With two No. 1 singles in the United Kingdom in the last three months alone, Jess Glynne has quickly become one of her home country's biggest breakouts of 2014. Her soulful guest vocals fly high on Clean Bandit's "Rather Be" and Route 94's "My Love," both reminiscent of classic 1990s dance music. But Glynne has attained her chart-topping status relatively anonymously, making only a brief cameo in the video for "Rather Be" and not appearing in the "My Love" clip at all. Even in Britain, many fans still don't know that the smoky voice from the year's biggest vocal house tracks is actually a copper-haired 24-year-old from North London.
"I quite like the enigma - I wanted to save the imagery for my stuff," says Glynne on the phone from a studio in London, where she has laid down vocals for her first solo single, "Right Here." The track is being prepped for early summer to tease Glynne's debut album, set for worldwide release by Atlantic later this year.
Glynne first caught attention this year with a solo, self-penned track, "Home," that rides a midtempo, Tricky-esque groove and presents her as more of a dexterous diva than her guest appearances would suggest. The artist has been working with writer-producer Andrea Martin (SWV, Melanie Fiona) on new material, and says her debut will have the positive vibe of "Rather Be" and "My Love," but with more R&B and hip-hop influences than overt dance-music flourishes. "Lauryn Hill was a massive inspiration to me in not only writing about love - she wrote about life and experiences," she says. "I want to put out a record that makes people smile and link these songs to their life."