PZO: As a musical artist, what are your best qualities?
Jessie:That’s a hard question. It’s always hard to talk about yourself like that, I guess. I think that I’m a great songwriter. I think I write melodies that are really catchy, but at the same time I think there’s a very honest quality to my songwriting that is relatable. At the same time, I think because it’s so honest sometimes I talk about things that are maybe considered a little bit taboo, but because I go there and push boundaries I think it’s a good thing. It’s thought provoking music.
PZO: Describe your music in five words or less.
Jessie: Let’s see…futuristic, alternative, sexy, electro, pop---that’s five. <laughs>
PZO: What’s a common compliment people give you?
Jessie: Let me think about this. <pause> A great compliment for me is when people are like your songs are stuck in my head. They’ve been stuck in my head all day. I get that a lot. Like I can’t go to sleep I keep listening to your songs over and over. That’s a great compliment that my music is catchy.
PZO: What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
Jessie: Geez, Nevra you have some tough questions. <laughs> I don’t know, I don’t think there are misconceptions about me, are there? I’m not sure. Not really. I think it’s because I’m very direct. I think I’ve avoided any sort of misconceptions.
PZO: What was the last meaningful thing you did?
Jessie: I went to my nephew’s basketball game which was really special to see him all happy and light up playing basketball.
PZO: How old is he?
Jessie: He’s seven now. He’s adorable.
PZO: What is your best childhood memory?
Jessie: Just growing up in the dance studio. I was really raised in that studio. A woman named Suzi Zuppardo will always have a piece of my heart. I went to the local dance studio and I used to ride my bike over to it and sit outside the glass while watching all the dancers dance and all the kids and all the parents were there; this whole community that I really wanted to be a part of. Then when I was about ten or eleven she—one day I was just sitting outside the studio again like I did every day after school and she was like what’s your name? I was like Jessie and she’s like I see you here every day, what are you doing? I was just like I like watching the dancers and she said well, do you want to dance? And I was like, yeah. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford to pay for tuition or to pay for classes or anything like that, but she was kind enough to let me come in and take a few for free and I was really good at it, I was talented. She saw that, she saw my desire, my drive to want to dance, so she put me on a scholarship at that studio in exchange for like, you know, I learned a lot of good life lessons. She’d have me take the trash out or clean the mirrors or whatever. It was almost like she was my surrogate mom or something and in return I got to take all these dance classes. So I took ballet, jazz, and hip hop. Those are my happiest childhood memories just being in that dance studio performing and dancing. I love to dance.
PZO: Is it still there?
Jessie: It’s still there. It’s called Dancing Images Dance Center. It’s in Moreno Valley, CA. It’s an awesome studio that everyone should check out if they are in the area for sure.
PZO: Given the opportunity, who would you kidnap for a day and what would you do?
Jessie: Ooooh! I would kidnap Ryan Gosling and I would do some things that you can’t print. <laughs> How about that?
PZO: Have you heard of that website called Fuck Yeah, Ryan Gosling!?
Jessie: No! I will totally check it out.
PZO: It is hilarious. There are random pictures of Ryan Gosling with some text that say like, “Hey Girl, Happy Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for your yams and sweet potato pie.” Just some random, stupid, but funny things.
Jessie: <laughs> Really? Oh my God, that’s so funny. I will definitely check that out. Thank you.
PZO: What’s the last good did you did?
Jessie: My friend’s daughter, my friend is kind of going through a rough time so she’s not around. I think the last good deed I did was I had a slumber party with her daughter. I dyed her hair hot pink. It was fun to give her just like big sis kind of time because she doesn’t have any sisters either. So I guess that was a good deed.
PZO: What’s the best lesson you’ve ever learned?
Jessie: Probably not to trust people so quickly. Just to be a little more guarded in the business I guess. I don’t mean, well kind of in every day as well. Especially in Hollywood, just to remember who your real friends are and who your true friends are. Keep the people who really love you around you always.
PZO: What’s the one life experience you would want a do-over on?
Jessie: No, absolutely not. I wouldn’t take anything back or want to re-do anything. I think that everything really does happen for reason. I think life is one long journey that you’re meant to learn and grow in this life. I wouldn’t take anything back or want to re-do anything. I think that everything I’ve gone through has made me the person I am and I’m pretty happy with who I am.
PZO: Tell us 3 random things about yourself that most people don’t know.
Jessie: I can do like really weird things with my tongue. <laughs> It sounds weird. I can fold it into like four little loops, you know how people can just do the one loop? I can do three or four. It’s really bizarre. Like it folds up like an accordion. <laughter> I speak Farsi. A lot of people don’t know that. That’s kind of random.
PZO: How did you learn?
Jessie: Because my father is Iranian.
PZO: Oh, awesome.
Jessie: Third random thing: I love the smell of play-doh. To the point where I open up the jar and sniff it. I love it. There’s something about the smell of play-doh that’s so amazing. Like if they made a play-doh perfume I would wear it. Do you know what I mean, the way it smells?
PZO: There is something about it that makes it addictive.
Jessie: It’s so good, right? In the weirdest way.
PZO: You’ve just released your EP for PUSH IT, when are you going to put out a full length?
Jessie: I’m still writing in the studio, but I’m not sure. Hopefully, over the summer that would be ideal.
PZO: So there’s a lot of material already.
Jessie: I do. I’m taking my time figuring out what exactly that I want on the record. I really want to take my time and make the best album possible for my fans. So I’m kind of being a perfectionist in some ways, but I’ve got about twenty tracks right now. I’ve probably written about sixty in 2010 to now. I’ve got about twenty that I really think are quality and now it’s just about finding those 12 or 13 out of those 20. I still feel like there is a couple things missing. Just some risks I want to take sonically that I haven’t fully explored yet. So I’m in the studio, but I’m hoping for this summer.
PZO: I was reading somewhere that you really wanted to go further with dub-step?
Jessie: Yeah, I really want to go further to dub-step. When I was living in the UK I really really was involved in that whole dub-step/electronic scene. I just love the sound and I experimented with it awhile ago. I independently put out a song in 2008 called “Outsider” that’s got a real dub-step feel to it. I just want to go further with that sound. I’m working a lot with Nellee Hooper who is one of my favorite producers, so it’s kind of a dream to get to work with him. We’re going real dub-step with what we’re doing with nasty bass lines, but really pretty melodies over top. It’s a really cool, it’s an interesting juxtaposition and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it.
PZO: I’m glad you’re bringing that sound here. We need more of that.
Jessie: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been around in Europe and a lot of other countries for awhile. Like I said I put something out in 2008. I’ve known about the genre for about a minute, but I think now it’s starting to filter its way to America. I think that’s one other cool thing about—I’m really grateful I got to live in a different country for so long because I feel like when it comes to pop music America always comes in last. I hate to say it, but we are so late on so many things. Living over there and going to Sweden and Denmark it’s cool to hear what’s going on locally because you get so inspired. I think what’s happening in Europe and in the UK and Netherlands it all ends up filtered into America. So I’m really grateful I got the chance to be over there and kind of be ahead of the sound. I always pride myself on being ahead of the sound for sure.
PZO: What would be your pitch to get people to check out your music?
Jessie: I would just say, if you want something new and if you enjoy to dance and have a good time, but you also like to take a bath and drink a glass of wine and talk shit with your friends then this is the music for you. It’s got something for everybody. I don’t want to say this music is for everybody because I really hate when people do that. No, it’s not, but it’s for people who love pop and if you love pop you’ll love my music.