Jessarae is a singer and song-writer from Los Angeles who now lives in East London.
"The best I can do is being honest and hoping that the listeners can find some of themselves in my work".
What do you consider your nationality to be?
My dad is Canadian, but I was born and raised in America. Now that I’m living in the UK I don’t really think about being American too often.
Have you ever considered yourself a Foreigner?
In every situation of my life!
Can you tell us your story as a Foreigner?
I visited the UK to write music in September 2015. I fell in love with the place and ended up moving a few weeks later after meeting my manager in London. The first year was tough, I spent a lot of time alone. That gives you time to think and really assess what's really important. I’m now really settled here, but I still travel back home to Los Angeles quite regularly.
What do you enjoy about living abroad?
The experience. But in the UK...meat pies, bangers and mash.
Was there any key encounter that helped you, personally or professionally?
I had a lot of interesting encounters on the road. I recall sitting on a park bench with this older homeless man. We sang ‘60s songs together. He was clearly drunk, I wasn’t. We both didn’t care what anyone thought of us that day and it stays with me.
Do you think your experience as a musician would have been the same if you stayed in the US?
Not the same! I have made so many twists and turns along the way. It's made me who I am up to this point. I owe a lot to my travelling experiences.
Tell us more about your music. How do your origins inspire your work?
Living abroad helped me realize what I liked about living on the west coast. Canyons and endless highways. I try to fit all that into my music. I think a lot goes on under the surface. The best I can do is being honest and hoping that the listeners can find some of themselves in my work.
Is there anything you would people to know?
I’d maybe talk about the people. Someone once told me that we come from different rivers but end up in the same ocean. There are differences, but everybody has the same basic needs and wants when you simplify it. So maybe I’m gearing my answer to anyone curious about travel. Go ahead and do it and find out for yourself, worry later!
What are your plans for the future?
I’m working on finishing my album. In the meantime I’m developing my ‘live’ setup and working on production. I want to see as much of the world as possible and play gigs everywhere.
Where is home?
Home is where the heart is. So with me currently, I am an organ donor. That aside, my home is still Los Angeles but London has very much become a second home for me.
What words/ideas do you associate with "Foreigner"?
I think of my band immediately. To be a foreigner is to be an outsider. Someone that draws attention to themselves. Someone who reads a map in a city center. I’d rather use the word explorer or vagabond. Those sound more romantic and Hollywood.