landscapes. We sat with the Liverpudlian artists and spoke on her career journey, love for the fly on the wall concept and more.
Jetta is a musical powerhouse, she produces and writes all of her own music, and traces her abilities to the informal education received from her parents. With a sound engineer as a father and singer-songwriter mother she saw the intricacies of all sides of the process growing up, which influenced her own path into the industry. There is a unique eclecticness to the sonic of Jetta’s music, which is hard to pin down to a specific genre. Her key to achieving this is the tunnel vision approach she has to her work, and not drawing comparisons or inspirations from anything but her own feelings and judgement.
Dress: Rue Agthonis
Jewellery: Artist’s own
Bodysuit: Di Petsa
Bralet: Di Petsa
Shoes: Tabitha Ringwood
Necklace: Di Petsa
Rings: Artist’s own
What was it like using that experience in your own approach to things.
What I've realised, I don’t know how this might sound. The bigger the venue, the bigger the stage, the more comfortable it feels. I think there's something to a close proximity that's more personal and more special to it - and it’s just a lot more daunting when you can see everyone right in front of you. I think that's the main thing I took away from it, that there's a comfort you gain as things grow. And also that I want to be doing things like that for myself in the future - performing for such crowds.
W love that, hopefully it happens… So in your music there’s a theme of openness and vulnerability to your lyrics, does that come easy to you in real life, or is your music a tool for you to exercise it?
J: I think the one thing I've learned over the last couple of years since releasing my EP and my singles, is finding the comparison between strength and vulnerability. I think it's easy to see it as a weakness, but it's basically just talking about your feelings and sharing that when it isn't perfect or deemed as perfect. It's just about being as honest as possible in each scenario. That's something I have found comfort in and people relating to it as well just encourages me and reminds me to keep going with making the music I do.
Your music videos are all really different and quite surreal, do you approach the process of videos with the same strength as your music?
Yes I love visuals to complement a song. I think it’s the thread between everything I create, but I'd say it all comes, the concepts from myself and the collaborative partnerships I have. They all have a cohesiveness at the end. Everyone always tailors things to the song, not an overarching theme we have present, but just the specific song.
What would you like people to take from your music?
Different things really… What somebody feels is up to them… I think one of the things I find with my creation is I am true to myself and all my moods and different ones I go through. I am an emotionally up and down, very varied person and I am definitely sure I’m not alone in that… I've tested myself with different sounds for this album, like a more upbeat garage song that's a feel good one. And there's also some more poignant and heartfelt moments, that are introspective and contemplative. And then there's groovy ones, just different things, because everyday is a different day and I wanted to channel that and as long as people feel something, then I am doing a good job.
Even from the work you have put out already, we can see and value that you respect every ounce of yourself and give every part of yourself the space to create from there - and it gives me the space to do that too…. What future do you want for yourself and for the people - particularly about now?
Live music, people being able to be social. One thread that connects all of us is music, no matter the genre everybody needs to enjoy it to stay sane. As long as that's taken away from us then that's when things feel out of balance. So that's what I want collectively. For me to give the show and people to experience that.
The theme of this issue is excellence, what does excellence look like for you and are there any people, artists or creatives who encapsulate it for you?
I think it's a bit like success where it's very personal. You define it yourself, and believe in your own excellence in yourself and end up fulfilling yourself more because you’re enjoying the ride. So many people and artists encapsulate it. Loads that I love have excellence because I love them all; they're just a leader in their own career, and see their own strength and trust themselves.
Do you think it's something you strive for?
Yeah, I think excellence is a word I'm fond of not to get it confused with perfection. Excellence can have perceived flaws in it. What I deem excellent, does that make me feel proud first and foremost?
When in life have you been the happiest?
Oh wow… it fluctuates, different happiness at different times. I'm always a happy person, smiling and laughing, but I wouldn't say there's a specific time. I'd like to think there will be times where I feel happier and happier.
Top: Graci Peps
Tights: Stylist’s own
Shoes: Tabitha Ringwood
Gloves: Artist’s own