Jess Glynne emerged onto the pop music scene with a couple of number one-earning megahits- Clean Bandits’ Rather Be, and Route 94’s My Love. Since then, she has cemented herself as one of the top UK popstars, earning a number one album with her debut- I Cry When I Laugh, nabbing performance slots at festivals of the highest calibre such as Glastonbury, and then extensively touring both the UK and the US. My question is, how on earth has this happened?
Nowadays you of course need more than just talent to blossom or succeed in the music industry, with often the actual musical output coming second to their championing attribute, be it their sex appeal, their personality, their story, or maybe their overly publicised personal life. Take the laughing stock of X-Factor 2009- John & Edward, collectively known as Jedward. Despite their fame lasting all but five minutes, they still had character, a personality, something about them. People enjoyed seeing their antics unfold, and wether you were laughing at them, or laughing with them, at least they brought something to the table.
Other musically inept ‘musicians’ such as LMFAO or Flo Rida also offer something, be it outlandish music videos crawling with excessive dance routines and wild fashion faux pas, or a tank-topped poser whose IQ is most definitely less than his shoe size. Even Pitbull has some of my respect, a man who discarded his unknown latin-rap roots in favour of substance-lacking EDM/pop/rap. A guilty pleasure defining genre in itself, one that most will openly sing along to when under the influence. Granted their music is utterly talentless, with their presence simply the face of a company manufacturing music. However, the aforementioned still have something about them, their music may lack substance, but their character or personality does not. The likes of Pitbull particularly, thrive on an underlying cynicism from people who consider themselves more educated in music.
When it comes to musicians, sex appeal is of course one of the driving forces of promotion and marketing. Would Rihanna really be the star she is today if she hadn’t taken all her clothes off at 18 years old? Or on the same thought, would Susan Boyle have taken the world by storm if she hadn’t been unfairly judged by her appearance? Another relevant pop star to use their image to their advantage, is Olly Murs, one of his championing features is the ‘nice guy’, smiley, jovial and impossible to hate. We’ve also seen Meghan Trainor recently thrive under the celebration of the curvy woman.
Before every feminist and gender-equality fighting pedant gets on my case, it’s not that you have to have sex appeal or to sell yourself to be successful, but it is one of many attributes that an artist can use in their favour. And when Jess Glynne’s music is as lacking as it is, surely there must be a USP located elsewhere?
So in closing, what is it that Jess Glynne offers to the music world? The most mediocre and completely gutless catalogue of songs, utterly heartless performances, and a plain, run-of-the-mill personality. To summarise, Jess Glynne is the encapsulation of mediocre and the acceptance of the uninspired.