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An Interview with Australian Singer-Songwriter Jess Ball

With her single, “Thank You,” out now, we took some time to hear more from Jess Ball. Read below to learn more about Jess Ball, the story behind her latest single, and what’s to come.

Hi Jess Ball! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?

I was born Jess Ball.

What city are you from and where are you based now?

I am from Melbourne and still live there today!

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?

I have always wanted to be a singer, but I never really imagined I could make it into a career. It was about 3 years ago, when I was 19, that I met with 1 & 2 productions to sing a couple of tracks. I realized I could actually do something with my singing. I was enrolled in university, but decided to give my all to a career in music because it was the only thing I could see myself doing in the future. I started out doing some collaborations with European DJs, and from there, I started to record and write some of my own stuff with Tony Polimeni (manager) and Richy Sebastian (producer). It’s been such an amazing experience so far, and I can’t wait for what is to come.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

I had a beautiful upbringing and will forever be grateful to my family for pushing me to be my best and encouraging me to do what I love. Since I was little, I have been making up weird little songs, and as bad as they once were, my family still supported me and embraced my quirks. To this day, my mum and dad sing the lyrics to a song I wrote about a shopping aisle when I was about 6. I have always been told that as long as I am happy, everything will work out, and I guess that has led me to keep pushing with music and keep creating new material. In turn, I feel this perseverance to keep writing has made me write about more obscure subject matter. I definitely still have the odd break up song, but I like that there is a bit of versatility in there.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?

I would say my sound is of the Indie Pop genre – punchy and bright, but with an edge. It’s actually funny, in some ways, because some of my most upbeat songs actually have a darker lyrical meaning behind them.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

I love anything to do with the beach – surfing, swimming, tanning, you name it! I feel it’s good to sometimes step away from music just to reset and get your creativity back on track, and the beach helps me do this. It also gives you more subject matter to work with. I have also always been into my running, as I feel it is quite cathartic. If I am not writing about my emotions or stresses, I will be running to manage them.

Who are some of your main musical influences?

I grew up listening to artists like Missy Higgins, Jack Johnson, and John Legend, so I guess from the beginning there were a few different genres inspiring me. As I got older, I started listening to more of the Wombats, Sticky Fingers, Gorillaz, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and now also artists such as Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa.

What are some of your future music career goals?

I definitely want to release an EP or album soon, and get a few tracks out at once, so people can get a real feel for my sound. As for the long term, it is my dream to be able to tour and travel around the world.

What is your number 1 bucket list activity (apart from touring)?

Scuba diving in Iceland. The water looks ridiculous there.

Now onto your release, “Thank You.” What inspired this song?

I was feeling pretty angry when I wrote “Thank You” and decided to channel that anger into a song. I would love, now, to be a fly on the wall and look back on the writing process. I just remember sitting on my bed screaming into my headphones to a really depressing guitar track on garage band at 1 AM while my family tried to sleep.

What is “Thank You” about in your own words?

“Thank You” is a pretty sarcastic track, in that I’m saying ‘thank you,’ but really meaning ‘screw you.’ It is about coming to the realization that you have been wasting your time with someone who really doesn’t care about you and would jump ship as soon as they got the chance.

What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “Thank You?”

In a general sense, I hope that my music genuinely makes people feel good; whether that be feeling happy through some of my upbeat and uplifting music, or simply just as a release of anger and sadness through some of my more intense music. I just want people to benefit in some way. For example, I love nothing better than screaming to Rage Against the Machine in the car when I’m feeling aggravated and just having that feeling of release. With “Thank You,” I hope that people can sympathize with my situation and feel enraged, but also empowered by the fact that this song is having a go at all of the people who have left us feeling worthless.

What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?

I have been lucky to work with some amazing artists so far including, EDX and NERVO, and having listened to their music growing up, I was not only grateful to be part of their music but also really proud of myself for this achievement. It was these incredible artists that gave me this platform to release my own material and have my own sound.

What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?

Overall, I think that the most important lesson is that “good things come to those who wait.” Music isn’t often something that just happens overnight (TikTok is an exception). With any career, it can be really disheartening when you feel like not much is happening or you’re not good enough at your job. Keep pushing and improving, and it will happen!

What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?

I have been working on plenty of new tracks with Richy and Tony that I am extremely excited about; some more collaborations as well as a heap of originals. I also have a bunch of gigs coming up in Melbourne, such as the Workers Club on 19/12/21, The Barwon Club on 07/01/22, the Northcote Social Club on 03/02/22, as well as some more down the line.

Where can we follow you on social media?

You can follow me on all social media platforms below:
https://www.instagram.com/jessballl
https://twitter.com/jessballmusic
https://www.facebook.com/jessballmusic

Before we let you go, let’s ask you a random question: What is your favorite food?

I am obsessed with all things Italian, especially pasta <3