The Neighbourhood star Jesse Rutherford launched his solo career because he "just needed a moment" for himself.

The 31-year-old singer - who is currently dating pop superstar Billie Eilish - has served as the frontman of the rock band since their formation in 20111 but now they are on hiatus has broken out as a solo artist with new songs 'Joker' and 'Rainbow' and admitted he knew it was going to happen "sooner or later."

Speaking on Apple Music 1, he told Zane Lowe: "It’s a true solo journey, and the music is just kind of soundtracking what I’m going through in my life. And I thought it was kind of time to grow as an individual because I’ve put a lot of my time and energy into growing within relationships, which is a great thing. I mean, I love and I hold dear all my relationships, and I feel like I have a lot of strong ones.

"And even the ones that didn’t last, I feel like we’re lovely, and nobody’s on any sort of bad terms or anything. I just needed a moment for myself. It was just kind of like it had to happen sooner or later. "

The 'Sweater Weather' hitmaker - who is now going by the mononym of Jesse as a solo artist - last released music in 2020 with the band's fourth studio album 'Chip Chrome and The Mono-Tones' and added that having taken a break from the spotlight meant that now was the "best time" to launch into his solo career.

He added: "So this felt like the best time to do it. Honestly, taking some time away from touring and music in general was probably a really good thing for me. And even now, jumping back in, I’m kind of like, ‘OK, here we go.’ I wish I could sit here and be like, ‘Man, I’m so excited. Everybody’s got to go hear it.’ But I’m kind of like, ‘I mean, I’m being honest. I think it’s good, if you get around to listening to it.'"