Coachella Newbie Jessie Ware Talks Fans & The Importance Of False Lashes

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Over the past year or so, London-based songstress Jessie Ware has made a name for herself fusing R&B-saturated pop with a personal style that combines vintage jewelry and outlines of the '50s with Sade-inspired '80s cool (her trademark bun and hoop earrings have become something of a calling card). As with her style, tracks like "Wildest Moments" and "If You're Never Gonna Move" seem recorded out of time, taking elements of bubblegum and hip-hop and whisking them into an effortless whirlwind of breezy perfection.
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Now, Ware is in the midst of a world tour with shows ranging from Europe to Australia. We caught up with Ware just before Coachella's first weekend to talk music festivals, how to stay comfortable on her bus, and the one beauty product she can't live without.
What was your experience like the first time you played a festival?
"Well, my first-ever gig was actually a festival. It was in Holland and it was nerve-racking, but such a relief when it was done and went well. My guitarist, who had been so nervous about it, got too drunk and had to be put to bed, [but] not before he went to the loo thinking our tour manager's bed was the toilet."
What do you expect from Coachella? Are you especially excited or nervous?
"I am expecting lots of beautiful people in barefoot, and red cups, and sweltering heat! I am so, so excited. I love festivals, so to be able to go to Coachella for the first time, and be playing it — well, I can't wait."
How are your festival sets different from other shows?
"We play less of the ballads, as I guess you want the crowd who may not know about you to want to stick around. And we always try and make it as fun a set as possible."
What's one thing you'd never forget to bring on tour?
"Hoops or false eyelashes!"
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What's the best thing you've had to eat at a music festival?
"At this festival in Poland, there was this five-star restaurant on site, and we ate it in this airplane bunker whilst we listened to Bon Iver's set on the main stage. It was gorgeous! I always try to make us stop at Whole Foods before long journeys, as I am too tempted by McDonald's and In-N-Out otherwise."
Photo: Courtesy of Jessie Ware
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What makes for a good outfit to perform in? What makes for a bad one?
"I think [a] good one for me is if I have a good shoulder pad or a strong silhouette. Difficult shoes can immediately make you awkward on stage."
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What is your favorite crowd to play to?
"The Americans so far! Loved my tour in January; they would sing backing vocals to me, and I wasn't even asking for them!"
Where haven't you played yet that you'd like to?
"Brazil or Central America. I went there when I was 19 and had a wonderful time and just really want to find an excuse to go back."
What's something you wish you'd brought on tour that you forgot?
"A pillow for all the long journeys. You can never get comfy in the vans."
What's the nicest thing a fan has done for you recently?
"I got a lot of flowers in the states. I felt so special! The last show in San Fran, I had three bouquets! I felt like an opera singer! So sweet and thoughtful."
What's the best show you've seen another musician play lately?
"I think it was D'Angelo's gig in Brixton last year. The band was sensational, and the atmosphere was electric. D'Angelo killed it."
Is there anything particularly embarrassing that's happened during a recent show?
"Nothing I can think of. But I am always worried I have something showing that shouldn't be or my makeup has run or lipstick has smudged. I was trying to get the crowd to dance and I nearly fell over in my heels but I managed to stay up only just."
What's one beauty product you can't live without on tour?
"Jurlique Rosewater Mist. It spritzes me up after all the flights I was doing in Australia and is great for fleshing up makeup, as well."
How do you calm your nerves before heading on stage?
"I do warm-ups with my iPod and just concentrate on my breathing."
Photo: Courtesy of Jessie Ware

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