Pop singer/songwriter Spark was on a roll a few years ago and signed to a major label, then she decided to step back and readdress her musical stance and future.
With a new release (Take it Back/Struck Out) set for release very soon, we at Fame grabbed the chance to chat to Jess about her return to the music industry and much more.
Here are some highlights from that informative chat.
Hi Jess. So i guess we may as well start with you return to making music. How did that come about and what can you tell us about your new material?
Well I suppose the first thing is that I decided to take some time out after my last contract. I’ve not really made any music in a long time .
But what I have made here are not what I would call proper releases, but they are what I want to do now. I hope that my fans/listeners will react to them and appreciate what I am trying to do. I see, so how would you describe your work to our readers?
I’d say it is pop with a twist , with some old school samples thrown in. Blend in some R&B, hip hop elements and you come close. It’s hard to give you a full picture without playing you it.
May we ask you why you stepped back for a while from the business?
Yes we can talk about that. The short story is that i was signed up by a major label and we had a clash of opinions (I’d guess you could call it that) over where I was going.
I liked the people I was working with, but I just felt we were not on the same page. I got the feeling they wanted an artist to fit a mould they already had in mind and that was not me. So you walked away from a potentially successful deal to pursue your own goals then?
It was like that. What I saw was that the producers etc were taking me away from what I wanted to be. I remember seeing a video of a song and I just did not like any bit of it.
I may have lost out on money and such, but I feel happier now and hope the listeners agree with my decision.
Can you tell our readers who influences your work Jess?
I’d say the music of Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morisette and similar artists inspire me. But what I like to do is tell stories and that is what people like that do.
Have you any artists you would love to collaborate with?
There are so many, but ones in my mind right now are guys like Labyrinth and Eminem, they are lyrical geniuses and I’d love to work with people like them.
May we ask you how you go about creating a new song Jess?
Wow, good question. I’d say it kind of flows and each one is different. They can come into my head anywhere, mostly at home but.
I get the idea and it turns into a song, its a very natural thing really.
Jess can I ask you how involved you are in the world of social media. For example do you monitor your page sor does someone else do it for you?
It is me on there. I do keep an eye on what people are saying and reply when I can. It is me on there and I believe that is how it should be. I like hearing feedback from people who enjoy my work.
Now that you have some new material to offer will we be seeing ‘Spark’ on tour anytime soon?
I do miss touring. I’d absolutely be back there in a heartbeat. I did a bit before and I loved it. I liked the travel and it was amazing to see people turn up to listen to my stuff.
You started out in the business at a very young age Jess. Did you fall in to any pitfalls back then?
I’d say what happened was I was young and yes I was overwhelmed. I also now know I didn’t have the right people with me.
We were not working well together, I did tours, recorded and made videos. But I hated much of it. To be honest I was embarrassed by much of it.
So Jess do you ever think ill of your time under a major label’s control?
I was young and it was amazing. I really enjoyed it. But the big problem was I can’t fake things, it would have been easy to stay and go through the motions.
But that is not me, I owed it to my fans and myself, we could do better. My ambition has always been to make music that appeals to people. I am now doing that.
That is amazing. Finally may we ask you what words of advise you have for an aspiring your singer/songwriter out there on the scene today?
Well the main thing is keep writing, get better and make sense of what you want to say. If you do that you will see who you want to be. One thing is to realise that you cannot be a major star overnight.
This is a journey and you will fall down, but you learn from your mistakes. My biggest bit of advice is to not rush things and take your time time to get it right.