Australian-in-London singer-songwriter and sought after TV/Film composer Jess Chalker is joint Grammy winner for co-penning “Say Hello”, (the single that helped Lisa Loeb win Best Kids Record for Feel What U Feel) and she’s also been considered for an Emmy recently too (Just pipped…) for an Amazon Original commission by to create the song, “Darkest Hour” (performed by Tate McRae) for their show ‘Panic’. Now she is an artist in her own right embarking on a solo album release, which we had a listen to and stated:

Although the lyrical content is not always light, the music itself is designed to make you move and the choruses to make you sing along with your whole heart.

Having fallen wholeheartedly in love with Jess as her debut album, Hemispheres, we decided to learn a little more.

Hi Jess, how are you?

I’m cold! Haha. Hope you are warm! Otherwise I’m great

Your career started out on social media. How important is it to be tech savvy as an artist these days?

Very, I think. You sort of have to do it all.

Do you still enjoy creating content for socials?

Posting on social media doesn’t really come naturally to me; I’m definitely someone who has to remember to post, as opposed to someone who enjoys documenting every moment via stories. Though it’s definitely nice being reminded of memories you’d otherwise forget about a year or two later.

You went from a YouTube icon to being part of the acclaimed duo, We Are The Brave. How did the two experiences prepare you for a solo career?

I think the YouTube stuff was a great training ground for me, when I didn’t really consider myself either a singer or a songwriter. To get the feedback that maybe I was both was validating and gave me the confidence to keep going. We are the Brave equipped me with skills to record, and also gave me the chance to be anonymous as a nameless frontwoman, where I only had to focus on my voice instead of hiding behind a guitar. It was all a good learning curve.

What prompted the move to solo material?

I have always been the writer, I guess, so doing solo material meant I could work at my own pace with the people I wanted to work with, with the arrangements and mixers I chose.

How does your solo sound differ from the work in We Are The Brave?

We used to do it all with We are the Brave, right down to the mix. That wasn’t necessarily my choice, but I went with it and do love how raw many of those songs sound. I think with my record I’ve definitely made choices that wouldn’t be on brand with the DIY aesthetic of We are the Brave - my writing isn’t that different I don’t think, but the songs are more professionally mixed and voiced a little differently instrumentation wise. My lyrics are also a little more earnest so maybe less ‘cool.’ I don’t know. You tell me!

You have just released your solo debut album, Hemispheres..tell us a little about it...

It’s 10 songs of a modern, new wave sound, 9 originals and one cover. Lots of full band sounds, retro flavours and warm synths. I think the record has a very familiar sound to it, but doesn’t really sound like anyone else either. The production is also very feminine I think, which was really important to me. Not a lot of music you hear on the radio is produced by females, and  I think women make very different sonic choices to men.
What inspired the record?

I spent a few years travelling between USA, Aus and UK as a songwriter so I think the record was borne out of all the emotions that come with leading such a nomadic lifestyle for so long, never quite knowing where and with whom you belong, and figuring out who you are. I’ve also suffered through some health challenges in that time so there’s a bit of that angst tucked in there too. All up though, I think the record is quite positive, and has a good amount of light and shade to it. I hope people walk away from it feeling uplifted.

What ambitions do you have for the release?

I would love to play these songs to a few full rooms!

Lastly, can we expect to hear it live somewhere soon?

London, Q1 next year. Watch this space.