Jim Beam Welcome Sessions brings together the hottest local music with the excellent vibes you get from great drinks and good mates. Now, for the first time, the series is coming to New Zealand with Auckland-born rapper JessB for a gig like no other.
Ahead of her performance at the QT Rooftop in Auckland on Saturday, November 18th, JessB told Rolling Stone AU/NZ that her favourite way to stay connected to her fans is through her live shows.
“My favourite way to connect with people who enjoy my music has always been, and will always probably be, at the live shows,” she says.
“The interactions that happen in real life feel more impactful to me personally, although I still think it’s important to be able to connect with people online.”
Jess is coming to the Jim Beam Welcome Sessions hot off the back of spending time in LA and she’s looking forward to getting back to her hometown. The hardest thing about being away is being out of her routine, she says, but she always makes an effort to keep in touch with her friends and family.
“I stay connected by tapping back in! Staying active on socials and checking in on the homies.”
But travelling does give her a chance to get in front of new audiences, something she’s also been able to do by opening for some of the biggest acts in rap. Jess has opened for Stormzy, Little Simz and YG, and played events around the world.
“It’s pretty hard being from a small country and trying to get your music “out there” in the international sense. When I played at SXSW in Texas earlier this year I was pleasantly surprised about the way the American audiences reacted to my music.
“I think I offer something interesting and different.”
Opening for such big acts and playing on big stages can be hard, she says, but surrounded by supportive crowds she’s always ready to find new fans and connect with them. Stormzy was the first time she opened for an international artist, but she says it was an honour to open for an artist she respects so much and feel that energy.
Energy is something that’s really important to her and she thrives on being able to pick it up from audiences.
“It’s reassuring and reminds me about why I do what I do. Being a musician is hard at the best of times, but the positive energy gifted to me from other people is always so rewarding.”
As someone who’s played as part of Jim Beam Homegrown before, Jess is particularly looking forward to seeing the ticket winners at Jim Beam Welcome Sessions and feeling the bond brought about by experiencing great tunes surrounded by special people.
Being the first artist to bring the tour to New Zealand is also a special experience for Jess and she’s excited to get her feet back on the ground ahead of releasing new music.
“I love it! I always enjoy getting in front of new people in new places and seeing how people react.”
For more information about Jim Beam Welcome Sessions, be sure to head along to their official website, or stay tuned to Rolling Stone for more updates.
You and three mates could be heading along to see JessB at the QT Rooftop. Enter here for your chance to win tickets.