Jessica Hannah "Jess" Glynne (born 20 October 1989) is a British singer and songwriter signed to Atlantic Records UK. She is best known for featuring on Clean Bandit's single "Rather Be" and Route 94's "My Love", both of which reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2014. Her debut single, "Right Here", reached the top ten.
Glynne was born in Hampstead and raised in Muswell Hill, north London. Her family is Jewish; her father is an estate agent and her mother worked in A&R in the music industry. She applied for the television show The X Factor when she was 15 years old, but was rejected. She attended Fortismere School, where she completed her A-levels in 2008, and took various jobs at a boutique, a fitness centre and a hairdresser's. After a period spent travelling the world, Glynne worked for a music management company in her late teens and began networking with songwriters and producers, eventually honing her artistry for four years. She completed a year-long music course at an east London college, where she met her future collaborators: songwriter Jin Jin and producer Bless Beats.
Glynne also worked in brand management for a drinks company, but resigned in August 2013 when she signed a contract with Atlantic Records.
During 2013, deep house producer Route 94 approached Glynne about rewriting and providing vocals for a song of his, "My Love", which at the time contained a sample that he was prohibited from using. "My Love", featuring Glynne, was released on DJ Annie Mac's compilation album Annie Mac Presents in October 2013. Electronic group Clean Bandit heard "My Love" and approached Glynne to feature on their song "Rather Be". Released as a single in January 2014, "Rather Be" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the third fastest-selling single and the most streamed song of 2014. The track attained number-one and top-five positions on charts across Europe and Oceania, and was a top ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. In February 2014, Glynne uploaded a music video onto the internet for her song "Home" (produced by Bless Beats), and Route 94's "My Love" was released as a single; it also debuted at number one in the UK. Both "Rather Be" and "My Love" received nominations at the BRIT Awards for Best British Single. "Rather Be" won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording and was nominated for Song of the Year at the inaugural BBC Music Awards.
Glynne's debut solo single, the Gorgon City-produced "Right Here", was released in July 2014 and charted in several countries, including at number six in the UK. Glynne appeared at several British music festivals during mid 2014, including Bestival, Glastonbury, Lovebox, Summer Series at Somerset House, V Festival, and Wireless. She toured around the UK from October 2014, beginning in Sheffield and finishing at the Electric Brixton in London, where she performed "Real Love", a new collaboration with Clean Bandit that had been revealed a few days earlier. Also during 2014, Glynne collaborated on songwriting projects with Iggy Azalea, Little Mix, Rita Ora, M.O, Rudimental, and Tinie Tempah. Her debut album is due for release in 2015, following the release of another single. The album will feature contributions from Knox Brown, Naughty Boy, Talay Riley, Starsmith, and Switch, as well as her regular collaborators Bless Beats and Jin Jin. Glynne's single "Hold My Hand", produced by Clean Bandit's Jack Patterson, is scheduled for release in the UK in March 2015, with the album to follow in May.
Glynne's musical influences include Frank Ocean and Amy Winehouse. She cites Sam Cooke, Destiny’s Child, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Etta James as inspirations for her vocal style, and rappers such as Eminem, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar for her songwriting. Glynne said that Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was the album that motivated her to start writing songs.