Trinidadian Afro Soul Singer, Jiselle Singer, is one to keep an eye on. Her soulful tone and sultry voice is turning heads and proving that the next generation of vocalists are not afraid to blaze their own path into the music industry.
Jiselle’s role models in jazz are Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Esperanza Spalding, Lizz Wright, Gregory Porter, and Theolonius Monk to name a few. Jiselle explains her work takes inspiration from many sources, including poetry, African American biopics, and even British period dramas. Nowhere are these inspirations more apparent than with Jiselle’s cover of “Strange Fruit,” first made famous by Billie Holiday, originally a poem written by Abel Meeropol. Her stylistic choices for this song draws you in with dark tones and chilling lines. Embodying the heart of the lyrics and melody with the cultural and ancestral memory of years past and present. With her mastered tone and sliding pitch technique, one is reminded of Billie Holiday’s rendition but with a distinctly modern take. Jiselle paints a picture of horror and pain with true restraint and refined soul - a true mark of artistic maturity.
Having her musical beginnings in church choir, she started creating original music early on. She studied with formal vocal coach Glenda Collens and Jiselle currently records alongside her brother at Studio One.
An EP containing all original material is slated to drop in June 2020. Working with an amazing team of people who understand her vision, she opened up about her creative process. “Inspiration can come from anywhere”, she explains. “Sometimes the entire writing process can happen in just a few minutes, and sometimes it takes a bit longer.” However, the trick is to constantly keep your eyes and ears open for just the right spark.
When asked about the future of music, Jiselle explains she sees music as giving an effective voice to minority groups that previously had very little space within popular culture. Along with social media and the advancement of technology, she sees endlessly possibilities of changing target audiences and the formats in which people engage with music. “I see music becoming more diverse and inclusive. Experimentation across and between genres is paving the way for new and exciting sounds that will redefine traditional genres.” Many people have claimed jazz is dead and spoken out about how it has to change, shift, and mold. Robert Glasper stated, "The music is going to die if you don't tap into something that people today can relate to. People say that I'm selling out, but I'm doing what John Coltrane and Miles Davis were doing.” If Glasper is to be believed, then Jiselle is certainly on the right track.
When asked what she thinks is the most useful attribute for working musicians, Jiselle states, “Persistence is the key that opens doors so never give up. Also, educate yourself about the music industry so that you can make informed decisions and accelerate your growth.” I know I am not alone in looking forward to hearing new music from her soon.
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Instagram handle : @jisellesinger
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