By Brian Ives
You’ve probably heard Jetta’s music. Or at least her song, “Feels Like Coming Home.”
The track was used to soundtrack last year’s “Google Zeitgeist” video, which broke down some of the biggest searches of 2013 from the royal baby to Nelson Mandela to Batkid, and has been seen over 31 million times on YouTube. And probably induced even more tears. Not a bad way to make your debut.
But Google video aside, Jetta’s singing voice is what will hook you. Along with the perhaps curious use of insects in her imagery. Her official website welcomes visitors with a close-up photo of her face with an enormous beetle on it, only inches away from her left eye. If you stick around the page long enough, you’ll see the beetle’s legs start to twitch. Likewise, the YouTube audio clip of “Feels Like Coming Home” includes that same eco-skeletoned insect on her face, while the album art for her recently released EP, Start A Riot, features a very large spider taking up residence on her mouth.
So is the Liverpool-born and London-based singer an entomology enthusiast? Hardly. “It all stems of the concept of my album, of running with my fears and not from them. I wanted to act on what I was saying. Not just say it, but do it,” Jetta told Radio.com. “I was terrified of bugs when I was young. It was a genuine fear of mine. And I really wanted to overcome it.”
And she was interested in confronting those fears head-on. Literally. “That bug that you can see in the ‘Feels Like Coming Home’ , it really was on my face,” she said. “It’s not computerized!”
Jetta started her solo career with an apprenticeship of sorts, singing backup for UK singer/songwriter Paloma Faith. “I did that for about two years. It was a great learning experience for me. Learning to dance in six-inch heels! It was a huge confidence builder,” she explained. “I learned a lot from Paloma, about performance, she comes from quite a theatrical background. It wasn’t even just the music, it was the visual side of things. I paid very close attention to the lighting and stuff.”
While Jetta–who’s currently on tour with John Newman–says she’d be open to collaborating with Faith or CeeLo Green–who she also sang back-up for– in the future, her next collaboration will be with Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger.
Jetta recently shared a photo on Instagram of the two of them in the studio, along with former Civil Wars singer Joy Williams. Williams, she says, just stopped by the studio to visit, not to lay down vocals, but that doesn’t mean that Jetta won’t duet with her in the future.
“These things kinda happen naturally, it’s nice to just hang out and we’ll probably get a guitar out at some point, I’ll probably get on the piano, who knows?,” Jetta said. “I’m sure it will happen, yeah.”
We’re sure it will too.