Jess is a talented singer-songwriter from Irlam who has begun to launch her music career since the Trust first supported her in 2010.
Jess first started singing aged 5, when she remembers singing along to Grease and performing at family parties. She taught herself to play the guitar aged 11, and begun writing songs aged 13. She first applied to the Trust aged 15, and received two grants to buy a guitar and the equipment she needed to enable her to start performing at gigs in Manchester. Jess remembers her and her dad first testing out the PA system at the local youth club as they didn’t know how to use it at first!
Jess says: “Without the PA system I wouldn’t have been able to do many gigs, as the set up needed is so expensive and I wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy it without the Trust’s help. Having the PA system gave me the confidence to book my own work and made me more versatile as I could play at more venues.”
After she finished Sixth Form, Jess was offered a job as a Teaching Assistant at Irlam and Cadishead High School, where she had herself been a pupil. Jess tried to involve music as much as possible in the school activities. She says “the pupils loved it when me and my music kept popping up on local websites.” Whilst Jess enjoyed her job as a Teaching Assistant, she always knew making music and performing was her dream career, and last year started studying for a degree in music business at the British Institute of Modern Music.
In 2015 applied to the Trust again, and received funding for studio time which enabled her to record four songs which will form her debut EP 'Camden', which was released in April 2016 and coincided with a launch gig at Manchester Academy 3.
Jess says “I never thought having a career in music would be possible because you need a lot of finance, a big budget or some kind of sponsorship to get the right equipment and record music. My mum and dad help me as much as they can, but the Trust getting involved has made it all possible.”
Jess’ achievements include 8 weeks’ of airplay for her debut single ‘Stars’ (released March 2015) and a live session on BBC Radio Manchester’s ‘BBC Introducing’ show for up and coming artists. In 2015 Jess entered and won a competition run by Leeds-based production company Medusa, beating off stiff competition from other musicians to be selected to record a music video. The video had 2000 views in the first 48 hours from its release! Jess has also performed at Chester Pride: “It was the biggest audience I’ve played to and the most nervous I’ve been. There was just a sea of people and I couldn’t see the end of the crowd!”
Jess says “I would definitely recommend applying to the Trust. I wouldn’t be where I am now without them and can’t thank them enough. They can help you change a hobby into a career.”