Get to know

Jae Stephens

Jae Stephens is a musical artist based in Los Angeles and her high-quality, electronic-influenced R&B should be top of your playlist right now. Following on from her glossy debut single “24K”, Jae released “Every Time” last month, a track that recalls the “hallucinogenic heat” of LA but that was recorded in London where the artist found a sense of perspective and creative freedom at a distance from her hometown. Combining inspiration from classic R&B and gospel music with a love of contemporary practitioners from BANKS to Kelela and with a summer of writing new music behind her, Jae is an early contender for the sound of 2018.

Hi Jae, what have you been up to this summer?

Lots of writing and recording mostly! It’s so exciting to finally have music out for people to hear after working so hard on it – with “24K” and “Every Time” finally released, this summer’s been all about shaping the next direction of my music and honing in on my sound. There’s a lot of great music coming out of my summer!

You’re based in LA, though. Is it a good place to make it as an artist? People seem to love it or hate it…

It’s a great place to make it if you’ve got the heart for it. Everyone is there doing the same thing, so you can’t lose sight of your goal for even a second or you’ll feel like you’re falling behind. I like competing with myself but I hate feeling the need to compare myself to everyone else, and I think there’s a lot of that there!

What music did you listen to growing up? Who are your icons?

My parents put me on to just about all the old school R&B and gospel artists you can name – the likes of Brandy, Monica, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams, and Fred Hammond. I’ve always been well-versed in R&B music which was why I strayed from it a bit in my early teens and got super into artists like Disclosure, Arctic Monkeys, and Lorde as well as the likes of BANKS, Jessie Ware and Kelela. All of these artists, even being on such a wide spectrum, have shaped my music in one way or another. My number one idol will probably always be Beyoncé – she’s the absolute best performer alive and sets the bar higher with everything she does.

What’s happening next for you? When’s your next release?

Right now is just a bunch of writing, writing, writing! I’m working to finish an EP coming next year and currently putting the finishing touches on my next single which will be out very soon!

Right now is just a bunch of writing, writing, writing!