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Jessie Ware's Ultimate Playlist


Jessie Ware's 2012 debut album Devotion was a stunning record, featuring elements of soul, electronic, indie and jazz, all held together by Ware's luxuriant, understated vocals.

She returns with the hugely-anticipated follow-up, Tough Love, with the brilliant title track, the first single taken from it, due out on Monday 4th August.

We caught up with Jessie to discover her Ultimate Playlist, and the stories behind the selections. Read on for a couple of mega ballads, some early 00s garage and some classic Fleetwood Mac.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify


Favourite Ballad

"It really reminds me of being in the car with my dad...I've never got bored or tired of hearing that song or seeing that video. I love her version, and it's a perfect ballad - it's kind of timeless, it doesn't age badly at all, it's just so simple, it's brilliant."


Favourite Movie Soundtrack

"Purple Rain as a soundtrack is just...it's got everything. It's got these uplifting songs, the most intense amazing ballad which is Purple Rain, but then it's also got Let's Go Crazy, which is just the most fun party song...it's got When Doves Cry - these are tunes which could be on many a different album, however he puts it all onto one soundtrack, which I think is really, really special. It's some of my favourite Prince music - I love the fact that it's Prince and the Revolution and I'm a fan of Wendy and Lisa, who feature in the film as well. For it to be the soundtrack of a film is pretty incredible, but I expect nothing less from Prince to be honest."


Favourite Song From Your Childhood

"This is another one that just reminds me of being on long car journeys...the one that we'd all sing along to. I'm a massive Dusty Springfield fan anyway - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me nearly beat Sinead to best ballad. I think it's so brilliant, I think it's probably the first introduction I had to Dusty I had, probably, without knowing a lot of her back catalogue when I was 5 or 6 years old...I just think it's brilliant, I'm gonna have it at my wedding. It's just camp and fabulous and it makes me feel great, but it does remind me of those car journeys."


Favourite Song That No One Else Knows

"I'd never heard of him until I was writing my new album, and a songwriter I was working with called Sam G...I was playing all these things that I wanted to write and y'know, you kind of reference things and he was like "oh I think you'd really like Benny Sings". So I listened to it, and I had never heard of him, but it was this guy who was, like, super soulful, [with some] real amazing percussion...it's just really fun music - the happiness of Bobby Caldwell, mixed with this really quite bizarre kind of funk soul thing, which is brilliant. I'd never heard of him until we were writing this album, and now I can't stop listening to it!"


Favourite Club Anthem

"I could have chosen loads, but my friends used to run a drum and bass night which was in South London when we were teenagers and, even though it was a drum and bass night, I swear this used to finish the night every time - and it probably shouldn't have! But it's just the one that reminds me of all my friends, everyone taking a different verse, whether it be Romeo's, or Harvey's - it's really fun and I think it's a particularly London thing to love if you were teenager in the naughties. It's one that I feel like everyone competes on the dancefloor to know every word, and every rap - I just take the Lisa Maffia bit - it's the easiest bit! I love it."


Favourite Wedding Song

"I guess it's one of those go-to songs - at my friend's parties - and it just makes everyone happy, and everyone sings and everyone's off-key with the 'oooh-ooohs' and it doesn't matter - it's just 'I wanna be with you everywhere'. I love Fleetwood Mac anyway but this song is I think one of their most romantic ones, and fun, and I'm definitely playing it at my wedding!"


Favourite Novelty Song

"I remember my mum took us to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show and my brother was absolutely far too young to be there. I don't think my mum realised, or remembered how risqué it was , and we went and we all sat down and we knew the Timewarp from doing it at kids parties when we were little...but it's really quite risqué...I think my brother was about 5 and he definitely shouldn't have been seeing that stuff! I find it hysterical that this is played at kids parties, but it comes from one of the most sexy, kind of bizarre musicals ever - any kind of excuse for group dancing and I'll do it!"


Favourite Lyric From A Song

"Come on angel, come on darling, let's exchange the experience" from Running Up That Hill

"I think that's the one that when she sings it, you just believe every line totally...and I think it's quite an ambiguous line but it's the 'come on angel, come on darling' - I love singing it out. Kate Bush has slowly become a real influence to me and Running Up That Hill - I think it's the best pop song ever. Would I ever play it live? No, I would never dare!"


Favourite Current Song

"SBTRKT is the person that kind of got me started as a singer, and gave me my break, and I have been waiting for this new album of his and he dropped this last week, and I just think, yet again, he's a pioneer of electronic music. It sounds so fresh and original, and there's a lot of dance music about at the moment, yet I think this rises to the top. It's so exciting. I love Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, I think it's a great collaboration, but SBTRKT - I'm celebrating that he's back with this great song."


Favourite Song From Your Own Music

"I don't know if it's my favourite song, but it's a song that I'm very excited to be presenting to everyone as the first taste of the new album, and I hope people like and it definitely dictated the direction that I'm going in and I feel really confident about it."


(Images: Rex)



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