Jessie Ware

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Jessie Ware
Jessie Ware.jpg
Ware performing in January 2012
Background information
Birth name Jessica Lois Ware
Born (1984-10-15) 15 October 1984 (age 32)
London, England, UK
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present
Associated acts

Jessica Lois "Jessie" Ware (born 15 October 1984) is an English singer and songwriter. Her debut studio album Devotion (2012) peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart and produced the single "Wildest Moments". Her follow-up record, Tough Love (2014), reached number nine in the United Kingdom. Ware has sung vocals for Joker and SBTRKT, in concert and on their recordings.[1]

Early life[edit]

Ware was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London, and was raised in Clapham, London.[2][3] She is the daughter of Helena (née Keell), a social worker, and John Ware, a BBC Panorama reporter, who divorced when she was 10, and she is the younger sister of British actress Hannah Ware.[4][5][6] Her mother has been a big support in starting her musical career and Ware considers her as "her hero",[7] saying "She brought up my sister, brother and me with so much love and fun and always told me I could do anything I want." Ware's mother is Jewish and she was raised in the faith.[3]

Ware was educated at Alleyn's School, a co-educational independent school in Dulwich in South London, followed by the University of Sussex, where she took a degree in English literature.[8]


After her studies, Ware briefly worked as a journalist at The Jewish Chronicle, did sports journalism at The Daily Mirror and worked behind the scenes at TV company Love Productions. There, she was a colleague of Erika Leonard, otherwise known as E. L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey.[9]

2009–12: Beginnings and Devotion[edit]

Jessie Ware and Jack Peñate

In the years prior to releasing her first solo album, Ware did backing vocals at live shows for Jack Peñate (who took her on tour in The U.S.A.) and Man Like Me. Ware said she learned a lot during her time with Jack Peñate: "Performing with him was really good training, because I got to learn all about how other people do it – I was able to perform live without the pressure of being a lead singer. It gave me a taste of what to expect, and it prepared me for what I’m doing now."[10]

It was one of Peñate's bandmates, Tic, who first introduced Ware to SBTRKT; Ware and SBTRKT went on to collaborate on 'Nervous' (2010). She consequently met Sampha, best known as SBTRKT's main collaborator and live member. They created "Valentine" together, which was released on a special edition, heart-shaped vinyl by Young Turks in 2011. "Valentine" was partly inspired by James Blake's song "The Wilhelm Scream" and based on their own personal experiences in love.[11] The music video for "Valentine" was directed by Marcus Söderlund.[12] "Nervous", "Valentine" and an additional collaboration with DJ Joker ("The Vision") led Ware to a record deal with PMR Records.[13] She also featured on Ceremonials, the 2011 album by Florence and the Machine in which her good friend Florence Welch is lead singer.

On 14 October 2011, Ware released her debut solo single "Strangest Feeling" on limited 10" purple vinyl,[14] although the song did not chart in the United Kingdom. She then released "Running" on 24 February 2012 as the lead single from her debut studio album, Devotion. "110%" was released as the album's second single on 13 April, peaking at number 61 in the United Kingdom. "Wildest Moments" was released as the album's third single on 29 June, peaking at number 46 in the United Kingdom. Ware reckons the proudest moment of her career was hearing 'Wildest Moments' accompanying a television montage of highlights from Andy Murray's dramatic third-round win at Wimbledon.[15] On 20 August 2012, Ware released her debut album Devotion, which peaked at number 5 on the UK Albums Chart. "Night Light" was released as the fourth single on 24 August. On 11 September, Devotion was announced as a nominee for the prestigious Mercury Prize.

In late 2012 the song titled "110%" had to be changed to "If You're Never Gonna Move", due to legal problems with the clearance of a sample of "Dream Shatterer" by Big Punisher, which was an integral part of the song (the title itself was a play on another of Big Punisher's tracks, "100%"). "If You're Never Gonna Move" contains a similar-sounding sample instead.[16]

Ware toured in the United Kingdom in the early part of March 2013, supported by Laura Mvula, starting with Cambridge, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Oxford, Bristol and ending in London.[17] The United Kingdom tour was followed by a European tour in the second half of March 2013 and a US tour in April 2013. In the summer of 2013, Ware played many festivals all over the world,[18] and at the end of 2013, Jessie went on tour in the United States again.

2014–present: Tough Love[edit]

At the beginning of 2014, Ware returned to the studio to write her second album. On 17 July 2014 Ware posted on her Twitter page that the new album is also called Tough Love, including a picture of the cover art,[19] and she also announced on social media that Tough Love would be released on 6 October.[20]

"Tough Love" was the first single to be taken from the new album, airing for the first time on BBC Radio 1 as "Hottest Record" during the Zane Lowe's show and slated for a UK release on 3 August 2014. "Tough Love" was compared to "Prince at his minimalist '80s best" by Pitchfork, who interviewed Ware prior to the release.[21] "Tough Love" is produced together with BenZel, the production duo composed of London post-bass producer Two Inch Punch and mega-producer Benny Blanco who Ware previously worked with on the single "If You Love Me"; Benzel are also executive producers of her new album. Ed Sheeran confirmed that they had written the song "Say You Love Me", together for the new album, which was released on 13 August 2014.[22][23]

She performed Wildest Moments together with the winner of that night Artem Furman on the Polish version of X Factor 2014.[24] On her Twitter page,[25] Ware announced that the only festival she would be playing in 2014 was going to be Wilderness Festival (7-10 August 2014); a pair of additional dates at Berlin Festival 2014 (6 July 2014) and Sopot Gulf of Art (26 July 2014) were later added.

