Exclusive: Jessie Standafer on her new single “HIGH”
Jessie Standafer is one to watch – very closely and intently, following her on all her socials, listening to all her songs – because this girl is about to tear up the music industry!
SRS: So we’re going to pretend we know nothing about you for a second. How would you describe your music and what one song would you suggest us to listen to so we can get to know you better?
JS: I call my music Revolutionary Pop Music and/or Conscious Pop Music. It is music that feels good and that is super trendy, but is also like a modern-day mantra – it gets stuck in your head and you can’t get it out. I just think that if we are gonna play music on repeat in our cars and dance for our lives, we might as well get pumped up for a revolution while we’re at it!
Take a listen to “Get Down” for a taste. But fair warning: it might make you want summertime real bad.
SRS: Tell us about your new single “HIGH”
JS: “HIGH” is a song I wrote in response to the state of the world right now. I think that people are realizing, maybe more than they have in a long time, that the only way we are going to make it through these times is to come together and lift one another up. This song is my commitment, not just to my LGBTQ community, but to every minoritized group that, though we may be very different from one another, I recognize that my liberation is bound up with yours. I will use my privilege to help amplify voices of the oppressed, and I will lift you high. And we have to do that for one another right now.
SRS: How did partnering with Alsace Carcione come about?
JS: My connection with Alsace is an example of what this song is all about. We met when my music video for “Get Down” and one of her music videos were part of the same LGBTQ film festival. It was an instant connection. I don’t even think we said hello to each other! We just made eye contact from across the room, met in the middle and hugged, and said we have to work together. But we actually meant it!
When I wrote “HIGH”, I immediately knew this was the perfect collaboration for us at the perfect time, so I asked her to write some bars for it. The combination of our voices on the track represents an important recognition of the ways in which we are both very different, and also the same. I absolutely love what she added to the track.
SRS: Hayley Kiyoko and Taylor Swift made headlines recently about homophobia in the music industry. As an open lesbian artist, have you experienced homophobia?
JS: Absolutely. I have received my share comments like Hayley did, and it’s a really damaging narrative that tries to push us back in the closet. People especially want to push femme lesbians back in the closet because it’s more comfortable for them if they can pretend we are performing for the male gaze. However, since I’m an out lesbian artist with visibility, I truly believe I have a responsibility to share my experiences proudly. I want fans, and especially LGBTQ fans, to have permission to be proud of exactly who they are.
Side note: I love the way that Hayley clapped back in such an empowered way to the comments, and that Taylor completely supported her. This is what the message of “HIGH” is all about!
SRS: Can you tell us more about MY SISTER and why it’s so important to you?
JS: First of all, MY SISTER makes gorgeous super soft ethically sourced clothing with a message. But beyond that, their mission is to support survivors of sex trafficking and give them access to the resources they need to empower themselves. A large portion of the proceeds from their clothing is donated to the cause, and they work closely with several organizations who are making direct impact in survivors’ lives. They just came out with a new Year of the Woman line you have to check out.
SRS: So new single is out soon, please tell us an EP or LP is on the horizon.
JS: Yes! I am writing all the time, and I promise I will work on getting more ear candy out into the world. In the meantime, you can listen to my first EP “Rise Up” for some revolutionary anthems, and watch my pool party music video to get you ready for summer. And of course, the “HIGH” song + music video release!
SRS: Is there any chance of a tour in the future as well?
JS: Much of the US will be celebrating Pride month in June, so I’ll be announcing a mini tour of shows for what my friends and I like to call the gay holiday season. Stay tuned for dates!