An Interview With The LA-Based Singer-Songwriter, JESSIE MUNRO!
Posted On 26 Jul 2018
Meet the Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, Jessie Munro. Entitled ‘Under Fire’ the track features Munro’s stunning soulful vocals with sleek, modern-electro R&B/pop. The single focuses on the pressures of social expectations and constantly feeling scrutinized by others.
LISTEN HERE: https://soundcloud.com/jessie-leith-munro/under-fire-single
The twenty-three year-old Toronto born, Los Angeles based artist has been mesmerizing audiences worldwide, with her stunning soulful vocals and sleek, modern-electro R&B/pop. Finding her start in classical music and musical theatre, Munro went on to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music, propelling her songwriting abilities and giving her the musical maturity which is evident throughout her music. The soulful songstress is now preparing to release her debut EP “On My Own,” a six-track release which tackles the stages of post break-up.
“On My Own” tells the story of living through bleak heartbreak, with relatable honest lyricism and beautifully poetic melodies, it’s an EP of reflection and contemplation. Narrating the feeling of being alone, the pain of unrequited love and finding courage and confidence to move on, the release is an authentic story of a lost love. Influenced by artists such as Carole King, Daniel Caesar and Charlotte Day Wilson, Munro describes “we were trying to harness old school classic sounds and marry them with modern sounds”.
Leading single ‘Under Fire’ features a strong, melodic bassline which rides fluidly atop the driving drums and Munro’s soulful, dreamlike vocals. Thematically, the song focuses on the pressures of social expectations and constantly feeling scrutinized by others. Munro reflects on how she felt she was “under fire” from everyone in her life and the song is the realization that other peoples opinions aren’t always definitive. Inspired by Lianne La Havas and her technique of fusing lyrics with melody, Munro explains “the intent of the lyric is brought to life with a melody that evokes that same emotion” and this is clearly apparent throughout the single.
‘If You’re Eyes Could Talk’ showcases ethereal soundscapes and minimalistic melodies, which still pack an impact through Munro’s smokey vocals, delivering a song of quiet intensity. Featuring notes of jazz and pop all underpinned by a soul underscore, the track is brought to life with it’s refreshingly vibrant chorus. The single succeeds in sonically portraying the emotions of a relationship and is a truthful depiction of a breakup, which establishes Munro’s signature sound and sets the tone for the rest of the EP.
Munro has come a long way from coming in sixth place in CBC’s search for Dorothy in its 2012 Over the Rainbow series, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Having already performed to sold out audiences across the globe, as well as receiving critical acclaim, the singer is now ready for the next chapter of her musical endeavour, with On My Own due for release Summer 2018.
Connect With Jessie Munro Here:
Learn more about Jessie Munro in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Of course! Thank you for your time! Its found me with some coffee listening to Ye. Unless I have something else going on my usual day to day is emails and then something creative in the afternoon, so after this I’ll be jumping into a session.
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
This year has been a bit crazy for me. I moved to Los Angeles last September so its been a big year for music as well as life in general. Overall good so far, healthy and happy. Musically it’s been a really experimental year, making the move and going through so many changes has definitely bled into my music. I can’t wait to keep sharing with you all!
My big goal this year was to get the EP out and that is on its way in the next few months so I guess I’m pretty close!
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Definitely. I grew up in a family of music lovers, spearheaded by my dad and his sister. I am very fortunate to have grown up in a family that embraced music and the arts and encouraged creativity. I have a pretty strong memory of forcing my parents to watch me do Spice Girls concerts for them before they would head off to work as a toddler. Then around the age of 8 is when I started taking proper voice lessons.
I find it interesting that sometimes musicians choose to go by something other than their own name so why did you decide to go by your own name?
Honestly, I really like it. I love my name a lot and I struggled a lot with wanting to using my full name which is Jessie Leith Munro, but it was a bit hard for people to say and spell. I thought about using another name but at the end of it, all of my music comes from me and who I am, so changing my name didn’t make sense for me.
How would you say that you have grown as an artist since you first starting making music? What has remained the same?
What’s interesting with this EP is it’s the first music I made that I identified with as an artist. Now moving forward and writing tracks for the next project I’m starting to see the thread. The material I’m working on now has a slightly different sound, however the story line and stacked vocals are still things that are very dominant in my music.
What was the inspiration for your newest single “Under Fire”? How did it come together for you exactly? How did you go about choosing it to be the first track released from your upcoming debut EP, “On My Own”?
I wrote Under Fire during a time when I was feeling a lot of social pressures from friends and people around me. I was going through a breakup and I was doing my best to move forward and find my footing as an individual. Everyone around me seemed to have an opinion of how I should live my life, hence ‘Under Fire’.
Under Fire was one I struggled with in the beginning stages but came out as one of my favorites. We had a couple of different options for the single and one day I was talking to my dad about it and he said “growing up, my summers were defined by songs” – I’m hoping Under Fire has the potential to be one of those songs for people.
What other songs on this debut EP are you excited to share with the world? Did anything surprise you about the overall process of putting this collection together?
I’m looking forward to sharing the whole thing but the title track ‘On My Own’ has a special place in my heart. It was the first song we wrote for this project and it shaped the sound of the EP in a lot of ways. I’m also looking forward to sharing a song called ‘Patiently, I Wait’, it is the song that is the most personal to me and a song that helped me let go of a lot of shit.
Because this is my first project a lot of it was trial and error. The whole process has been kind of a slow surprise. It’s therapy in a way. I remember being pretty sad and low when we started this whole thing and listening back now I’m like “woah I don’t feel this way anymore”. It’s awesome, and I hope that this EP could function for someone else the same way.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far? Do you have any upcoming shows this summer?
I love an engaged audience, but who doesn’t.
My band and I played in Seoul last fall and during the last song a kid ran down onto the stage and started break dancing, it then turned into a battle with another kid. Craziest thing.
My next big show is gonna be in Toronto October 4th at Revival!
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
At this point in my career most of the songs I have written have been based around interpersonal relationships. However, I do think that it’s important to be vocal in the current political climate and I hope to release songs in the near future that reflect my political voice.
Artists like Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino are incredible modern examples of this, addressing political issues within accessible popular culture.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
haha. yes. I’m working on it though. I was born in ’94, I remember being a kid and getting our first household computer and the brick cell phones my parents had. I’m definitely working on social media and I love how easy it makes it to connect with people but it can be hard to keep up sometimes.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
An artist who has inspired me for a long time is Carole King. I’m a big fan of her songwriting and storytelling.
In a dream world I would love to collaborate with artists like Daniel Caesar and Justin Vernon.
If you had all the money and time in the world, which one of your songs, new or old, would you make a music video for? What would the video be like?
I have this idea for the title track off of the EP ‘On My Own’. When I was home in Toronto over the winter holidays I was in the car with my dad and we were driving through big farming fields that were covered in frost and a couple of centimeters of snow. I just wanna stand in the middle of the field and have a bunch of cameras taking the same shot in some kind of block colored outfit.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
Can I say computer? I like working off of voice memos and recording ideas straight into the computer.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
Queer Eye! My favorite show in forever. Must see for those who haven’t seen it.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
At the end of it all if one person feels a sense of connection or release then that’s what it’s all about.
(Photography Provided By www.lpragency.com)