Jessie Reyez - Yessie
Updated: Feb 4
Jessie Reyez AKA Jessica Reyez was born June 12, 1991, to Colombian parents, in Toronto, Canada. She was a dedicated dance student before she developed a passion for music: studying hip-hop dance from junior high to high school. By the time she graduated, Reyez began composing deep tracks, performing on the streets and in Toronto clubs.
“I’d get out at school at 3:00 PM, show up to dance practice at 6:30 PM, practice for three hours till 9:00 PM, get home at midnight, and try to do whatever homework I could before getting back up for 7:00 AM. But I did it because I liked dancing, and I loved the music,” she explained.
But when her boyfriend told her that he was going to be going to be continuing his education in a different country, Jessie’s world shattered. “Me and him got together and fell in love, and when it went to shit when I was 17, it hit me hard as fuck. That’s when I started to write about, real pain, I guess.”........She buried herself in the music room for the remainder of her high school career. “I stopped going to classes and just went to the music class, just locked in the piano room,” she told me. “Thankfully my music teacher totally understood me and he would look out for me. It took me a year and a half to get out of my depression, but that time helped me create things I didn’t know I was capable of.”
She moved to Miami with her parents, but after securing a position as a bartender, she discovered that the city's party-scene was suffocating her originality. Sometime after, a video she recorded for a song received massive views online, she then returned to Toronto and joined the Remix Project. The Remix Project is a program designed for the underprivileged and minorities, teaching young adults about music and art.
Reyez met hip-hop artist King Louie through the Remix Project. In 2014, they teamed up on a song they authored together called 'Living in the Sky', eventually, Reyez was asked to lend her lyricism and singing skills to artists like Diplo, Chance the Rapper, Babyface and Skrillex.
"Kiddo was in the making for two years. It's an assembly of experiences that I went through. The first song that we dropped from the EP was "Figures" and it was about a shitty break-up that I went through. I'm grateful that I got to work with a lot of dope producers like Priest and the Beast, Jahaan Sweet, William Larsen, and Tim Suby, who produced half the EP. On top of that, the calligraphy was done by my nephew, the album cover was shot by my cousin, and the little girl on the cover is my niece. Family over everything."
'Figures', her first hit single, was released in 2016. The following April, she launched a full album- 'Kiddo', tracks include 'Fuck it', 'Shutter Island', 'Blue Ribbon', 'Figures', 'Gate Keeper', Columbian King & Queen and 'Great One'.
Reyez shares a story from her past in "Gatekeeper," a second track on Kiddo.
Misandry and physical molestation are prevalent in the music industry's underbelly.
She believes that a woman's efforts and abilities should be recognized. Although she does not condemn anyone who chooses a different path, she emphasizes that people do not have to accept the notion that taking the wrong path is necessary to succeed. "What it does take is hard work, dedication, and an inner circle of ride or die people who genuinely give a fuck about you and your wellbeing."
“We went to a house that belonged to a Remix alumni,” said Jessie, “and all of King Louie’s camp is there, so we start talking about music and the industry. Then Gavin’s like, ‘maybe you should play something live’ so I pull out my guitar and starting humming the song he heard at The Remix Project the other day.”
Reyez received a Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2018, and later collaborated with; Black Atlass on "Sacrifice," which appeared on the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, Daniel Caesar in the single "Figures, A Reprise." and Calvin Harris in the single "Hard to Love", Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1 album.