Liverpool musician Jetta has had a meteoric rise from playing to friends and family in a local club to performing backing vocals to Paloma Faith and Cee-Lo Green, as well as providing the soundtrack to Google’s 2013 advert with ‘Feels Like Coming Home’. The talented singer/songwriter talks to Your Move about her career so far.
Where did your interest in music begin?
My mum is in Sense of Sound, which is an acapella choir in Liverpool. I was always surrounded by that and listening to amazing vocal harmonies. My Dad was a sound engineer and he worked at Parr Street Studios and I used to hang out there a lot and took in a lot of things there. That’s where I got into production and vocals.
I used to go to rehearsals with my mum and I was too young to be in the choir but I’d sit there and listen to them. There was a performance at the Bluecoat – the old one – and I just got up and joined them on stage. I just jumped up and ran on stage and nobody told me to sit back down so I just stayed with them!
When did you begin performing solo?
I was pretty shy when it came to singing on my own. I did a lot of singing and production alone in my room. But then I had my first show when I was 16 at Lago. It was amazing. All my friends and family came. That’s when I got the first proper buzz and I kind of got hooked. I was quite anti-social over summer when I first discovered I could produce. I didn’t really speak to anyone because I was so into what I was doing. I didn’t want to hang out, I just wanted to make music forever. I’ve managed to find the right balance between the two now though.
You’ve toured with Paloma Faith. How did that come about?
It was funny because somebody who was at LIPA came to the gig at Lago. I just wanted to move and felt like I needed to branch out and get out of my comfort zone. I met up with her in London the following weekend and was introduced to a guy who was tour manager for Paloma. He said she’s going on tour and do I fancy doing that while I write my own stuff. It was a big change but I was so engrossed in it all and ready for it that I didn’t even question it. It’s only when people tell me that I’m like ‘that is a bit mad!’
What was it like appearing at Wembley with Cee Lo Green?
It was amazing. I did two gigs with him; the first was for TV Graham Norton and the other one was Wembley Stadium, which is the biggest gig I’ve done actually. It was almost like one of those surreal dreams you have. It was totally on the verge of reality that you can’t quite remember!
Has growing up in Liverpool influenced your music?
I did a gig at the Bombed Out Church recently and it was great because it’s such an interesting place. I used to live down the road from it and I could hear music from my front garden. It’s amazing to be able to walk into the city and see all themusic heritage there and it did influence me when I was growing up.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
There’s a lot of music I love listening too. At the moment I really love London Grammar, it’s really cinematic. The production is so interesting as well as the voice. But I honestly don’t think about other people when I’m writing songs. I’ll just put up a feeling first and then look at it later and if I think anything needs changing I’ll do it. But I think the magic happens in the moment. It’s from the heart.
Were you pleased to be ‘Single of the Week’ with Start a Riot on iTunes?
It’s funny. I haven’t even released Start a Riot as a single yet so that was a massive complement. The only single I’ve released is Crescendo, which I wrote for Pepsi Beat of the Beautiful Game for the World Cup and is produced with Pharrell. I guess I’m really looking forward to the start of releasing my own music that I’ve written and obviously the reaction I’ve had so far before I’ve released it is amazing.
You talk a lot about writing and performing your own songs. Which do you prefer?
They’re such different experiences. I like both because each is like a stage. When I’m doing the writing I’ve got to really dig deep and it’s almost like therapy. It’s so insular. One is the one I do on my own in that little cave with my producer and then the other is the opposite, because you’re sharing it with everyone else.
What’s next for you?
I’ll have an album coming out in March or April next year. One of my EPs, Crescendo, has just came out here so I’m just drip-feeding it all. I’m going to have a new single coming out in the lead up to going on tour with John Newman later this year and I’m going to be surprising people with some stuff as well – hopefully secret releases and things online. I just want to do what I’m doing. I want to be bigger and better and just do more of it.