Jess Glynne’s record-breaking tally of UK Number One singles recently hit six (SIX!) but that count will probably increase in the coming weeks because I’ll Be There is a right old stormer for reasons including but not limited to: it sitting somewhere in the magical area between banger and ballad, its message of support and inspiration and positivity etc etc, its semi-yodelled chorus, it just generally being a very robust and instantly enjoyable ‘pop’ ‘thing’.
Anyway we got her on the phone earlier today and there was a bit of a false start because she had to run into a polling station to vote, but that’s an excellent reason to delay the start of a phone interview so we didn’t have an argument with her about it. Pop journalism should not stand in the way of democracy.
Here are some questions and some answers.
1. There are going to be seven questions here: one for each of your Number One singles. Obviously this puts quite a lot of pressure on I’ll Be There getting to Number One. Do you think it will?
OH MY GOD. That’s a really big question. I’m so grateful for all the success I’ve had but I never put a song out thinking ‘this is a Number One’. I’m in love with the song, for so many reasons, but I’d just be happy if someone buys it. 1
2. There’s a line in the song about being there for someone when they come home and the lights are off. Is it about God, or is it about an Amazon Echo?
[Light chortling] No, it’s about a friendship. It’s about people having your back when you’re going through something really shit, and remembering you’re not alone in this world. You’ve always got someone to fall back on.
3. Is this from experiences of your own?
The song’s a special one: I went away with a group of people I love to the middle of nowhere. I rented this amazing house and I was very grateful to my label for doing this — it was with some people who’d worked on my first album and some people who hadn’t. One of the girls who came down on the last day was someone I’d written with a few times, Camille 2, and prior to that she’d been going through something quite bad. She’d messaged me last year saying that she’d been listening to my album, but through a different set of ears, and she said that I’d got her through some hard times. She came down to the writing thing and started this idea; when she played it to me I burst into tears. I love this song because it’s for me, but it’s also for everyone else.
4. There’s a slight yodelling feel in the chorus, did you intend to be bang on trend?
It’s weird actually because this was written a while ago now and it’s weird that now there’s a big yodel thing going on. I feel like I’ve got this extra intelligence that can see the future. Can I see my own future? No, I can’t do that. I shouldn’t have said that should I? It was a rash statement. I take it back.
5. Do you think you have any psychic abilities?
I believe in fate and the idea of getting out what you put in, and that kind of stuff. Karma, all of that. That’s because of my dad, though, he’s always been positive about life. I don’t think I’m psychic.
6. The song’s halfway between a ballad and a banger. What does this tell us about how the new album will sound?
The mood is a lot more mature and it’s not as upbeat as the last album, but it’s still got a happy element to it. I’m a hopeful person. I always look at an album as a book. That’s how I create one, anyway. I’ll Be There is the first chapter. I look at it as a story. It’s different, but in a great way.
7. In an article titled ‘Jesstynng With Jess Glynne’, what would be your opening joke?
I’m not good with jokes. People falling over makes me laugh, but that’s just because I’m evil.