by David Friend The Canadian Press Posted Mar

first_img by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 23, 2018 6:29 am PDT Last Updated Mar 23, 2018 at 7:01 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Q&A: Four-time Juno nominee Jessie Reyez on why she refuses to shun awards shows VANCOUVER – Jessie Reyez is a leading contender heading into this weekend’s Junos, but the breakout singer says she’s not letting the awards buzz go to her head.“The last thing I want to do is get too happy,” the fiery 27-year-old musician said of her four nominations — a tally matched only by rockers Arcade Fire this year.“I feel like it’s dangerous to get complacent and celebrate too much… You can’t get comfortable.”But that doesn’t mean Reyez isn’t craving recognition.The Toronto-raised performer with Colombian roots says she’s excited about her Juno nods and what lies ahead this year. She’s in the running for best R&B/soul recording, best music video, breakthrough artist of the year and the Juno Fan Choice award.Reyez will also perform her single “Figures” on Sunday’s Junos broadcast airing live on CBC. Other nominated acts slated to play include fellow Toronto newcomer Daniel Caesar, Diana Krall, Arkells and Lights. The show at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena will be hosted by pop crooner Michael Buble.The telecast caps off a weekend of accolades for Canadian music, starting at the Juno Awards gala dinner on Saturday where most trophies are handed out. The event will be streamed on the CBC Music website.Reyez spoke to The Canadian Press about making her first impression on Junos viewers, and why she’s still chasing awards, even if Canada’s biggest hip hop acts refuse to submit their work for consideration to some awards shows.CP: You’re coming off a steady run of tour dates but this Junos performance is among your first on a big-time awards show. What’s going through your mind as you prepare?Reyez: A lot of people don’t know me, and for a lot of people this will be their first time hearing me. So it’s going to be me trying to make that moment as potent as possible. Not a lot of embellishments. It’s going to be honest. It’s going to be me.CP: You have a reputation for laying your emotions bare on the stage, sometimes even bringing yourself to tears when you sing. How do you consistently deliver these raw performances?Reyez: The stories in the songs come from my real life. And it’s kind of like, ah man, at the risk of sounding cheesy, it’s kind of like a wound, like a cut. People want to get over things, so (they) move forward and don’t think about it, but when you make a song, it’s there forever. If you go back to it, and get lost in it, it’s like digging your finger into that cut. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t cringe when I put my finger in a cut.CP: The song “Gatekeeper,” from your debut EP “Kiddo” released early last year, felt especially potent in the wake of the #MeToo movement. It’s a vivid retelling of your experience with a powerful music industry player who tried to pressure you into sex with promises of fame. What’s it like seeing that song take on greater significance amid conversations about sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry?Reyez: It was a real story of something that happened to me, so it didn’t really hit me until after (the song was finished). I didn’t even think (of the impact it could have) until me and the producer were done and he was like, “This is crazy.” It messed me up more when we were in meetings and we’d play it. You’d see visceral reactions. You would see some girls just go tense and their eyes tear up because they see themselves in that situation and they went through it.CP: You’ve been secretive about the status of your debut full-length album, saying you’re a perfectionist and it’ll see the light of day “when God wants.” What’s the hold-up?Reyez: I want it to be great. I want it to be something that I’m proud of in 10 years. I want it to be something that, if I’m lucky enough to have kids they’ll be like, “Yo, remember when mom made this?” You know what I mean? I want there to be pride in it, my parents to be proud of it. I want accolades.CP: You’ve mentioned previously that one of your aspirations is having a shelf of Grammys. That’s pretty ambitious out of the gate.Reyez: That’s definitely my goal… but I’m still a rookie. That’s why I’m trying to do this for the long haul. I’m trying to think of the 10-year plan and the calibre of music I need to make. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a lot of dope musicians. Any time I’m in a (recording) session, I try to walk in like a sponge and take notes, learn and try to get better.CP: Some of your fellow Toronto hip hop artists have shunned big awards shows like the Grammys and Junos in recent years under the belief they don’t give the music genre its due. (Drake and the performers on his OVO Sound label chose not to submit their work to the Junos for consideration this year and the rapper has famously shunned the Grammys.) Why have you decided to set your sights on these trophies?Reyez: I know (there’s talk) about how a lot people of colour don’t get recognized, a lot of hip hop music doesn’t get recognized. For me, I try to always look at the positive. If I get to hold that (Grammy) one day, I can say, “OK, dope. This little chick that was born in… Toronto, this little Colombiana woman of colour, a minority female, did it.” I want to be able to say that so my two little nieces can feel like they can do anything.CP: One trait that stands out about your personality is this determined trajectory you’ve set yourself on. What’s your mantra?Reyez: “You only lose when you quit.” It’s crazy, eh? All those cliches you hear in school and kind of brush off —because they seem to lose potency — are the keys to life. I wish more kids knew that.— This interview has been edited and condensed.—Follow @dfriend on Twittercenter_img Jessie Reyez is seen in this undated handout photo. Jessie Reyez is a leading contender heading into this weekend’s Junos, but the breakout singer says she’s not letting the awards buzz go to her head. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Universal Music Canada, Marlon Munoz, *MANDATORY CREDIT* last_img