Jessica Wilde is a torchbearer for a fresh true bred style of rap, soul & RnB. She bares all with some brutally honest lyrics, melding her sharp-witted lyricism through spoken word/rap alongside her more familiar husky and powerful singing vocals. A native of South London, Wilde’s first concept album told her story like diary entries from mad parties, addiction, toxic relationships, to self-empowerment, and living sober. She gained heavy support across BBC Radio including from Radio 1’s ‘Future Artists’, 6Music, features in CLASH, Wonderland, Complex, editorial playlist support across major DSP’s and much more.
We had the opportunity of sitting down with Jessica to discuss the inspiration behind her music and latest release:
Who is Jessica Wilde?
I am a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, actress, a human being, and a soul.
What inspired your start in music?
My mom was a big inspiration. She’s a jazz singer, actress, and an electrifying performer. I watched her perform in shows from a very young age and absorbed it all. She often covered jazz artists like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone but brought a Tina Turner’s stage energy, haha! She would also play their records at home, along with other jazz artists like Dinah Washington and Etta James. I always remember feeling the depth of these artists’ voices, the raw, soul-baring way in which they sang. It felt authentic and real. I also had my brother blaring jungle and drum ‘n’ bass music next door to my bedroom, MCing back-to-back with his friends. I definitely feel his fast flows had an influence on the rhythm in which I now rap. Lauryn Hill and Ms. Dynamite opened up my world to the possibility of transitioning between rapper and singer, all in one, especially as a female artist.
Your unique sound touches several genres; how would you describe your musical sound?
As mentioned, I was heavily influenced by jazz, and I feel the roots of my singing style have come from that genre. DnB and jungle, garage, and MC flows. Early 2000s R&B and hip-hop, producers like Timbaland, inspired me to be more experimental with my own production, like on ‘Freak Out,’ where I sat in my bedroom making all kinds of weird beatbox noises, something Timbaland does a lot, and I love that playfulness because when you play and explore, you can create something really fresh-sounding. I also loved artists like Nirvana and Arctic Monkeys, and I hear a slight indie, rocky edge to my music, which I feel I picked up from these kinds of artist styles.
You are from South London; how did your surroundings impact who you are musically?
I grew up between Brixton and Clapham, a very diverse area and a melting pot of cultures coming together. I feel this, as well as coming from a mixed-race family, had a big impact on how my sound evolved because I had many stylistic influences that inspired my own unique sound. I’ve never really been able to put myself in one box, and I’ve never really wanted to, to be honest. I feel most comfortable between the boxes. I also used to perform in my area all the time during my childhood and teenage years, which inspired my spoken word and rap pieces. They were my way of telling my story and others’ stories and also served as my therapy.
Tell us about your most recent release “Freak Out.”
‘Freak Out’ is the first single leading on from my debut project, which was about my journey to sobriety. It’s been three years now, woo! That project was a heavy one as I was navigating toxic relationships and addiction while rediscovering my true self through spiritual connection. ‘Freak Out,’ however, continues my story and reflects where I’m at now. I’m in a place within myself where I feel much more empowered, care less, have more self-love, love for life, a stronger connection to spirit, and a clearer sense of my purpose.
What do you hope listeners take away from this project?
With ‘Freak Out’ and this new album coming, I want people to feel lifted, empowered, inspired, connected, loved, to dance, cry, sing, feel it in their heart and soul.
What is next for you?
Lots of music releases! I have four more singles coming, and then the album drops in May 2024. I’ll be doing my biggest headline show yet to launch the album, but I’ll be sharing more about that soon.
Watch Freak Out Video Here