Jessy Rose isn’t new to the music scene. Rising to fame as one half of Irish rap duo Hare Squead, Rose is familiar with critical acclaim and the subsequent recognition that brings.
The velvety toned rapper has returned in 2021 with independent vigour. Rose has entered a chrysalis state transitioning from his harder rap routes to a delicate place with his debut EP ‘ARE YOU HOME?’. The first of Rose’s solo ventures, ‘ARE YOU HOME?’ explores a much more sensitive angle than his past endeavours boasting serene tonality and confident contemplation.
The five track EP takes the listener on an almost religious style pilgrimage of personal understanding and exploration. Fifth and final track ‘Selah’ is as angelic as it is haunting; the perfect antithesis representing the sonic journey of the EP. The thematic voyage of ‘ARE YOU HOME?’ is oftentimes unsettlingly raw – in the most enticing way.
Jessy Rose stands up strong as a solo artist. His range is admirable and awe inspiring. A storyteller you can’t help but lean into; the future is bright for this young artist.
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How was it been working as a solo artist compared to your time in Hare Squead? Do you feel a greater sense of creative freedom?
Yes I feel a lot more creative freedom, than when I was in Hare Squead. I felt like towards the end our hit song was ‘Herside Story’ and all the label wanted was another version of that, but now I can make what I want.
You’ve mentioned struggling through tough times personally, do you find music acts as a healer? Is it your escape?
Yes music has been my therapy through the toughest of times for me. It’s always been something that I can escape to and gives me comfort.
You’re well known for your collaborative efforts, such as co-writing Mahalia’s hit ‘Sober’. What draws you to these collaborations?
I love collaborating with people, no matter what their style or situation is. You can always learn something for everyone, and that find something new, which is really fun.
Does Ireland and its culture remain an influence for you?
It always will, it was were I had my first kiss my first love my first drink, my first everything! I like Irish trad music too, such as the Dubliners and Luke Kelly.
Your solo work has a much more sensitive approach than your work in Hare Squead. Was ‘Are You Home’ an emotional statement as well as a musical one?
Yes very much so. It’s sometimes difficult to talk about these things in real life, but easier to work them out in a song, even if in the song you can be vague and obtuse.
What was the process behind choosing the five songs for the EP after writing 200 potentials?
I couldn’t chose what songs to put on the project so my label killing a friend helped me to shortlist it.
You have a headline show September 25th at Whelan’s in Dublin. Do you think performing solo will feel different to what you’re used to?
I did do one solo show in 2018 and it felt amazing but doing a proper announced show is gonna be extra special I feel.
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‘Are You Home?’ EP is out now.
Words: Amelia Lloyd
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