Interview: Jessie Ware Discusses Her New Album, Kylie Minogue, and Being a “Mother”

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While Jessie Ware is a proud mother of three, she is also known as Mother to LGBTQ+ fans. At first, I laughed it off, wondering if it was only my imagination that Mother kept popping up. The British singer-songwriter, who is 38 years old, tells Bustle, “Oh, shut up, ego. A few years ago, it was all the rage to toss wigs at performers, and I loved every minute of it. Mother is the ultimate honour, and with it comes excellent duty. So, I’ll strive to be a nurturing mother figure to my followers. And my offspring. Oh, Jesus, I must remember them.

Ware’s campy new album, That! Feels Good!, which came out on April 28th, should satisfy her LGBT fans. With a wry smile, she declares, “My brother has always said that I should be careful with how I use the word camp, as a straight cis heterosexual woman… but it’s camp.”

That! Nice Mood! Serves as a follow-up to Ware’s 2021 BRIT Awards Album of the Year nominee. What’s Your Pleasure? Taking the listener on an even more in-depth excursion into the dance floor. Because of it, I could say, “You know what? Currently, things are looking up. I want to dance with you,” she exclaims. “I don’t want to sound smug because I’m still learning and make loads of mistakes, but I think it’s really important to acknowledge when things feel good.”

The new album is a mashup of funk from the ’70s and disco from the ’80s, with some slow jams from her earlier albums, Devotion and Tough Love, thrown in for good measure. The single “Pearls,” all glitz and cheekiness, fit well into the…And Just Like That Season, two teasers included aspects reminiscent of The B-52s, Kylie Minogue, and the Spice Girls.

Ware will keep the good times rolling on tour this autumn, but she is now preoccupied with other matters. The fact that she plans to get to bed early, finish watching Shrinking in Bed, and relax in a hot bath makes her happy. I’m proud of myself for making it to the gym today. Wow, that was a severe blow. To celebrate, I stuffed my face with chocolate.

Ware explains the unexpected guest appearances on That! The song “Feel Good” that she won’t perform on her next tour and why she despises karaoke.

Regarding Unexpected Appearances and Kylie Minogue’s Status as a “Freaking Star”

The opening track of “That!” has a large cast. It’s Great! What is their backstory, and how did they all meet?

Recently, I flipped through my phone book. Thanks to the podcast, I’ve had the incredible fortune of befriending a wide variety of talented individuals. Everyone on the list wonders, “Did I make the cut?” because they haven’t heard the music. Everyone passed muster, I tell them. I’ve got Christopher Kane’s CEO, Barry Mulholland, who is a good friend of mine and has a fantastic Scottish brogue. And then I’ve got Roisin Murphy performing in an airport bathroom. I was given Kylie Minogue. Jamie Demetriou is here with me and appreciated it a lot—perhaps too much. My mother, my closest friends… I failed miserably at convincing Sam, my spouse, to participate in one, but oh well.

When you referred to Kylie Minogue, I gasped.

God bless Kylie; I suppose she performed it professionally in a studio. It’s hard to resist her adorableness. She was leaving for Australia before she could respond to my inquiry. Then, a file arrived saying, “Here, choose between this and this.” Just like that, I blurted out, “I f*cking love you.” In reality, she much surpasses your highest expectations. She’s lovely, charming, and an absolute superstar.

Which males’ names appear in “Shake the Bottle”?

I am concerned that Benny Blanco may confuse Benny with himself. It’s not; I thought it sounded cool. I swear, none of those boys are anyone I know. But everyone has an Eddie or a Jackson in their social circle. The individuals I’m identifying and humiliating are not real, but they fit a certain stereotype that I’m sure everyone has encountered at some point in their lives.

Dislike for Karaoke and the Top 40 Tune She’ll Never Perform Live Again

How about your favourite karaoke tune?

Karaoke is not for me. People who can’t sing should go to a karaoke bar. No one is interested in hearing me sing karaoke. If my mom insists, though, I may try belting out “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston, even though I know I’ll have to stop before I reach the final note. Maybe I’d be like Jennifer Hudson when I’m tipsy and in the mood to sing, “I’m not going…” You will get fond of me. Dreamgirls’ “I’m Not Going” However, I am joking around here.

Do you remember the wedding song?

I made my grand entrance to Sade’s “Your Love Is King,” Our first dance song was “No Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder. And we closed things up with some drum and bass, with my husband and I taking turns DJing.

The way your hubby reacted to your most recent CD was priceless. What track is his favourite on this album?

“Hello, Love,” I find myself thinking. That’s not the case; he prefers “Lightning.”

Which song would you like performed at your memorial service?

My mother has often requested Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By,” laughingly singing along to the song’s catchy refrain, “If you see me walking down the street and I start to cry.” I wonder if I shouldn’t have it, too. I’d like it if they cried, but it’s okay to laugh, too.

Is there a tune you’d instead never perform live again, and why?

Oh, “If You’re Never Gonna Move.” I can’t take it any longer. We need to get rid of it now.

Do you have an unfulfilled desire to create music in a particular style?

I have at least a couple more R&B showcases in me. But first, the theatre of musicals. I’m working on something right now, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

When you started collecting music, what format did you choose—CD, cassette, vinyl, etc.?

Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” was only a single. I think the first CD I ever bought was by Take That because I was so obsessed with them. Do you mean Everything Alters? They bombed in America, but they had my whole attention.

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