Ahead of her Instagram takeover on the 18th June, we caught up with Jess Lamarre to hear more about her career in music and dance so far.
You were born and raised in Detroit but also have a Caribbean background, is this mix reflected in your music?
Absolutely. I grew up listening to Haitian Kompa so it’s a type of music that I love. I try to incorporate it as much as I can. It’s a part of me. It’s a part of my history.
How and when did you discover your passion and talent for performing?
My parents put me in a dance class at 3 years old. I was in soccer but I would dance around the field so my dad decided to take me off the field and put me into dance. I didn’t start singing until I was asked to sing at my 5th grade graduation. That’s when I realised I had a voice. People were crying and were touched by my vocal performance and the response made me get excited. From that moment I knew I wanted to sing.
You’re both a singer and a dancer – is it challenging to switch between those different modes? And how does the combination feed into your live performance?
No, it’s not difficult. I always incorporate both into my performance because it’s a part of who Jess Lamarre is. When you are in a professional scenario as a dancer it is a different hat, but when it’s time for me to perform as a singer, it’s just who I am. I’m used to wearing multiple hats.
Who are your musical influences?
My biggest influence would be Michael Jackson because his artistry runs parallel with mine as it relates to being a singer/dancer/performer. I love Shade, as well as legends Charlie Wilson, Whitney Houston, and I definitely would say gospel has a big influence for me.
What does your songwriting process look like? Do you draw on personal experiences for inspiration?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Even if I’m not the writer, a song that is written for me is drawn from my experience or someone I may know. If I haven’t experienced it myself, I draw from friends and family and do the best I can to emote to get the feeling of the song across.
What was it like performing with the legendary Mariah Carey? How did this opportunity come about?
It was AMAZING! At the time Mariah was my inspiration. It was a full circle moment because I felt like I was dancing for the artist who introduced me to wanting to become an artist. I feel like my introduction to her was truly the start of my career and I’m grateful for that moment.
You’ve released a few different singles. Can we expect an EP or album soon? If so, what would you hope to achieve through a larger body of work?
Yes, I have about 10 songs under my belt that I am excited to share with the world. The EP will be coming out next month. I hope people can get a sense of who I am and that they can grow a liking to my music. I hope that this body of work will be the start of a successful career in music. Whether 25 people hear my music or 25 million, I just want my voice to be heard and make an impact to someone’s journey through love.
Any exciting plans for the remainder of 2020?
Yes, my EP is coming out! I don’t know how I feel about this year to be honest – it’s been a year of unexpected things because of COVID-19. I can’t wait to get back to the studio to begin writing just off of these experiences that the year has presented so far. A lot of personal growth has happened so the remainder of this year will be focused on “faithing it out” and trusting my heart.
What artists are you listening to at the moment? Do you have a go-to playlist?
I’ve taken a liking to Snoh Aalegra! Also, you can never go wrong with Lauryn Hill, she gives you all the feels. I have created a playlist on Spotify under my Jess Lamarre profile for Black Lives Matter – given what’s happening in the world it makes me feel empowered!
What can we expect from your live set on our Instagram on the 18th June?
This one is going to be a little different for me. More intimate. It will be more focused on vocal verses performing. I may throw in a few surprises but I’m excited and thankful for the invitation to share my voice with your platform!
What would you like people to take away from Jess Lamarre and her artistry?
I hope that people can relate to the music and I’ve always felt like my purpose in music is bigger than myself. When I do music I think about the influence and how it can have a powerful impact. I just want to be the vessel that is used to communicate and connect people through music.
Jess Lamarre Website
Jess Lamarre Instagram
Jess Lamarre Spotify
Jess Lamarre Apple Music