For this week’s Feature Artist, a lifelong musical love blossomed from some choice singles on her CD’s.
“I used to just buy a single CD and sometimes there would be an instrumental, so I would just rap sentences that didn’t make sense over them… I would’ve been about eleven years old or so.”
With that in mind, the effortlessness of Jesswar’s hip hop output comes as no surprise. The Brissy local’s hip hop speaks for itself, with horn sections and thumping bass forming the foundation for the proud Fijian’s piercing bars.
All are present and turned up to maximum intensity in the suitably fiery June upload ‘HEATA’.
“Jesswar’s tone and her bars are so rough and ready that she NEEDS a thick, monster beat behind her so that she doesn’t completely bury a track under the weight of her flow,” Unearthed’s EP Tommy Faith said in his four-and-a-half star review.
It was a triumphant return to Unearthed for Jesswar, who had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Not only did she lose revenue from playing gigs, but could also no longer run her hip hop workshops for the young people in her community.
With the help of one of Level Up Grants, the Brissy artist was able to fund a new music video for her next single ‘Venom’, that’s due to premiere on Unearthed’s socials this week.
The track hits harder than most, with Jesswar explaining that it’s lethal energy was inspired by when it was written.
“There was a time in my life when I was quite angry. To write this song was self-care,” she told us in a full chat you can hear up top. “Getting all of the anger out of my body and putting it in the track – ‘Venom’ for me is coming out of that. Coming out of a dark place in your life and making it to the other side.”
That’s always been the case for Jesswar. Creating music hasn’t always been a source of income, but since those days rapping over CD instrumentals, it’s been a form of self-care and release.
“For me, music was like a saviour in a sense, especially hip hop,” she said. “There was a stage when I first discovered Lauryn Hill and the Fugees and that changed my life. Hearing her sing and hearing her rap and how hard she went… That gave me hope in a sense.”
“That this is possible and that you can do this. I was just always listening in amazement.”
Just like the impact those legends had on Jesswar, the Brisbane local hopes she can find audiences in need of the same wisdom and that her music “finds the people it needs to find”.
All this week on Unearthed radio it’ll be reaching you via the air waves, but you can find Jesswar’s uploads any time right here.