Jesswar’s debut single, Savage, is accompanied by stunning visuals of the women who inspired it

We caught up with Brisbane-based hip-hop artist Jesswar to chat about Savage (her first professional debut), how she got to where she is today and where she plans to take her career next.

Please can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

I’m a hip-hop artist based in Brisbane. I’ve been writing, recording, and performing music for six years now. I’ve just signed a distribution deal with Golden Era Records, and am gearing up to release an EP in the coming year.

How did your career begin?

I started playing gigs when I was 16. It all began with live bands. I would hop up and MC with bands from the Gold coast all the way up to Brisbane. This taught me about performing, and I learned to think on the spot when needed. After that I decided to study at the Conservatorium of Music on the Gold Coast, because I wanted to learn as much as I could about all the broad genres of music as well as the business involved. This also then helped with me booking shows and getting recording time, which just sparked my passion for becoming a full-time musician.

So that’s how I got to where I am now, doing it full-time and continually pushing myself to reach my own definition of success.

What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced throughout your career and how did you overcome it? 

I don’t think one specific challenge comes to mind. Really it’s just been the continual ‘No’s from within the industry. I had to learn very young to have a thick skin. This industry can absolutely cut you down if you let it. You can invest time, energy, and emotions into a body of work and it cannot take off.

I learned so much through harsh failures that I realised I had to make my music completely my own. I think you know that in theory, but in practice the music has to embody you and I feel like I’m now making music that is true to my sound and style.

Can you tell us about your most recent single, Savage, and the video released to accompany it?

Savage is my first professional debut into the Australian music scene. This song came relatively easily because it felt really natural to write. I’m very proud of this song because a lot of work has gone into the visuals and pushing it to where it needs to be.

The video was shot all around Brisbane, and shows a group of women who are my friends and who all embody the word ‘savage’.

Shooting was a lot of fun with a crew this size, and I’m so happy with the way it turned out.

What’s given you the greatest sense of achievement to date?

I think every time I reach a new goal it’s a huge sense of achievement. But as soon as I reach one I push myself higher, so I’m always looking forward to what I can do better and how I can do it bigger. I’m incredibly grateful for all that I’ve gotten already, too.

So I suppose a moment where I felt great pride was playing on the rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art. I played a stage looking out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, and that felt huge. It was a moment where I knew big things were coming for me.

Who are some of the women who inspire you most and why?

Miss Blanks, Kaylah Truth, G Elenil, and Aywin inspire me the most at this time. Seeing these young women thrive in Hip-Hop is dope, and I’m loving watching the rise of female artists like Sampa the Great, Beeza, P Unique, and  Kaiit.

The list goes on… Honestly, it’s such an incredible time to be making music with so many amazing women surrounding me!

What’s next for you?

Releasing my EP, touring with shows and festivals, collaborations with other artists I’m inspired by… I’ll be shooting more music videos and taking things to the next level.

I’m ready to work harder than I ever before in order to achieve the vision I have for my career.

Catch Jesswar performing at The Flamin’ Galah in Brisbane FOR FREE this Friday 8th December


Answers by Jesswar

Images provided by Mellum PR

Questions and edits by Emma Kate Lewis

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