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Jesswar soars to new creative heights and announces their next big project

Award-winning hip hop sensation, Jesswar has celebrated many musical milestones over the last few years. Now, they’re gearing up to launch a new era in their career.

Rising hip hop icon, Jesswar has accomplished a quite a lot in a short time frame. Since launching their widely-celebrated debut EP, TROPIXX  in March of 2021, they’ve been hard at work on new material. Not only that, but their cutting-edge creativity has been recognised by the likes of Billboard, NME, Triple J, Rolling Stone and beyond.

Well on their way to dominating our nation’s ever-growing hip hop scene, the Fijian-Australian creative refuses to be held down by imposed definitions and societal expectations. Earlier this year, Jesswar fronted the legendary Chivas Regal ‘I Rise, We Rise’ campaign, alongside other incredible Aussie acts, including Manu Crooks, Jade Le Flay, Mikaela Stafford and Zig Annor. 

Now, with brand new music on the horizon, we caught up with Jesswar to talk about their creative process, inspirations, and exciting plans ahead.

jesswar
Credit: Press

HAPPY: When was the first time you fell in love with hip hop music?

JESSWAR: I fell in love with hip hop when I was super young. My older brother and stepbrother would always play it around the house, so from then, I was hooked. One of the first songs I ever remember hearing was 50 Cent’s In Da Club.

HAPPY: It’s now been over a year since you dropped TROPIXX, has your favourite track from the EP changed since then?

JESSWAR: For me, my favourite track from TROPIXX is XXL. I wrote and tracked that song around 2020 in lockdown. The rest of the tracks are from around 2017–2019, so I had been playing them live for a long time. XXL is one of my favourite tracks to listen to, but my favourites to play live are Medusa and Venom.

HAPPY: You’ve hinted that you’ve got some new music in the works, how much can you tell us about the new material?

JESSWAR: I’ve been working on a new project for the last year and I’m keen to release it! It’s completely different from TROPIXX, sonically and visually. I feel proud of what I’ve made and can’t wait to share it!

HAPPY: What’s exciting you about the new material?

JESSWAR: The most exciting thing is that I felt such freedom within myself while making this new project. I didn’t care about what anyone thought. I was purely making this record for myself. It’s a new era and direction, not only in my career, but in my personal life as well.

HAPPY: You’ve won some huge awards, including Best Hip Hop Artist at the Queensland Music Awards, and a nomination by Rolling Stone for Best Emerging Artist. What do you think the next ‘wow moment’ will be for your future releases?

JESSWAR: I’m really keen to tour new music! I feel super grateful for all the awards I’ve won, and honestly, they’re the only things I’ve ever won in life. My family and friends are super proud of me, but some of the best energy exchanges I get are from being on tour and sharing new music with people. I really missed this during lockdown, and to play to a room full of people singing back your lyrics is one of the biggest wow moments I’ve experienced!

HAPPY: During lockdown, did you have a chance to work on any other creative projects?

JESSSWAR: For me, I spent lockdown writing music and trying to keep my energy levels up. I wrote a new project and tried to do all the things to keep my mind busy. I definitely feel I learnt a lot about myself in that time, and tried to use it as a break to recharge myself.

HAPPY: What was your experience of working on the Chivas Regal ‘I Rise, We Rise’ campaign?

JESSWAR: I had the best time on set with Chivas! Honestly, one of the best shoots I’ve been on and had a great time working with the crew! I was blown away when we saw the final shots, and to see the mural that was painted in fortitude valley was so incredible!

HAPPY: It seems like hip hop and queerness can often be combative. How did you reach the point where you were able to use hip hop as a tool of expression?

JESSWAR: 100 per cent, I feel for me it’s all about being proud of who I am no matter what and no matter what space I’m in. Music, in general, has always been my medium to express myself and hip hop/rap is the genre that I felt the most seen.

HAPPY: You also proudly represent the Fijian-Australian community, what does it mean to you personally to be able to do that through your music?

JESSWAR: I feel like this is huge for me! I always want to represent where my blood’s from and not have it erased from me. I always want to be proud of who I am, my values, and where I’m from, no matter what.

 

TROPIXX is out now.

Interviewed by Lochie Schuster.

Photos supplied.