MIC/LINE (formerly named Sound Check) is HYPEBEAST Radio‘s music-centric show that looks to deliver in-depth conversations with your favorite artists, digging into their origin stories and asking the questions you want answered. On our fifth episode, we sat down with Toronto’s new R&B star Jessie Reyez.
The new generation of Toronto artists is a crop of fearless musicians who find an affinity for R&B. Daniel Caesar, Charlotte Day Wilson, River Tiber and Jahkoy are among the many that are making waves outside the North. Another new upstart is Jessie Reyez, a 26-year-old Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter who makes some of the most vulnerable music right now. With a natural presence and penchant for writing emotional records about love, heartbreak and everything in between, Reyez caught the attention of the internet with her 2016 hit “Figures,” which amassed over 27 million plays on Spotify and made the top 40 of Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs chart. Her story is filled with roadblocks and triumph, and it’s truly a story of what perseverance can do for you. In 2018, she won the Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.
“There’s this thing called [The] Remix Project in Toronto. It’s a program for at-risk kids from age 16-24. So you tell them your situation and what kind of challenges you faced — you audition, right? I begged my bar manager for the weekend off and he said it was cool. I bought like a $50 flight on Spirit Airlines.”
She adds, “[I] went over, did the audition, came back to do some more shifts to make my pile a little bigger so I can go to school finally. Nine months, I got to live, so I moved back to Toronto, one of the mentors there was King Louie who came to speak…I always say that mentorship is one of the biggest things that made a difference for me.”
For Episode 5, Jessie Reyez talks about roller coaster beginnings, overcoming adversities, joining The Remix Project and meeting King Louie, working with Daniel Caesar, and Toronto’s budding R&B scene.
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- Eddie Lee/HYPEBEAST
- Jade Chung
- Emmanuel Maduakolam
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