Jessie J at Koko
After two years out of the spotlight due to unknown health issues, Jessie J has returned, more raw, honest and genuine than ever before. The singer arrived on stage in a sheer black catsuit, accompanied by a four-piece band and her two backup vocalists, opening her set with 2011 emotional hit Who You Are. J delighted her fans with her signature powerhouse voice, strong and smooth as it has always been, strutting her stuff on stage like the veteran performer she is, working the crowd effortlessly with well-known hits like Domino and Real Deal.
With her new album R.O.S.E. set for release – the title based on her mother’s name – it was fitting that her parents should be in at Koko. In truth, Jessie’s performance felt more like the real Jessica Ellen Cornish than the pop icon she became. And while she is, of course, at her best singing, fans could ask for nothing more than an artist who speaks to them and speak to them she did. J, poured her heart into the audience between songs, befriending them, asking their names and occupation, revealing how she really wanted to get to know her fan’s stories. After performing her 2013 track Harder We Fall, which the crowd sang back at her, she invited two lucky fans on stage to sing Flashlight with her.
It’s a testament to her ability to abandon pretence and let the music speak, although the audience did get a little irritable over how much time she spent conversing with the duo. All was forgiven though once she burst into a powerful rendition of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song, playing once again on the messages of love and hate she was trying to deliver in her “Church of Jessie J”–style preaches between tracks. But what could have been overbearing, was saved by her charm, and endearing personality.
The singer-songwriter also spoke at length about her own journey over the past two years: “Two years ago I was lost. I didn’t know what music to make and I was tired all the time. I needed time away from the cameras and the expectation. I needed time to reprogram the real Jessica Ellen Cornish.” Before she performed her new track Think About That she told the story of how “the spark had reignited” when she was at a place where she couldn’t think of making music anymore.
J finished her set off with her smash-hit Price Tag, before coming back on stage for an encore of Do It Like a Dude, that had the crowd dancing with the attitude she is well known for.
Photo: EJ Hersom
For further information and future events visit the Jessie J website here.
Watch the video for Think About That here: