With over 20,000 listens on Spotify and with acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing and BBC Radio Kent, London based artist Jewelia has been charming our ears with her soulful alt-pop sounds. Oozing a sparkling raw emotion alongside her rich, honey-sweet vocals, latest single ‘Second Best‘ offers a heartfelt anthem delivered with a subtle, stirring power.
To celebrate the single’s release, we caught up with Jewelia to find out more…
Hi Jewelia! Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a singer-songwriter based in London, originally from Bucharest, Romania. I moved to the UK a few years ago to study Music Production, so that I would be able to execute the vision for my songs without a middle-man. I play piano and I’m learning guitar. I love books and also writing my own stories and poems when I have time, online shopping (especially when it’s for music video props), and cats, but sadly I don’t have one… !
Are you able to tell us a bit about how and why you initially started creating music?
I’ve been singing and writing songs since I was little – in fact, I believe I wrote my first song when I was seven. When I was thirteen I became interested in production and started teaching myself to record and produce my own songs. Music was always something I was very interested in, so there was simply no other way!
We love your Maisie Peters-inspired alt-pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
As a teenager, I was obsessed with Muse. Their early material was so powerful and intensely emotional, and I loved how their topics were things that don’t often appear in songs, such as outer space or the state of the world. It was what made me want to have a band, and have my own voice, so a very strong early influence for me. A couple of others would be Amanda Palmer (in the period of my first EP and album), Sufjan Stevens and Lana del Rey. These days I listen to a lot of alt-pop, the likes of Phoebe Bridgers or Holly Humberstone.
You’ve just released your new single ‘Second Best’. Are you able to tell us a bit about it?
‘Second Best’ is about feeling inadequate in a society that celebrates the one-in-a-million American Dream stories of going from rags to riches, while collectively pitying the the masses living average lives. From a young age, we watch stories of success against all odds and are besotted with the chosen one, while getting accustomed to look down on the average people and their struggles – the irony being, of course, that we are them. We are told that we can achieve anything, if only we try hard enough. As inspiring as this sounds, it also implies that we only have ourselves to blame (regardless of systemic disadvantages, biological limits, financial difficulty etc) for having an average life, in a world where mediocrity is viewed as being worse than utter failure. Something is messed up here, and I thought it was worth exploring.
Being based in London, do you get to see lots of live music? Would you say it’s recovered since the pandemic?
There is always something cool happening in London, but I don’t go out as much as I should, really! I used to go to a lot of gigs before the pandemic; not so much now, but planning to change that! I’m Not sure if things are the same, as some venues have really suffered and even had to close, but I see that lots of things are going on, and lots of friends and people I know are back to putting on gigs.
And what can fans expect from your live shows?
No shows planned for this year, but hoping to put together a UK tour in 2023, to promote the new album coming out next year. More details TBC!
How do you feel the industry is for new artists at the moment? And do you feel much has changed over the last few years in its treatment of female and queer/LGBTQ+ artists?
I am seeing a lot of positive change, a lot more visibility and lot more acceptance. But there’s still a long way to go! I’d love to see more women producers (we are still a tiny fraction of the total, less than 3%)! And less ageism, again especially directed at women. Life doesn’t end at 30, so why should music careers end then? Thankfully this also seems to be improving, slowly.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
Just looking at my feed at some musicians I know that have released music recently, check out Austel – ‘Cut Me Down’, GRAY – ‘A Million Roses’, Rookes – ‘Paint’, Feral Five – ‘Silver Sky’. I also love Luna Keller’s ‘Wolves’ and Luke Fraser with ‘Moth Eaten Romeo’.
Finally, what does the rest of the year have in store for you?
I have at least one more single dropping before the end of the year, a new album pre-order announcement to come, and also the obligatory Christmas video! And I’ll also be found playing songs and taking requests on Twitch (almost) every Sunday!
Massive thanks to Jewelia for answering our questions!