NZ Hip Hop Artist Jess B is quickly making a name for herself on the NZ music scene. Te Kāea caught up with her today ahead of her EP launch next week.
Changing the game and taking it in her stride, she says she's standing tall as a role model for those who look up to her.
“Being strong, being a woman, a woman of colour and being able to be a representative for those people and for young girls who might be looking up to me. I've always been passionate about that and have tried to bring it through in not just my music but my imagery and the things that I'm doing as well.”
Born and raised in Auckland and of Kenyan descent, Jess Bourke, known as Jess B, says her upbringing has shaped her worldview and that feels a strong connection to the land and people.
“It's really important for me to be able to represent the people that are from here and also acknowledge the way that I see the world because I grew here and the cultures that I grew up with in New Zealand.”
She was the first female guest on Red Bull Studio's 64 Bars series, a platform for NZ talent to take the mic and demonstrate their lyrical prowess in its rawest form. Jess B says every day is international women’s day and that there's no right or wrong way to be a woman.
“It's really important to consider all of the different types of women that we live with in society and we need to be working to create more opportunities and visibility for all of us, not just one group in particular.”
Penetrating eardrums with a distinctly fresh and unique sound, Jess B says she's still trying to find her lane musically.
“I don't want to limit myself to just one theme that I talk about I want to talk about all things that are relevant in my life too so that includes having fun with my girls and I don't know, heartbreak, all of that stuff.”
Delving further she says, “Ultimately it's just me it's different facets of me and different energies and attitudes that I've kind of grown into and come across and I've been on this journey myself.”