Ever since she was a little girl, Jessica Raja (known by her stage name Jesseek) knew she was meant for the stage. She’s always been on her grind, her dreams of singing always in the front of her mind while she worked her way through college and graduated a semester early with a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Entertainment Management. Jesseek’s recently released EP, entitled “All I’ve Got,” is one comprised of R&B-infused bops that inspire listeners to get past heartbreak and to focus on themselves, because self-love is the best kind of love and inspiration. Currently the frontwoman for a new cover band called CrashTheParty, Jesseek took time out of her busy, boss schedule to talk to us about her beginnings as a singer, how she feels fronting a band, women’s empowerment in the industry, and her soon-to-be released summer hit, “Summer Things.”
Did you always know you wanted to be in the music business?
I’ve always loved singing and dancing since I was a little girl. I knew that deep down it was my dream and one true passion. I never thought I’d actually try and pursue it though, just because I was always scared and thought my dream was too far-fetched. But then I didn’t want to live the rest of my life wondering... “what if?”
In May 2018, you released your EP called All I’ve Got on iTunes. The vibe is very R&B, which I love. Can you tell us about how the album concept came about and what it was like to see your very first EP come into fruition?
I knew I wanted to drop my EP before my college graduation, just to kind of end one chapter of my life to finally focus on the next. School was great and I really enjoyed college, but now that I don’t have to worry about my studies, I have a lot more time to focus on what I really want. I want that when people listen to my EP they feel motivated, inspired, and get to know me a little bit, even if they don’t know me personally. I speak about myself, issues I find important, and of course love. How could you not? When my EP was finally finished, I had tears in my eyes. At that moment I knew that I could do
this and that I won’t stop until I get to where I want to be.
I know you do a lot of open-mics and have really established yourself as a solo
singer, as seen with your EP. Recently, you started as the front-woman for a cover band called CrashTheParty here in NYC. Is there a difference in mentality when singing solo and singing in a band?
There’s definitely a huge difference with solo shows and band shows. Working with others means a lot more focus and we have to constantly make sure we’re ALL on the same page. It’s not just me anymore. The great thing about it is that putting a bunch of talented individuals together can really make some magic. Although we’re strictly a cover band, me and the guys have spoken about working on some original work too, so stay tuned!!
Can you tell us a little about CrashTheParty and how you get started with them?
We’re a cover band based in the east coast and we’re honestly freaking dope. The other lead vocalist, Carlos, has been working on this project for a couple years and found me on Instagram. It was up from there ever since!
You’re a big advocate for women’s empowerment, especially supporting
upcoming female artists. What’s your advice for women trying to balance practicing empowering other women in the music industry with playing the same game to make it in the industry?
Listen, competitiveness is always good, it means you want to succeed. However, the stigma that there’s only one winner is where we all become losers. As a woman, I want every woman who’s pursuing the same thing as me to keep on grinding, as long as they’re authentic and passionate. The only thing stronger than a woman is a GROUP of women sticking together.
6. What’s next for you and your music? Any new sonic flavors that are going to be
different from the content on “All I’ve Got”?
I definitely got some stuff in the works, a couple things with similar R&B vibes as my current EP, but I want to dabble a little bit more in the Latin/ reggae vibe music & maybe even incorporate some Albanian flair into some of my songs, which is my family’s culture. I’ve been working on a song I want to drop for the start of summer called “Summer Thing” and I’m really excited for y’all to hear it. It’s definitely different than some of the content I have out now.
You can find Jesseek’s EP All I’ve Got on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon Music. Keep up with her on Instagram and check her out in CrashTheParty here.
Interview by: Anna Sejuelas
Anna Sejuelas is a New York-based LGBTQ+ writer whose work has been published in This Bitch Magazine, Her Campus, College Candy, Medium.com, and FLURT Magazine. The way she writes and sings is the way she wears red lipstick and leather jackets: classic and with a purpose. You can read her work here: https://annasejuelas.journoportfolio.com/ and find her on Twitter: @AnnaSejuelas10 and Instagram: @annasejuelas.
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