6th December 2017

Tags: ,

BIMM Manchester’s Jess Kemp has had herself a fantastic year. So, as 2017 draws to a close, we thought we’d catch up with the young singer/songwriter for a moment of reflection and to look ahead to see what the future holds.

What’ve been your main highlights of 2017?
2017 has been such a crazy year, it’s been one of those years where you plan a few things and then loads of other amazing opportunities appear from nowhere. Highlights from the year have definitely been winning the Manchester Arndale Student Band Competition and bagging slots at Kendal Calling and Bluedot Festival. From the win, I was also beyond buzzing to be given the chance to go into Blueprint Studio’s to record some new tracks and that was incredible. Playing Liverpool Pride gave me the opportunity to play in front of my biggest crowd to date…. It was very nerve racking but the biggest buzz ever.

Has there been any aspect of your music career this year which you think could’ve gone better?
I’d definitely like to spend a bit more time writing next year.I can’t really complain because the only reason I’ve not had time has been as a result of the amount of live dates I’ve played. I feel like I lived in fields over the summer playing festivals all over but I honestly wouldn’t have changed that for the world. I have a plan to spend the first few months of 2018 writing and just experimenting to get some new material on the go… but as far as songwriting goes, I don’t think that’s something I could really schedule… it’s more of a 2am job.

How has the public’s reaction been to your latest single, “Vondelpark”?
“VondelPark” has gone down so well. Since the release of the track it gained airplay on BBC Introducing in Manchester and for the release of the video, I held a gig at The Eagle Inn, Salford and launched the video onto the big screen. The gig sold out so it was nice and busy and I was so excited to show everyone the end result. The end of the video got a few laughs from the crowd… if you watch it you’ll know what I mean.

You’re studying Music Business. How has the course helped you so far and what would you say is the most valuable module to you personally?
Choosing to study Music Business at BIMM has been so beneficial for me. I like to think of it as a course that teaches me to watch out for absolutely everything that could get me into trouble. And that… it has done. It helps put everything that I’d once considered to be mind-blowingly confusing into perspective. For me personally, the most valuable module has been artist development and marketing, simply because as a performer these are areas that can be very easily overlooked. However, when self managing, it’s so important to bare these areas in mind.

What sort of plans do you have lined-up for 2018? 
2018 is going to be a really exciting year for me as I’ve got plans to do stuff that I’ve never done before.. some of which I’d love to tell you but you’ve got to do that whole secrecy thing for a bit… However, I have just announced that I’ll be playing a headline gig at The Whiskey Jar on Saturday 3rd February. Tickets are on sale now and I’m going to be announcing something pretty big and cool on the night (yet again, more secrets) but as they say, you have to be in it to win it!! Tickets are £4 from Skiddle.

If you’re interested in finding out more and following what Jess gets up to in 2018, head over to her socials & website!



James Watts

Social Media Assistant, Professional Bassist and Music Journalist. Career highlights include performing at some of the UK's premier music festivals, recording in Abbey Road and interviewing Debbie Harry.