From the first time, clubbers were introduced to the incredible vocal talents of Jes Brieden, the US Singer had played a pivotal role in giving a voice to so many of her fans most memorable moments. This week we had the exceptional privilege to ask Jes a few questions and learn more about one of EDM’s most active artists.
TranceMag: We were lucky enough to receive your latest collaboration with Jochen Miller, certainly big fans of the track all round at TranceMag. Can you tell us about the track, how it came about and what the lyrical content is about?
J: Thank you so much! I’m very happy it has been released. I had been a fan of Jochen’s sound for a while. We met through our Social Media and talked about doing something together and the project grew from there. We had been working on that song, going back and forth via the Internet. We really worked on it until we felt we got it right and it went through a couple of incarnations before we were done. Jochen is a great producer and a real pleasure to collaborate with. He has a great work ethic and like me is absolutely committed to making the song be as good as it can be. I worked on the lyrics for a while and wrote a few different versions of the song before we settled on the final version. There is something about high-energy tracks that can get you revved up and excited so with this track I wanted to have a clear tone of positivity and strength throughout the lyrics to bring those two feelings together. It’s an inspiring song about the way two people can create a spark and a connection, and how this combination of energy can explode to make a story that transcends any obstacles or doubt. So far we have had great support from so many of my peers. This past week it was played by Armin on ASOT 826 which is always a milestone. The Cuebrick remix is coming out August 14th so be on the lookout. It’s an amazing interpretation of the song as well as the original.
TM: You’ve got such an incredibly constant social media presence. In the midst of all you do, do you ever actually get time to sleep as well?
J: Well, I try to get enough to be up in every time zone actually, I have to say I probably don’t get as much sleep as I should. I wake up early no matter what time I go got to bed. I do love to sleep though and it’s been one go my goals to get 8 hours a night, but I’m still working that! For social media, I have a schedule so I try to stay on it but sometimes I just like to get on in the middle of the night and say hi to all my friends too!
TM: You’ve got such a great and unique fashion sense, and to mention your name immediately creates a picture – almost like some sort of super hero – where your music, look and attitude have become attached to all that is JES. Did you consciously go out to create a persona, or is it a “what you see, is what you get” kind of situation?
J: There is something that happens when you write songs and sing and perform. It is quite a magical experience … almost subconscious in a way. When you can express yourself freely you begin to blossom and over the years I think that is just what happened when it comes to my ideas of fashion and music together. It’s really important to always be growing and developing your art and yourself. As my music has changed and I’ve changed so has my desire for all types of fashion. It’s another form of creation for me and I also find that fashion is very musical. Sometimes I think it would be so much fun to just create a persona but I personally can’t escape from myself so I have stayed close to my heart and what I am instinctually attracted to design wise. I definitely love getting dressed up to perform and it gives me a great excuse to indulge that passion. You get to be a bit larger than life on stage so I’ve really had fun with it and find ways to stretch myself. I have some wonderful designers that I work with and I get to experiment with the ideas in my head. Fashion will always be another form of self-expression so I end up working with it in the same way I do music, with no rules.
TM: Tell us a bit more about Rock Star Diet?
J: The Rock Star Diet actually started as a diet for me. After two months on it I was quite shocked at how much lighter I was, how healthy and strong I felt and really there is no better feeling than that for me. The plan itself is a little more involved than just the recipes on my blog and I am slowly building the blog to showcase that and I am working on a book. I experiment with recipes that center around the food I love (but maybe can’t eat all the time) and make them with lighter ingredients. It’s helped me feel satisfied and still stay in shape. There’s a wide range of vegetarian, pescatarian and vegan ideas which have all been road tested and approved by me and over the last few years, I have been developing my own healthy choice recipes, which taste great. You can check it out here, the rock star diet Subscribe and get the latest ideas right to your inbox.
TM: If you never found music on the level that you did, where could you imagine yourself carving out a different career path?
