Hailing from the urban suburbs just outside of New York City, nineteen-year-old singer, and songwriter Jess Yaffa taps into the world around her to deliver relatable singalong art with a fresh spark. “The songs are the stories that roll around in my mind at night – set to music. For me, all of the thoughts come with colors and music attached to them – making me feel moments of life that I want to both remember and forget,” says Yaffa.
Jess’s philosophy towards songwriting and performing primarily involves a connection to the journey that’s being told through her lyrics and how that can move a person. The stories she tells, while moving and deep, are uplifting. They are experiences we’ve all had through our lives, and the way she talks about them leaves you feeling optimistic. As an artist, she has garnered influences from performers such as Etta James, Florence Welch, Daniel Caesar, Fleetwood Mac, and many others who have helped shape her path.
Jess began singing at four-years-old and in her teens added piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass to her repertoire. She soon immersed herself in learning the craft of songwriting and began honing her skills throughout middle and high school to better understand the struggles and excitement of growing up. In her junior year, she was one of eighteen students chosen to participate in the Future Music Moguls Program at the Clive Davis Institute of Music at New York University where she was able to learn, record, and write in an environment that solidified for her that making music was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
In 2019 at seventeen-years-old she released her debut EP “intro” which was produced by Grammy-winning producer Scott Jacoby (Coldplay, Janelle Monáe, Jason Mraz, John Legend) and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer, Emily Lazar (David Bowie, Foo Fighter, Sonic Youth).
In the fall of 2020, amid a global pandemic, now in college, she returned to The University of Michigan while writing and recording the songs for her upcoming EP, once again working with producer Jacoby and engineer Lazar on the new set of songs. “As an artist, Jess is a refreshing mix of humble and assured. Her music is a pure and genuine extension of who she is, her music embodies vulnerability and strength simultaneously – you can’t help but feel something when you listen,” says Grammy-winning producer Jacoby.
Relationships and the harrowing thoughts they can inspire showcase her storytelling prowess and knack for creating a smooth and upbeat pop sound, complete with sweet vocals and radiant harmonies. Her songs are filled with unfiltered honesty and lessons of love, life, and learning to keep going. Jess’s wish is to communicate the highs and lows of life in a way that is relatable and real. “Our real experiences and stories are better than anything that could ever be made up – my role is to share them so we can hear it and relate,” she explains.