It seems that EDM vocalists sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve. Tons of tracks are released and many only attribute them to the DJ/producer. While producers do deserve some credit, let’s not forget the raw talent of the vocalists behind some of EDM’s greatest hits. JES, a leading lady in the EDM world, is an established singer, songwriter, DJ and producer. A woman of many talents, JES has been at the forefront of the EDM revolution since the beginning of her career and is the voice behind some of our favorite tracks including “Flying Blind”, “In Your Eyes”, and “As the Rush Comes”. We’ve admired her voice and talents for years and were ecstatic when we got the chance to chat with her in an exclusive interview. Check out her thoughts on music, rave fashion, and PLUR below.
iHR: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
JES: I’m a singer, songwriter, DJ and producer who loves to cook and work out. When I’m not singing I’m usually I’m the gym. I was born and raised in New York City and although I live and work in Los Angeles a lot of the time that’s definitely where my heart is. Music has always been my passion from a young age and I always knew that was what I wanted to pursue in life. I do enjoy other creative outlets like photography, painting and acting. My big break through in music came with a song called “As The Rush Comes” which was an international #1 dance song. Since then I have recorded and released four of my own artist albums and collaborated and toured with many of the biggest names in electronic music including Tiesto, ATB, Kaskade, BT, Armin Van Buuren, Cosmic Gate and Ferry Corsten. So I feel very lucky!
iHR: You’re very established in the EDM world, what advice would you give to a newbie?
JES: Nothing is going to happen if you’re sitting at home. Start thinking about what you want to achieve and where you want to be. Then make a plan of how to get started. It doesn’t matter so much if you aren’t exactly sure how to achieve something. Start with the first steps and you will start to find your way. Make sure that you are one hundred percent ready to showcase your talents if the opportunity comes up and start networking with other people in the field you want to be in. Make an effort to connect and be prepared to help those around you.
iHR: Tell us more about your song “Two Souls”. What were your inspirations for the song?
JES: I always think it’s interesting when you get the feeling that you’ve known someone before or you have an instant connection with a new person. Then there are times when you’re in a sea of people but some how you all feel as one. That is the essence of “Two Souls”. It’s the connection we feel when we realize that we aren’t alone in this world.
iHR: Who or what inspires your music?
JES: My songs are for a large part autobiographical so a lot of my inspiration comes from my own life and experiences. I tend to feel things very deeply so there’s a lot of emotions going on for me all the time. I often experience a domino effect when working on music. Something will inspire me and that leads from one thing to another very quickly. I enjoy re-inventing myself and changing my working habits and it helps to keep my writing fresh. I’m a very spiritual person so a lot of my inspiration comes from that energy. I also love to listen to lots of different artists and music, even films and my friend’s lives inspire me. I always have my ears and eyes open so anything that catches my attention usually becomes a lyric or melody.
iHR: You’ve worked with a myriad of DJs and producers. What is the most memorable experience you had working with a DJ or producer?
JES: That’s a difficult one! Most of the artists that I work with have very unique talents so there’s something special about all of them. Two producers that really stand out for me are BT and Tiesto. They have very different styles but they both have an inner strength that helps you to find your best work. I’m always pushing myself to develop as a writer and singer so it’s great to work with artists that share that same drive.
iHR: If you could do a collaboration with any DJ or artist, who would you pick and why?
JES: That is a very tough question! I’m not sure that I could narrow it down to just one. Maybe if I had to do one collaboration with an all star group it would include Tiesto, BT, Elton John, Skrillex
iHR: Who are some of your favorite DJs?
JES: There are so many great DJ’s out there now. Some of my personal favorites are Tiesto, Kaskade, Cosmic Gate, AVB but I also like a lot of the new wave of house influenced DJ’s like Oliver Heldens and SNBRN.
iHR: You’ve watched EDM become more and more popular over the years, what are the major differences you see in the culture of the community then and now? How do you feel about how much the scene has changed?
