You have your whole life to write your first album. It’s a cliche almost as old as recorded music but, like most cliches, there’s a kernel of truth within it.
When Jessie J wrote her debut album Who You Are she had her time at London’s BRIT School, to draw upon. Not to mention knockbacks from a record label that went bust before releasing her music, songwriting for the likes of Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus, and the various trials and tribulations of being a teenager.
Who You Are, following on from the huge success of her debut single Do It Like A Dude, was a big deal in the UK.
It has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide.
Jessie’s also headlined festivals and appeared on just about every TV show an artist can do, even becoming a regular judge on one.
But things are very different this time around as she releases her second album, Alive.
“I know what I’m doing that bit more,” says the 25-year-old, clad in a cream outfit almost the same colour as the white crop she’s growing out after shaving her head in March for Comic Relief.
“I feel like I’m in control and prepared, rather than just turning up. I know how I want to represent myself, what to wear and all that.”
Alive took five weeks to write, spread over a year to accommodate her other commitments. As with her first album, she called up a host of big names to help co-write and produce the songs, none bigger than Rodney Jerkins, who’s worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears.
There is also The Voice. Jessie, announced that she won’t be returning for a third series of the BBC singing contest.
“I won’t miss it,” she says. “Not in a bad way, just that it’s time for someone else to have a go.”