J: Well, most of my life I have always been fully committed to music. I never really had a plan B which I’m sure sounds a little crazy to most people but I think that helped me to keep going. Music has always been the thing I connected the most with but I also do love other creative outlets. I’d probably like to pursue photography. I love to create ideas so running and developing a business from the ground up seems exciting and challenging to me. At times I’ve also thought about joining the Peace Corps or some organization that helps people and children… something totally opposite from the world of music. I have even thought somewhere down the line I’d like to get a big farm where I could rescue animals and have horses.
TM: Such a big fan of your Unleash The Beat radio show. What’s your selection process, and do you ever make a conscious
effort to discover music that nobody’s heard?
J: Thank you so much for listening. UTB has developed such a great fan base of wonderful people over the years. It’s always very interesting to get into the promos on Monday morning and see all the new tracks and releases. I actually don’t look at the names on the promos, I just listen to them blind and download anything I like. We also have a drop box that people can use to submit directly or email me links (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we play a lot of tracks that come through that path. Once I’ve downloaded all the tracks I have chosen I try and put the set together with the way I would for a live show, building the dynamic of the show rather just playing the tracks back to back like a normal radio show. The tracks create a journey when they’re played in the right sequence and that is a huge part of what makes this music work and that’s what is at the heart of the UTB show for me.
TM: What’s playing on your car radio/ iPod/ smartphone right now?
J: I listen to so much music and quick pace it comes out these days I have to say that it’s constantly changing. Being a songwriter I love being able to listen to older classics on Spotify as well as some of my recent guilty pleasures have been London Grammar, Radiohead and Blondie, and Lana Del Rey.
TM: Is there anything about the Electronic Dance Music scene, you feel might have gotten lost, within its current incarnation, given how big it’s become commercially? Anything you feel needs to get more attention?
J: It’s really incredible how big the scene has become and I guess like anything that goes through that process of commercialization a few good things can get lost along the way. I do feel like there are some DJ’s and artists out there who let the quest for success overwhelm their creative impulse. On the upside, I get to listen to around two hundred promos a week for the UTB show and there is still a wealth of great music out there. Personally, I would love to see a little more variation in the festival line ups because it seems like the same ten acts are on at almost every festival at the moment and the policy of the promoters not supporting new music and more diverse artist lineup I think is very bad for the scene.
TM: You’ve collaborated with so many great producers, is there anyone you’d really love to work with, and what are the chances of that collaboration happening?
J: Collaborating is a big part of the current music scene and I love to meet and work with new people. It helps to keep the energy up and the ideas fresh and moving . I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with so many great artists and producers but there are a few that I’ve never quite got it together with who I would love to do something for. I’m sure that a song with Above & Beyond would be something special and I’ve always wanted to do a song with Armin but our schedules have never quite aligned. I also love Porter Robinson’s production and I think it would be fun to try something a little outside of what people know me for like a Flume or an Illenium collab.
TM: What does the immediate and distant future look like for JES?
J: There is always a lot happening in JES world 😉 Right now I have two new songs on Cosmic Gate’s Materia Part 2 Album which is coming out in September. One of them is a beautiful ballad so I’m really excited for that to be released as a single later this year. I also have a few more collaborations in the works right now. I’ve been working on an acoustic series with a new song coming out every month on my own label (Intonenation Records) and you can check out the videos for them on YouTube. I’ve just signed a new song called The One to Enhanced Music in the UK. It’s quite a different track for me so I’m very excited to see how my fans react to this new sound. I’m just about to hit show number 250 of the Unleash The Beat show, which is just amazing and I’m planning a return to Facebook Live for a special show to celebrate August 18th. I just finished filming a new video to “Stay” my collaboration with Delerium. I’ve also been working on a top secret project which is a little bit outside of the EDM world and I am also almost done with my new artist EP release coming later this year so there’s plenty of new music on the way to look forward to.
Thank you Trancemag! XO JES
Press images courtesy of Jes