“I just knew that I never wanted a regular 9-to-5 life,” says Jessica Connelly, recalling the first instance she realized that she wanted to become an artist. “My whole life, I have been entertained by and attracted to music. I was influenced by my father, who is a musician, as well as the old-school R&B and hip-hop [music] that my brother and sister would always listen to when we were growing up. I would wait up for the daily countdowns on the biggest hits on TV, pre-YouTube days.”
As with any pre-teen that got to witness the golden age of pop music, Jessica fondly remembers the artists in the 90’s that molded her musical taste. “I loved all things N’Sync and Christina Aguilera. And seriously, I was just obsessed with Britney Spears! Watching her concerts on DVD, I would sit there and think about how I wanted that life,” says Jessica. That married with her love for pop music was the influence she got from Tom Jones, the artist her father admired dearly. And over the years, she found herself to be charmed by the melodies in urban music, which somehow ties her current sound together.
“Under Blankets” by CRWN featuring Jess Connelly
Alongside producing music, Jessica plays muse to various photographers, gracing the pages of fashion and lifestyle magazines. “I consider myself very lucky to be given opportunities like this. Opportunities are stepping-stones and so it’s never been, ‘Ah, this is it. This is what I want to do with my life!’ You have to keep growing and moving forward. And you can’t take yourself too seriously while doing it,” Jessica contemplates.
Jessica Connelly is a girl that just exudes cool; cool in the way that her speaking voice is fluid and soothing, letting you know that her singing voice must be a suave treat for the ears; cool in the way she lays down her story for us as well as valuable life lessons and wise words in a very laidback yet upfront manner. “People always think that there’s no music scene here. The thing is that there is! Local media just does not pay enough attention to it,” she says. “I was always told that it would be difficult to go straight to music and that the typical way to do things is to get into showbiz. But if I went down that route, I would not be singing songs that I want to sing. I would not be doing what I can do to my full capacity.”
In the world of social media, Jessica’s Instagram is a sneak peak into the world of music, art and fashion. She starts with some very interesting insights on the matter, saying, “Once you start posting what you want because you want to share something you like or find fun and not for the sake of gaining a following, people actually become more receptive to you.” And it’s in this very manner that Jessica has stood out from the different Insta-girls whose feeds have almost the same look and feel. She shares, “It all boils down to staying true to yourself. That’s what people will appreciate most of all.”
From an effortless yet on-point fashion sense to her music that’s up to par with international artists, what gives Jessica her edge is that she’s picked up many interesting elements from her influences yet has preserved a great sense of individuality.
Style, for Jessica, is not about concentrating on trends. Though trends are fun to follow, her sense of style is focused on what she needs and what suits her. “The thing about style is that it’s a way of learning more about who you are,” she says. “I mean, whenever I dress up, I learn something new about myself. Let’s say I have to perform someplace. I want to look good, so I think about wearing heels. Then I realize I’ll have to be on my feet the entire night and I find out the hard way about what it’s like to perform while feeling uncomfortable. I want to be able to enjoy the evening and enjoy my performance, so I learn from experiences like that along the way.”
Jessica lays down her style rules as a performer: “For corporate events for brands, balls and formals, heels are a must, of course. For the rest, I now understand what people mean when they say that you have to think about comfort first. You have to make sure you look good because that’s the only way to represent yourself, but you also have to be prepared for any sort of setting you have to be in.”
Jessica’s Ultimate Spring Style:
“For me, comfort is key. I like to keep my spring style a mix of street wear pieces so long as they’re comfortable and simple. All my friends know I love denim and anything that’s high-waisted. One other staple in my wardrobe would have to be my sneakers. I also love a good jacket or coat and lipstick in different colors. It’s the simplest way of switching up your look; different mood, different lip color!
I grew up listening to a lot of Britney Spears and I remember watching her ‘Baby One More Time’ concert on DVD back in 2000 and the one outfit from there that really stuck with me was her cropped top and pants combo. And I think if you mix Britney circa 2000, Aaliyah and now, Rihanna, you’d come up with my ultimate style icon.”
Art direction by: Alexandra Lara
Photography by: Jerick Sanchez
Styling by: Francesca Atendido and Nicole Blanco Ramos
Make Up by: Gex Garcia
Hair by: Katchie Mejias
Nails by: Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon
Cover story by: Nicole Blanco Ramos
Special thanks to Skull & Bones, Big Guys Pizza, and Jo Cabuay Catering.