Friday 13 September 2013

MTV IGGY: Pull Jessy Lanza’s Hair Back, She’s Ready To Attack

By Joseph 'JP' Patterson

Name: Jessy Lanza

Where She’s From: Ontario, Canada

When She Started: 2012

Genre: Experimental pop-R&B

For Fans Of: Aaliyah, SZA, How To Dress Well

Sounds Like: Vocal-led electronica for grown-ups

Female faces in the electronic music arena are few and far between, but you can always count on Kode9’s Hyperdub to unearth a musical beauty every now and then. Following the London-based label’s leading ladies – Ikonika, Cooly G, and Laurel Halo – comes Jessy Lanza, a melody-driven pop vocalist who grew up on a fattening diet of R&B. The classically trained artist, hailing from the small town of Hamilton, Ontario, wowed the World Wide Web when she appeared on Ikonika’s Beach Mode (Keep It Simple) earlier this year. Like a true diva, Lanza commanded the synth-heavy, Chicago house-styled production to submit to her hypnotic, sultry tones. But it was to be her alt-R&B debut single, Kathy Lee, that would catapult her into blog superstardom.

"I love old and new R&B and hip-hop," she says. "I’m a big fan of The Dream, and was really into his album, Love/Hate, when I was making the record." The record in question is a 9-track set entitled Pull My Hair Back, which also includes the well-received disco album teaser, Keep Moving. Co-written and co-produced by Jeremy Greenspan, who’s widely known for his electronic/synthpop works with Johnny Dark as Junior Boys, Jessy Lanza offers up luscious melodies – nodding to the vocal stylings of '90s stars Aaliyah and SWV – feisty lyrics, and well-executed experimental beats: dreamy house, glitchy R&B, and bass-riddled techno.

With her constantly in the studio recording, Lanza promises a quick follow-up and also a tour in the fall. For now, though, she’s focused on wrapping as many ears around her LP as possible. "Pull My Hair Back is my first big release, so it’s been really amazing to get a positive response from people," says the meek songstress. "Jeremy Greenspan and I spent the last year and a half in a bubble working on the album, and I really wasn’t sure what the critics were going to think of it, so I’m loving the love right now. You know, writing and playing music is all I’ve wanted to do since I can remember, so working in music in some way was never a question."

This also appeared over at MTV IGGY: H E R E