TM Ng: HOW DO YOU CLASSIFY YOUR MUSIC? (GENRE, STYLE, MUSIC PHILOSOPHY, ETC).
Jessica: I always say that I don’t like to put myself in a box. Honestly, I just sing from my soul but if I absolutely have to put myself in a box, I would say my genre is Alternative Soul. I try to be true to myself and make the kind of music that I love and understand. I try to write about things that have happened to me and to people around me. No masks, no fiction, and no pretense. As an artist, I think it’s important to let your guard down and be vulnerable. That is the only way you’ll be able to truly connect with your listeners. My music philosophy is my life philosophy; “To thine own self be true”.
JESSICA BONGOS IS THE NEW EDITION OF OLD SCHOOL
TM Ng: YOUR MUSIC SOUNDS LIKE THE COMBINATION OF BOTH OLD SCHOOL AND NEW SCHOOL. WHAT INFLUENCED THIS STYLE?
Jessica: I grew up listening to a lot of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Harry Belafonte, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, The Everly brothers and so many more of those legends. That was my dad’s playlist. I had no choice. I think a lot of that sort of music definitely influenced my style. To be honest, right now, even in 2018, I listen to more music from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s than music from today. Oh, I really love 90s RnB as well. “Old school” music is where my heart is. But when I’m making music, I have to try and fuse it with the new school, so people don’t get too confused. Lol.
TM Ng: YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC IS A RARE GEM IN THE NIGERIAN MEDIA SPACE. WITH FEW OF IT BEING PLAYED ON AIR AND PROMOTED VIA BLOGS, ETC. HOW DO YOU PLAN ON COMPETING WITH THE SUPERCATS ON THE BIG STAGE?
Jessica: Thank you. Honestly, it is not a competition. I would have given up by now if I thought I was competing with anyone. All I can say is I’m going to continue to do this style of music and keep pushing forward until I’m heard by as many people as possible. I can only hope that people, the media, radio stations and blogs will one day start to appreciate alternative music as much as they do popular music. I’m so thankful to God for this blessing that He has gifted me with. I will work hard and try my best to make Him proud and trust and believe that as I continue to work and grow in the process, He’ll guide me in this career path that I’ve chosen.
TM Ng: TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR CHILD HOOD. YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY GROWING UP AND HOW YOUR FATHER INFLUENCED YOUR CHOICE OF CAREER PATH.
Jessica: I had a good childhood, thank God. It was very stable. Favourite memories would be the times my family and I spent in my mother’s village (Issele-ukwu, Delta State) and my father’s hometown, Otukpo. This was usually an annual affair during festive periods. It was really nice back then to live carelessly and freely, playing with cousins and children, bonding with my grandmother, getting really dirty and sweaty from playing and not caring about it at all, making up songs with my dad and singing while he played his guitar, sitting out late at night and listening to stories, folktales and the history of my family and Nigeria. I miss those days. Simpler times.
Interview continues on the next page>>>