The Normalization of Cannabis – WWD

Jess Connelly, a musician from the Philippines who is gaining attention with American audiences, has lived an entire past life as a performer. She started out trying to be what’s called an artista — a Filipino film star who sings, dances and does all-around performance in the public eye. They tend to have huge fan bases: millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter, where they craft carefully curated portrayals of their lives through pictures and videos, writes @maxinesleep But now, Connelly is focused totally on her music as a popular artist in the Philippines’ bustling underground music scene. The clandestine musicians in the country essentially go the opposite way of fame, compared with artistas; they get their hands dirty, work their way up by sticking to their musical work and performing at Manila clubs like Route 196. Twenty-five years ago, the Philippines music scene wasn’t like this, Connelly says. People wouldn’t circumvent the norm, nor would they even think of writing a song in English and releasing it. But these days, it’s done often — and young people in the Philippines are now hungry for something different, after seeing what artists in the Western world are up to. Connelly is steadily making her way into American ears — she released her “JCon” mixtape in August, and opened for Chance the Rapper in Manila in September. She spent the subsequent months performing with Noodles, who DJs for R&B artist Kehlani. Still traveling and doing shows, Connelly — on two hours of sleep — drove to New York from her Tuesday night performance at Songbyrd in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, she was scheduled to play at Mercury Lounge in the Lower East Side. “I know that my music can reach further,” she says. “That was always a goal. How it started is definitely different compared to the final product.” Read more on 📸: @lexieblacklock #wwdeye #jessconnelly


« »