The artist proves women should be proud to be powerful and charismatic in her brand new single.
Getting our hips swaying into this Friday afternoon, JEZ EBEL offers the first single of her upcoming EP, “ADHD”. Released alongside a hypnotic music video, the track offers a hint of escapism while narrating the artist’s inner mental turmoil. Within an otherworldly soundscape, the artist tackles issues surrounding women’s mental health, which is often overlooked by society. Elaborating on this, she explains, “It’s a song about not feeling I can keep up with the world. The tumultuous emotional rollercoaster that is my life and all its impulsivities. The song is chaotic from start to end! It was honestly so much fun letting loose and experimenting within the song with my producer Martin.”
The music video goes even further to reflect JEZ EBEL’s inner psyche. On a completely blank canvas, the artist is seen singing along to her own tune while flashing colours and patterns fill her silhouette — creating a powerful message that you never know what is going on inside a person’s head. “The whole idea got sparked on a cold walk by the beach in the middle of March last year,” says JEZ EBEL. “Gloop and I were talking about the different ways one could utilize a greenscreen, and we landed on the idea of using me and my body as a canvas instead of just the wall.”
As the release of “the humbling chronicles of jez” prepares to make its debut, we chatted with the artist about her music, her style, and her advice to LGBTQ+ communities. To stream the track now and for the full interview, scroll below…
How are you today?
I’m good! I kind of ran away from the city a little bit, releasing music can be quite nerve-wracking!
Firstly, your latest single is called “ADHD”. Can you tell us some more about the direction you wanted to go in for the music video?
Well, the song is quite chaotic and random on its own, and I wanted the music video to reflect that! Me and my dear friend GLOOP (Elise Ommundsen Granli) came up with the initial idea, and that was to play with green screen on my body and face, making me the canvas. And then we contacted Samuel because I saw the music video he did for Dragongirl and was amazed at his playful approach, and wished to bring his talent into it. We worked quite intuitively, with not much planned. We only had a light frame to work within and didn’t want to force ourselves too much into a plan that might kill the creative process. Especially since we only had two days to film, or maybe that’s just me and how I work. I kinda have to pretend that everything is just for fun — that’s when I’m at most creative. If I lose momentum or the planning becomes too rigid, I lose complete motivation and spirit to finish it. It might sound like hell to some, but I need to approach my projects with a childlike mindset, because I truly believe children make the best art, hands down. They have a lack of ego in their creating that I envy a lot. So for me, I chose to do everything in a playful manner. And what better way to do that than to play dress up! I wanted to tap into every aspect of my personality, and maybe even play it up a little too. I think it worked..? Well, I don’t really want to think about that because it makes me anxious haha.
You come across really confident in who you are! What would you say made you finally want to break out of your shyness?
It comes and goes with waves. I am really confident in who i am, mostly because that was the only way for me to survive my childhood and teenage years. Still on some days, my mind gets ridden with anxious thoughts and ancient truths i used to believe in when I was younger. Being misunderstood as a child haunts you for a very long time. But it kinda came to head, where i had to choose to either be 100% myself or not live anymore, and although I have some bad days, I’m still so passionate about life and it would be a shame if others got to dictate that. I also decided to not take unsolicited advice from people I find boring. Because why would i listen to them? THEY’RE BORING!
What would you say the most important part of putting out music is for you?
It is therapy to me. After years with trial and error within the mental health system, I realized that I often already knew what the issues was, what the solutions were and who I am. The issue I had was that no one seemed to have the time to listen. being thrown in and out of therapists offices for years like some type of number in a line, I knew i had to get it out in another outlet. Music has always been my escape, whether that be listening, going to concerts alone or creating. I need it to stay sane. It’s a soothing process and i often notice my subconscious manifesting itself within my music in ways I initially never intended it to be. It truly feels like I’m communicating with my own soul.
Your new EP “the humbling chronicles of jez” is due to be released really soon. How would you say it contrasts to your previous EP “Blossom”?
I don’t think it’s that stark of contrast production wise, although me and Martin Lie have moved forward within the universe we have created together. The first EP was way more playful, hence the bossa nova influences. I was newly single and emotionally unavailable. I only wished to date freely with no commitment involve. I think it was very healthy for me at the time and best thing I could have done for myself. What I truly feel is the difference between the two EP´s is the honesty within my lyrics. I’m way more sensitive and insecure in my feelings, which is scary because I feel that my initial image says otherwise. It’s about falling in love after coming out of a really toxic and abusive relationship. The calm after the storm and how a traumatised mind reacts to a healthy relation for the first time. It’s about navigating such beautiful love with a traumatised mind. It’s about learning to let go of past fears and opening my arms to new love that is willing to offer patience. There’s a lot of hurt to unravel, but at least I’m in good care now.
How would you say your life growing up has influenced your music and the person you are today?
I come from a background full of contradictions and a ton of influences. I’m happy to come from a family so rich with culture, languages, belief systems and tastes. Although some aspects of it felt restrictive to be honest. But I think i have to start with my parents. They had me quite young, so we always had MTV blasting in the morning before school. My mom danced when she was young so we had a lot of latin/RNB/hiphop coming from her and my dad skated in his youth so i grew up with black metal, techno and rock from him. My grandfather also introduced me to a lot of early 70/80s electronic music and chilean folklore, where Victor Jara became one of my biggest inspirations. Being from a really religious family shaped me as well. We always had a lot of dancing and singing involved in prayer and I think thats where the encouragement first started. They have all been rooting for me since I was 2 years old. My parents always let me try out the things i wanted, either that be drama, hip hop, choir or something else. I’m very happy that they let me grow into the person i wanted to be, instead of moulding me into something they wished fit.
What is one piece of advice you would give to other queer women/ femme presenting people who want to embrace who they are in the way that you have?
JUST DO IT. But of course be safe! You already have everything you need within you. Sometimes all you need is to choose people in your life that can help activate these sides of you. When i became a part of my chosen queer family, I could sense bits and pieces falling into place. I’ve always felt as though I was too much, taking up too much space, “trying too much” although i was truly holding shit back. And having queer friends and a queer family truly helped me coming out of my shell. I get so inspired by them everyday and i feel like we are safe in numbers. Now I see my queerness as a strength because of all the lovely individuals i know walk out that door everyday. We have to take care of each other, nurture each other and encourage each other to be the persons we were truly meant to be, even if that means to create a bubble. Because the world the is scary and we need to take care of each other as a collective.
Is there a particular artist or person who has inspired this journey of yours?
I can’t say that there’s “one” person or artist that has inspired this journey, more fragments of each personality I have met or experienced that has inspired me, and that i have chosen to take with me. What truly inspired me was the women in my family and my ancestors. I’ve been trying to connect with that ever since i started reading up on colonialism and how gender/queerness has been affected by that. I think I carry a lot of trauma that’s not really mine, but my family and my ancestors. I used to really hate aspects of myself, that I later realised I associated with “browness” and “otherness”. I had to really sit myself down and access it. I want to live my identity to the fullest. Not only for myself but to all the women and individuals in my family that never got to live theirs. That was colonised, raped and killed. It might sound a little bit dramatic but i want to live for the queer person that never was, that never could be. And I of course take a lot of inspiration from my mom, who has paved the way for me and fought for me to be able to lead the life I want. I’m forever grateful for that.
If you could you use three words to describe your style, what would they be?
Costume, borrowed, secondhand.
Looking ahead, what can we expect from JEZ-EBEL in 2022?
I really want to finish an album during this year, I’m planning at least two other music videos and I hope that people want to book me for concerts and festivals!