Jesswar - a leader in Australia's diverse Rap scene. The rising Fijian-Australian rapper has been getting attention from not only here in Australia but also from overseas in the United States. In an interview with MTV, she speaks about her Fijian heritage and growing up in Australia.
"It's my identity. It's in my blood; it's in my bones. I always want to represent my culture no matter what, especially living here in Australia. It gives me strength, and I feel proud of it. As I go on in life, I never want to feel ashamed of who I am. So [being Fijian] influences a lot of my day-to-day life, my personal life, my music and art, and just who I am as a person."
She continued "I spent most of my life here in Australia, so I haven't been back to Fiji in quite a while. At times, I do feel far away from my culture. That's why I always want to represent it. It's in my blood, so I never want to forget it, and I want to show other Pasifika artists or Pacific Islanders that you can be proud of your culture."
Jesswar on playing music during a pandemic
As we're all living amongst the pandemic and trying to sort out our lives. Jesswar spoke to MTV about playing music during the pandemic here in Australia.
"Itâ€™s very strange. We played this one show where squares are painted on the floor. And the security guard sort of briefed me, like, 'If anyone goes outside of the square, you sort of have to stop them or the show gets shut down.' But in some places like New Zealand, they're having complete, full-on music festivals. Like, thousands of people."
Jesswar was also in an interview with DJBOOTH about the unique recording sounds of her EP TROPIXX.
"I tracked it all in a room in my share house, and I was just working with what I had. I didnâ€™t have enough money for studio time, so I was just throwing everything together in Logic, making it work somehow.
There are songs on there that are three years old. I didnâ€™t have a clear view of where I wanted to take it. I was going through such a hard time in my personal life, and writing those songs gave me the power to keep going. At times I was like, â€œI donâ€™t know if anyone will ever hear this.â€ It was something quite personal.
Coming to the end of the project, I chose songs that had a similar feeling. I just felt this was the perfect way to tell my story. Making that project gave me so much strength. I had a lot of self-doubt and self-hate, so listening back to the songs, I was just like, â€œI canâ€™t believe I did this.â€