A larger-than-life talent in a petite package, James has been ready for her close-up since she was two, when the well-traveled military brat, born a fiery Aries in a military field hospital in Italy, began singing into a toy microphone and tape recorder, a gift from her mom. By the time she was nine, she was composing her own songs on a plastic guitar and performing in front of large audiences, including the opening of Sea World and the Republican Convention to name a few.
Jessie’s music is a candid celebration of her pop and country influences. “I’ve wanted to do country music my whole life,” she says. “But I’m really inspired by the pop world as well. I love both Christina Aguilera and Shania Twain, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”
Produced by John Fields [Switchfoot, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Eat World], the album marked her maturation into a performer who easily straddles the worlds of pop and country. The single, “Boys in the Summer” which was remixed by hit-making producer and Show Dog – Universal Music president, Mark Wright made great headway in the Country format with the video receiving a huge response at CMT.
“My debut album was sort of like a trial period, at least for me,” she says. “It gave me a chance to discover who I was musically. Now I feel I know where I am.”
“I’m an Italian girl from the south who’s very passionate,” she says. “Love is what makes you do everything. It really does conquer all. I’ve been writing since I was nine years old and I’m very much involved in the creative process. And now that I’m in a happier place in my personal life, I’m spitting songs out left and right.”
In 2011, James made the transition to Nashville-based, country label, Show Dog – Universal Music where she is currently in the studio with Mark Wright working on her first album for the label.
“I remember hearing a demo on Jessie a few years ago and being very impressed with what a big voice she had for such a young girl,” said Mark Wright, President Show Dog - Universal Music. “I followed up, only to find that Mercury in New York had signed her. I was so excited to hear from my friend and colleague David Massey at Mercury that Jessie had always considered herself a country artist and would I consider joining forces with him to launch her into the country market. I am proud that SDU and Mercury/IDJ can jointly bring you this exciting, new, soon-to-be superstar.”
James’ first single, “When You Say My Name”, produced by Mark Wright, will be released digitally on iTunes January 31st. The music video directed by Kristin Barlowe will follow shortly.