JES: I think it was always going to happen so I’m not so surprised by the gentrification of dance music. It’s a music that comes from the heart and we have to make sure that there’s a commitment to keep that as the driving force behind the scene. The long-term fans are the most important part of it all and I think they can all tell who the genuine artists are. Hopefully the increased popularity will mean a wider audience for all of us!
iHR: What are your thoughts on “PLUR” culture?
JES: Where ever Peace, Love, Unity and Respect go, I will too. I have to say I’m not an aficionado on the subject but I have been involved over the years in a fair share of raves! I do the handshake and I got a kandi collection that will be in the hall of fame! I love, cherish and save them all.
iHR: How do you feel about how fashion choices within the EDM community has changed over the years? What do you think of festival fashion now?
JES: Festival fashion has always been edgy and unusual. Recently I’ve seen a lot of naked bodies, which no one can argue with DJ’s tend to go for the t-shirt and jeans look, which takes a lot of creativity! I put a lot into my onstage outfits and I think the audience does too especially at the festivals. I think over the years festival fashion is on the higher end… more about the fashion of the moment and a bit about what’s going on with the trends. Its also about expressing yourself, feeling comfortable and free.
iHR: Do you attend any festivals or events? Tell us about one of your favorite experiences at an event.
JES: I do go to shows and events when I can. My schedule keeps me pretty busy and I travel a lot but I do try to catch up with shows whenever I can. I love going to Coachella and Ultra. I love go to the Hollywood bowl and see shows. My personal favorite JES festival experience was a festival in Miami when the PA completely exploded and I continued with a nice a capella show. That worked well. I also remember a huge show I did with Above and Beyond in Poland and Tony and I snuck out into the middle of the crowd and just danced with everyone.
iHR: How do you dress for an event? Do you ever dress up in crazy outfits or do you like to keep it casual?
JES: I am quite well known for my personal obsession with fashion! I help with the design for a lot of stage outfits and I really enjoy it. It’s another creative outlet for me and it’s really refreshing to do something different from music once in a while. So for me it’s crazy outfits every time.
iHR: How would you describe your personal style?
JES: My style is rock chic meets future dance music couture!
iHR: Who are your fashion inspirations and why?
JES: I love L.A.M.B. and Gwen Stephani, how she mixes matches it up colors and style. Alexander McQueen, I pass the store everyday in awe. Prada for the cuts and high-end cool simplicity. My everyday would be some Diesel for just the casual comfortable chic.
I tend to scour the Internet and subscribe to many fashion blogs. I wouldn’t say my style is any one thing just like my music I change form day-to-day love to experiment and I work out hard so I can wear anything I want !
iHR: What do you have in store for us in 2015?
JES: 2015 has been a busy year already. My first single “Two Souls” was very well received and my recent collaboration with Cosmic Gate “Yai (Here We Go Again)” has also enjoyed great success. I’m very thankful for those two it’s been a great start to the year. I also just released my latest mix compilation called “Unleash The Beat Vol.3” which will give you a taste of what my weekly 1 hour mixshow is like (www.unleashthebeat.com). I have some really exciting collaborations coming up for the rest of year and I’m also working on a very special album project that I’m hoping to release later in the year. My new single “Hold On” is out now so please check it out if you get a moment. I released it on my new label “Intonenation Recordings” which I launched this month also! “Hold on” is available on
iHR: Any advice for someone who wants to be successful in the music industry?
JES: I don’t want to say it but the music industry is a very tough place. You really have to believe in yourself and be prepared to work very hard. Learn as much as you can about the business side of your career and be as creative with that as you are with your music. You’ll need to build a great team around you to help you realize your goals so start working on that straight away. Refine your craft and listen to your instincts. Focus on what makes you different and special and push that to the forefront of your art. Set yourself short term and long term goals and try to stick with them as much as you can. Make sure you do at least one thing every day that benefits your career. Be positive and most importantly never, ever, give up.
iHR: Where can we follow you?
Associate Brand Manager of iHeartRaves.com & Editor in Chief of Studio 240. If you're interested in writing for Studio 240 shoot me an email at Angela@iheartraves.com!