The truth hurts, which is why we have been conditioned in most cases to disguise or altogether ignore our realities. New York’s jessa is here to challenge the status quo, whether that be her contemporaries in a competitive alt-pop space or the social norms we have grown accustomed to. On her latest single, she accomplishes both. “saying i’m fine,” a lucidly somber submission into jessa’s young but promising discography, takes a step back to see the full picture. “I could get better at being alone / vow to give up staring down at my phone,” she considers on the track, further speculating, “I bet I would never even get sad / I could stop chasing what I never had.” Clarity is available only in moments of detachment, when you are able to subside emotions and context and instead focus on material facts. As she zooms out of scope, the truth reveals itself in the periphery. “I feel like I've been on autopilot for a long time; it’s a tactic I use to cope with having intrusive thoughts,” jessa admits when referencing the track’s conception. “Instead of searching for an external source of happiness, I’ve been trying to get better at finding happiness by being my most authentic self. I’ve been practicing intentionality with everything I do, which has allowed me to feel like I’m finally coming into myself on a personal level.”
Prior to her self-revelations, jessa would often offer an answer of “I’m fine” to others as a kind of defense mechanism, a lie told with good intentions. We all fall prey to this act of mercy as we may consider it, a polite way of not burdening others with our complicated emotions. However, as we discover more and more truth about the world and ourselves, we find one that is somewhat unpleasant. A lie is a lie, and though we may be able to justify it, perhaps the pain of the facade is more damaging than that of the truth. This becomes a much easier pill to swallow when eased with the texture of ethereal guitars and empathetic organ chords, just as jessa offers on “saying i’m fine.” Her voice is both calming and troubled on the track, obviously worn by the subject at hand, but optimistic enough to deliver the message with courage.
Hailing from the Bronx, 26-year-old jessa is living out a dream that began when she was only 4. Since formally releasing music beginning in 2016, she has built her resumé through releasing singles and packing out shows in her home base. Having tried her hand at different genres, jessa has taken on a chameleonic-attribute that allows her to fit into whatever her sonic surroundings provide her; no emotion is too deep and no brag is too boisterous for her not to try her hand at it. Her latest single “TUFF” has a similar script to “saying i’m fine” but an entirely different tone, as the capitalization of the respective tracks would suggest. As she continues to explore the most honest version of herself, jessa is sure to come across some truths that will strike a nerve. If you’re going to have to deal with the pain, it may as well come from her; at least she can make it sound pleasurable.