Trends come and go in cycles in both fashion and music, and JGrrey is no stranger to dealing with either.
With the world still being as crazy as it is, the fact that shoots are still going on provides some element of normalcy to working for musicians. With no shows (in person at least) and restrictions limiting their ability to create with their normal freedoms, a shoot can often be just the breath of fresh air needed to rejuvenate an artist. JGrrey however was in no need of rejuvenation. Arriving on set ahead of time in a casual fit for the early morning start, she lets off the aura of someone totally at ease with themselves and whatever they could be thrown into. This wasn’t just a façade, as the day went on J was as go with the flow as could be despite multiple outfit and backdrop changes whilst switching between performing, taking pictures and being filmed for an interview.
Talking on the pandemic, J mentions the cyclical battle internally of going from “feeling so productive” to “losing motivation” and then bouncing back to productive where the cycle starts again. Rather than it being a negative however, she views it as a positive, saying “I feel like that cycle kind of helps me because it always reminds me when I do get to the point of like “I can’t do this” that actually I’m going to feel good again at some point.” This mentality is undoubtedly why JGrrey went from messing around on SoundCloud to then appearing on COLORS and touring with Billie Eilish, as she never lets herself forget about the better things that are coming.
The shoot was styled entirely in Tommy Jeans’ new SP21 collection, so of course the campaign’s tagline of “music takes us further” ended up a point of conversation. For J the relation to her was pretty simple, saying “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for music”, before going on to discuss how it wasn’t just making music that made her say this, but the way music permeates her everyday life. From her love of film scores and soundtracks, to the holidays and events she chooses to attend, J credits the influence of music in her decision making process. In each scenario, music acts almost as a medium through which she gets to go on the process of exploring possibilities.
With recycling at the heart of the SP21 collection, the idea of mixing the old with the new was strong and to tie in with that J reworked her single ‘Doubt Nothing’ for a special acapella performance. She chose this because, “I’m a songwriter and I feel like when you are singing something acapella you can really appreciate the lyrics” and on top of that it is one of her favourite songs that she’s released to date.
JGrrey is the most laid back person on set for the entirety of the shoot, occasionally bursting to life as the centre of attention when she spoke between takes, before going back to just chilling out on her phone. The South London twang and mannerisms are all on show and they match the ‘casual with an edge’ aesthetic that she has going for her. With that comes a complete lack of pretentiousness which was apparent throughout the day, but most when she was being interviewed. Take her answer to the question about who JGrrey is, her immediate response “Who is JGrrey? I don’t really know. To be quite honest, I wish I did have an answer for that directly straight away.” She pauses before going on to say a bit more playfully “I’m still figuring it out. She is a singer-songwriter, she makes great music, she has a mullet right now”.
On the topic of mullets, did anyone else know they were making a comeback or is JGrrey just ahead of the curve? Musing about the hair she ends up jumping from hair to football and then 2000s nostalgia:
“It’s so funny ‘cause earlier I wore this hair with a football kind of top and it really reminded me of when the football players used to have like crazy hair, I feel like some hairstyles are coming back round from the 2000s. And yeah, the year 2000 I can feel coming back in with like thin eyebrows and lip liner and low rise jeans and stuff like that.”
With the topic of trends at hand and asked about what some of her favourite ones in music are, she pauses for a moment mid answer. “Trends wise with music…I mean, I wish some trends would come back in music. Not to be controversial, but there’s some really trash music at the minute. I wish it was like back in the 2000s with Amy, Adele, Duffy d’you know what I mean?” and from that she went straight into singing the opening line of Duffy’s 2008 track ‘Warwick Avenue’.
Moving from trends in music to trends it was only right to speak about inspirations, and when it comes to style JGrrey trusts in herself like no other. She doesn’t shop and loves hand me downs, saying she prefers to “pretty much dress how I dressed when I was like a kid”, which means lots of baggy clothes that are “comfy, cosy and can chill in”. Which really brings us right back to where we started: JGrrey today still champions her younger self and remains true to her own vision. She has the self-belief in her own vibe that allows her to float through situations with tranquility, and takes what she sees as useful from the cycle of trends and discards the rest.
You can shop the Tommy Jeans SP21 collection worn by JGrrey here.