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Jess Harlen - JPop.com
Artist info
Jess Harlen

Jess Harlen

Jess Harlen


Now arrives Jess Harlen, a taste of soul, urban roots, lyrical stylings and poetic incision. This songstress hails from the rolling hills and coastlines of New Zealand and is of Ngati Porou and Nga Puhi decent. Moving to Australia with her family at a young age, Jess spent her school years growing up in Brisbane where she began singing and was taught to play the guitar by her family. Throughout her musical upbringing, influences include blues artists such as John Lee Hooker and Nina Simone Read more on Last.fm
Now arrives Jess Harlen, a taste of soul, urban roots, lyrical stylings and poetic incision. This songstress hails from the rolling hills and coastlines of New Zealand and is of Ngati Porou and Nga Puhi decent. Moving to Australia with her family at a young age, Jess spent her school years growing up in Brisbane where she began singing and was taught to play the guitar by her family. Throughout her musical upbringing, influences include blues artists such as John Lee Hooker and Nina Simone, Motown greats such as Otis Redding and Gladys Knight, moving into soul and roots musicians such as Bill Withers, Robert Flak and Tracy Chapman.

An early love for these icons mashed with later influences such as Lauryn Hill and Meshell Ndegeocello, over the New Zealand styled rhythmic sound of her acoustic guitar, lend to an indefinable style of soul. Her first recording success came with the Kool Skools interstate project where her first original song written at age 16 won ‘Best Female Vocalist’ and ‘Best Acoustic Song’ for Qld 2000. After moving to Melbourne in 2005 to pursue her music career, Jess independently released her first EP Street Level Soul (2006) which won her ‘Best Unsigned Artist’ at the Urban Music Awards for Australia & New Zealand (2007). Jess has since been performing her original works acoustically around Australia and developing a strong independent style, including travelling along the Caribbean coast of Mexico playing acoustically and a trip to New York where she collaborated with keys player Kwame Brandt-Pierce (Saul Williams). Jess has also worked extensively with other artistic outfits including touring nationally and internationally with the acclaimed Blue King Brown as a backing vocalist, recently having toured USA, Canada and Europe supporting the likes of Easy Star All Stars and the Cat Empire. Jess's vocals also feature on the latest Muph & Plutonic album And Then Tomorrow Came (2008), on tracks 'Dont Worry About Nothin' and 'Beautiful Ugly', both of which were included in Triple J's Hottest 100 for 2008. Jess has recently finished her highly anticipated Debut Album Neon Heartache (2009) produced by Plutonic Lab. The album features collaborations with artists Natalie Pa’a Pa’a (Blue King Brown) and Ngaiire (Sydney) and delves into soul, blues, roots, subtle hip hop beats and marks a new territory in Urban Music.

The album is due for release early 2010. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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