Wonderland.

MISS UNIVERSE: JETTA

With brutally honest lyrics about the troubles of youth, bambi-eyed and lioness curled songstress Jetta is speaking the language of realness

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Grey cotton oversized tee customised with tape and worn as dress by Marques almeida (menswear), black cotton socks by American Apparel and black leather shoes by Cheap Monday

A couple of years ago, 25-year-old Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Jetta was a backing vocalist for Paloma Faith and CeeLo Green. This year, she went to the Grammy Awards on her own merit and was fangirled by Katy Perry (“I bumped into her and she said, ‘I bought your EP and I love it!’”). Over 31 million people have heard her track, “Feels Like Coming Home” too, thanks to the the viral YouTube video it soundtracked – last year’s Google trailer “Here’s to 2013”.

She also happens to be one of Pharrell Williams’s protégés. He called Jetta up, flew her to Miami and produced her track “Crescendo” after spotting her DIY music video for “Start A Riot” online. “I just did it because my friends and I were sitting around doing nothing and I thought, ‘Why don’t we just have some fun and film this on my iPhone?’” recalls Jetta. “We got some lamps from the house to make our own lighting and I got in the bath with all my clothes and shoes on, which was a bit gross, but it felt grungy enough. It was 5am by the time we finished. I had no intention of putting it out, but when record labels here and in America picked up on it, I thought, ‘Hold on, there’s something in all of this.’”

Aside from her piercing Bambi-like eyes and lioness curls, the first thing you notice about Jetta is her Scouse accent and her distinct style. She cites Sigourney Weaver in Alien, and other sci-fi flicks like Blade Runner and The Fifth Element as key fashion references. “I think I might watch The Fifth Element tonight, actually,” she laughs. She gives a wry smile and continues, “I’m a Gemini so there are two sides of me and my alter ego wears a pink wig. I don’t have a name for her yet, but I’m open to suggestions.”

Raised by a sound engineer father and a mother who had her own a cappella quartet, it’s no surprise Jetta was drawn to music from a young age. “I remember being three and hearing my mum and her friends sing four-part harmonies in our living room every weekend. I’d lie on the floor taking in all this gorgeous sound. I used to sing to myself all the time, but I was really shy. I used to make my friends face the other way and not look at me when I sang,” Jetta tells me. “My mum got me a laptop with music software on it when I was 16, and I set up my own little studio in my room, spending the summer teaching myself how to produce music. That’s when I really started songwriting, so I put on a show in a local bar in Liverpool called La’go to show my friends and family what I’d been hiding away doing, and I realised the rush I got when I was onstage.” That night also happened to be her big break, when a chance meeting with a music business student with connections in London resulted in Jetta’s move to the capital. “I remember telling them, ‘Look, I just want to be here. I want to move away from my comfort zone, meet new people and get new experiences,’ and by chance, Paloma Faith was looking for someone to join the tour, so I went in and started singing along with everyone else and spent the next year and a half touring with her.”

Unsurprisingly, Jetta’s honest lyrics have elicited comparisons to the likes of Adele and Florence Welch. “I don’t want to shy away from any of it, whether I feel really happy or really sad. I tend to just embrace it, write about it and stay as honest with myself as I can.” Jetta explains. “My song ‘Can You Hear Me Now?’ is all about growing up. I used to live with my dad who’s very reclusive and I felt trapped with him, so when you hear that beat knocking it’s like something knocking on the walls telling me to get out, that I could go and be whoever I wanted to be. I’ve been doing that ever since.”

Jetta’s only plan B was to be an astronaut. “I’ve got my sights set on what I want. I’d still really love to perform on Mars. Maybe we can do some sort of deal where I can sing on the Mars One flight?” Anyone?

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Grey cotton oversized tee customised with tape and worn as dress by Marques almeida (menswear), black cotton socks by American Apparel and black leather shoes by Cheap Monday

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Black cotton bra by American apparel, black cotton vest stylists’ own, black wool trousers by Kenzo, black leather shoes by Dr martens and all jewellery worn throughout Model’s own

 
Fashion Editor: Matt King
Photographer: Samuel Hearn
Words: Delphine Chui
Hair: Melissa Cullock
Make-up: Molly Portsmouth
MISS UNIVERSE: JETTA

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