Isn’t it interesting I feel so alive, at the same time I’m ready to die?’ JGrrey sings in the most lackadaisical way, an R&B melody barely skimming a funky beat in ‘Ready 2 Die’. Immediately enigmatic, the singer and songwriter from South London presents an elusive character, one that’s both media shy and set for the stars. Lined lips, bouncing curls and enough Adi in her wardrobe to rival Wavey Garms, she counts thousands of followers though just one official song, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she’s all style over substance.
Scour the internet, and you’ll find smatterings of songs and projects she’s worked on, brands she’s modelled for and artists she has shared stages with. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find confirmation her talent far precedes the hype. A multidisciplinary artist, JGrrey creates music for Saturday nights in and lazy mornings in bed all on the same weekend. She’s chill in every sense of the word, fusing soulful grooves with future-forward production and a penchant for hazy, modern jazz sounds, finding the balance between feeling connected to the past while also with the now. With a voice that draws comparisons to Jorja Smith and further back, Etta James, JGrrey sings tales about modern problems with communication and falling in love or as she puts it “love, life, death and everything in between.”
Having made her name on the underground music blogs, her COLORS performance of ‘Fade Away’ introduced to the world her excellent range, both vocally and in terms of her varied musical interests. “When I was younger I moved around a lot; I had to learn to adapt to new people constantly. I didn’t stay in one place too long, just as I’d start to make a friend or like a place it was onto the next,” she says on her approach to making art. “I guess making music allows me to introduce myself to people as I am without having to adapt to them first, and that’s comfortable for me. Making music also allows me to revisit places I don’t know anymore.” Alongside her own music, she’s also lent her vocals to tracks by Bonkaz, Jamal Woon and Manga Saint Hilare, the diversity in these features demonstrating further her taste for diverse and distinct sounds.
When asked about what she considers the most important parts of who she is, her answer is honest and self-aware. “I’d like to think it’s all equally important. Everything I experience shapes the different elements of me. My music, my hair, my home, my lack of enthusiasm when it comes to leaving my room, my obsessive behaviour, and my lazy style all occur due to my life experiences. I wouldn’t say one is more important than the other, just to say I got them is pretty cool.” If her laid-back demeanour and evident coolness indicate a daydreamer rather than a doer, think again, behind the cool exterior, JGrrey’s a talent you don’t want to miss.
JGrrey wears coat Stand @ 18montrose.com, top & trousers Umbro.
Follow Phie McKenzie on Twitter