Canadian viral sensation JESSIA has been mastering the art of how to keep audiences plugged in.

Her recent single, the devastating ballad “Care About Me”, is closing in on two million streams, while her Mother’s Day anthem “The Woman You Are” has already racked up a quarter of a million plays on Spotify.

The best part? JESSIA is making it all happen as an independent artist. Forging her own path as a triumphant force after escaping the major label machine, JESSIA proves she has everything it takes to make a lasting impact on the pop landscape – and all on her own terms.

We caught up with JESSIA about her new music, the journey of self-acceptance and the joys of being an independent artist.

SheBOPS: Congratulations on the release of “Care About Me”! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song and what it means to you personally?

JESSIA: Thank you! I wrote “Care About Me” when I was on tour and it felt like I was watching my relationship just fade away. It was a really hard experience, but when I wrote the song it felt like a weight was lifted off me. I am so proud of the song I created. 

You’ve mentioned that “Care About Me” is a song you knew was special as soon as you wrote it. Are you able to share more about the defining moment that made you realize its significance?

I knew “Care About Me” was a special song as soon as I wrote the bridge. It’s the point in the song where I’m realizing my own self worth and that I should no longer be putting up with something that isn’t making me happy just because it’s comfortable. It’s a song all about taking your power back, and that’s the moment of realization.

“Care About Me” received an overwhelming response on social media. What was your initial reaction to the outpouring of support and stories shared by fans?

It’s been incredible! I have been reading everyone’s comments and stories on my posts. I am so thankful that we are all able to come together and hype each other up through the hard times. I love my community! 

You’ve described “Care About Me” as another “safe space” anthem for your community. How do you cultivate a supportive and inclusive environment for your fans?

I try to be as honest as I can in my music and my fans are so supportive and mirror that honesty back. I also love talking to them in the comments and making everyone feel seen and important. We are all here to support each other. 

Your music often captures the complexities of human relationships. How do you approach portraying these dynamics in your songs?

I love talking with my friends and family about life and relationships. I think hearing other people’s perspectives, mixed with my own, helps me articulate a feeling or situation so that everyone is able to put themselves in it. 

“I’m not Pretty” and now “Care About Me” both tackle important themes of self-acceptance and vulnerability. What message do you hope listeners take away from your music?

I hope people feel seen and allow themselves to feel messy. Life is all about learning lessons and I hope my music is the soundtrack to how awkward, incredible and scary life can be! 

As an independent artist, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and how have they shaped your approach to your career?

It’s challenging because it’s all on me now, haha, but I do love the freedom to be able to put out anything I want, whenever I want. I love that I don’t have to ask for anyone’s approval. It’s as simple as, if I like the song, I’m going to put it out! 

You’ve toured extensively, including supporting OneRepublic and Dean Lewis. What have been some highlights of your live performances, and how do you connect with your audience on stage?

My favorite part of touring is being able to meet my fans and talk to them after the show. I am all about human connection, so that one-on-one time is so important to me. 

As an independent artist, what are some of the advantages and challenges you’ve faced compared to being signed to a major label?

Being signed to a major label, there were a lot more steps and hoops I had to jump through to put a song out. Now, as an independent artist, I am able to deliver a song to my team and we can just release it that month. The label was lovely and everyone was trying their best, but there were too many cooks in the kitchen at times. 

With over 375 million collective global streams, you’ve made a significant impact in the music industry. How does it feel to be part of a generation of women shaping the future of music?

Oh my god, thank you!! I grew up listening to strong influential artists so I just want to be able to pay it forward. 

Branching off from this, what do you think contributes to the universal appeal of your music?

I think my music is conversational so it can appeal to a lot of people. Like I said before, I want to be as honest as I can in my music and I think people can really relate to my lyrics. 

Social media played a significant role in the success of “Care About Me.” How do you think platforms like TikTok and Instagram impact the visibility and representation of women in music?

Completely! It’s incredible that I can be seen all over the world from a video I make in my bedroom. That’s really cool and social media has become such an important tool as an artist. I think it would be really tough as an artist right now if we didn’t have social media. 

How do you think the music industry can create safer and more inclusive environments for women?

I think talking about it and bringing awareness has really helped. I think bringing the “there is room for everyone at the top” mindset into the industry is amazing and not viewing artists as companions, but viewing them as friends and lifting each other up can really help. 

What message would you like to convey to young girls and women who aspire to pursue careers in music?

Realize that your worth and your art is not defined by comments and likes. Just because an algorithm didn’t pick your song doesn’t mean it’s a bad song. If you like it, then release it and don’t give up on it. 

Lastly, what are some goals you hope to achieve during your career?

I would love to sell out my first headline tour. I would love to write a song for an artist that I idolize. I would love to win a Grammy and continue to inspire artists to go for it, whether they are independent or signed. You never know unless you try! 

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