Jessa is an alt R&B artist who is starting to make waves over in America and has released her most vulnerable, but ultimately most powerful single yet. It’s a song that takes that horrible time when a relationship dissolves and the feelings and emotions that brings, irrespective of blame, and turns those negatives into something with much more power as the song moves towards its climax that finds this young but insightful artist in a much better place.
There are few who have not gone through the pain of a break up and yet it is still an event that fills many people with a sense of failure or of shame that is easily understood but has to be put into perspective. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes that break up will end up being the best thing that ever happened to you. After all, what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.
Jessa starts the song with the line “I can’t stand the way you’re looking at me right now, actin’ like no matter what you do I’ll stick around” which was a line that was written while her ex was with her in the studio. It’s rare to get such an intimate and yet universal glimpse into that split second when you realise something is not right, and even rarer for the songwriter to have the strength to take this negative and treat it as a beginning rather than an end; for me that’s why the line starts the song. This is not a break up song, it’s a song of rebirth and empowerment.
The second verse of the song was written further along in the relationship, after she has been dumped by her ex. Interestingly, we can see from the opening that Jessa wasn’t happy in this relationship and this verse refers to her belief that her ex was gas lighting her. In the vernacular, the phrase “to gaslight” refers to the act of undermining another person’s reality by denying facts or feelings. Strangely, the expression dates back to a popular 1944 movie with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer called ‘Gaslight’ which tells the story of a husband who manipulates his adoring, trusting wife into believing she can no longer trust her own perception of reality. Nowadays, you can see how this has been brought into the modern world and Jessa clearly feels this is happening to her with her searing honest lyric: “pour gasoline all on me that’s assault babe, then I burn and you say it’s my fault”. There will be so many young women out there who listen to this lyric and recognise it as something that has happened to them and can immediately relate to Jessa’s song writing.
The bridge, which was written months after this verse, comes from a much better place. It finds Jessa better mentally, better emotionally and able to bid her ex good riddance. The line: “someone get your son, needs a time out” shows a woman who has moved on and not only healed but actually feels empowered and strengthened by the survival of this relationship and the better place that rebirth has left her. Jessa feels strongly that her message should be shared and serve as a source of empowerment to all those going through the same thing. She says: “people are ashamed to say they’ve been dumped, but being dumped was one of the best things that could have happened to me”.
The song’s structure therefore mirrors Jessa’s pain and healing but if you want to step away from the underlying meaning, this Bronx bred alt pop R&B artist has also made a song that is super catchy and reminiscent of the brilliant Summer Walker. It will surely become one of your go to songs that will entertain but teach. It’s a work that is filled with pain and power and that’s what life and survival are all about. I recommend you go listen to this outstanding young artist, it will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship I’m sure.