The album peaked at number 9 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming her second top ten album. On the Scottish Albums Chart, the album peaked at number 11.

Ware contributed a song for Nicki Minaj's third studio album, The Pinkprint (2014), called "The Crying Game" in which Minaj alternates between "devastating verses and pensive crooning" whilst Ware adds "haunting" and "soulful" vocals to the chorus.[26] Originally Ware only received a songwriting credit, but she was then credited on updated versions of the album.

Ware has been collaborating with BenZel on new music since 2015.[27] She co-wrote the song "New Man" for Ed Sheeran's third album ÷ and also provided background vocals on it and two other songs.

Personal life[edit]

Ware shared a flat with Felix White of The Maccabees and is also friends with Adele.[28] In August 2014, she married her childhood friend, Sam Burrows, whom she had met at school, on the Greek island of Skopelos, where the couple had previously become engaged.[29] On 15 April 2016, Ware revealed that she was expecting her first child.[30] On 8 September, Ware announced the birth of her daughter who was born three days prior, named Gouranga Stylus Krätos.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2012 MOBO Awards Best Female N/A Nominated [31]
Best Newcomer N/A Nominated
Mercury Prize Album of the Year Devotion Nominated [32]
2013 BRIT Awards British Female Solo Artist N/A Nominated [33]
British Breakthrough N/A Nominated
South Bank Sky Arts Awards Pop Music Devotion Won [34]
MOBO Awards Best Female Act N/A Nominated [35]
Best R&B/Soul Act N/A Nominated
2015 BRIT Awards British Female Solo Artist N/A Nominated
  • On 17 June 2013, Ware was named as the Skiddle Artist of the Week.[36]


  1. ^ Ferrier, Morwenna (26 February 2012). "One to watch: Jessie Ware". The Observer. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Women. "Mercury nominee Jessie Ware on the 'sorority' dominating British music". Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Jeremy Abbott (23 March 2012). "Hey sister, go sister, soul sister, flow sister". Ponystep. 
  4. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at
  5. ^ "Jessie Ware interview". Time Out. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Jessie Ware reveals her secret ambition | The Jewish Chronicle". 23 August 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Jessie Ware's My London". 26 April 2013. 
  8. ^ One to watch: Jessie Ware Publisher: The Guardian newspaper. Published: 26 February 2012. Retrieved: 27 April 2013.
  9. ^ Greig, Rob. "Jessie Ware interview: Brixton girl, Jessie Ware, takes Kim Taylor Bennett on a tour of her hood". Time Out London. 
  10. ^ Duncan, Alasdair. "Jessie Ware Wildest Dreams". The Brag. 
  11. ^ "Jessie Ware". Red Bull Studios London. 
  12. ^ "Jessie Ware & Sampha – Valentine – YouTube". youngturksrecords / 26 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Smirke, Richard (8 December 2012). "Jessie Ware, Mercury Prize Nominee, Preps EP for U.S. Release". Billboard. 
  14. ^ "Strangest Feeling by Jessie Ware – 10" – Boomkat – Your independent music specialist". 14 November 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Richards, Sam (18 August 2012). "Jessie Ware: 'I want to be a private pop star, like Sade or Annie Lennox'". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ "Jessie Ware Says "Fuck Big Pun" Over "110%" Sample Clearance Fight". Pitchfork Media. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Laura Mvula to support Jessie Ware on tour". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Jessie Ware". Songkick. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Jessie Ware on Twitter". Twitter. 
  20. ^ "Jessie Ware | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  21. ^ Dombal, Ryan (16 June 2014). "Jessie Ware | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  22. ^ "Ed Sheeran working with Jessie Ware on her new album". Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Jessie Ware - Say You Love Me (Official audio)". YouTube. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "Artem Furman wygrał 4. edycję "X Factor"!". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "My only UK festival this year will be Wilderness Festival and I will be playing with The Wilderness Orchestra xxxx". 
  26. ^ "Update: Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint Leaked: Here's a Track-by-Track Breakdown". Slate. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "Jessie Ware reunites with Benny Blanco, Two Inch Punch for third album". Hadamania. Retrieved 29 November 2015. 
  28. ^ Maclean, Craig (17 February 2013). "Watch this face: Jessie Ware is the new queen of the Brits". 
  29. ^ "Jessie Ware ties knot with Sam Burrows in Greece - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. 
  30. ^ "Instagram photo by Jessie Ware • Apr 15, 2016 at 6:38pm UTC". Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  31. ^ "MOBO Awards 2012: The Full Nominations". 18 September 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  32. ^ Smirke, Richard (8 December 2012). "Jessie Ware, Mercury Prize Nominee, Preps EP for U.S. Release". Billboard. Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "BRIT Awards 2013: Nominations List". Capital FM. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  34. ^ Ward, Rachel (13 March 2013). "Julie Walters, Twenty Twelve and Jessie Ware all win at the 2013 South Bank Awards". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  35. ^ "Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Jessie Ware & more nominated for MOBO Awards 2013". 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  36. ^ "Artist of the Week: Jessie Ware". Skiddle. 

External links[edit]