Jessie Reyez by Leeor Wild for Elle Canada September 2020

Jessie Reyez Speaks Truth to Power in Elle Canada

Spanish Heritage Month continues with the beautiful Jessie Reyez. She is making waves in the Canadian music scene. Not just with her music, but she has her own initiative to make Canadian music less racist. She speaks about it in the cover story for Elle Canada. Photos are taken by Leeor Wild.

Jessie Reyez by Leeor Wild for Elle Canada September 2020

Her tomboy style

“I don’t wear dresses very often. To be honest, I have wicked anxiety before every single shoot because of some shitty experiences in the past with stylists who were so imposing. [When I was] growing up, if you were a tomboy or if you didn’t come from a rich family, you got criticized. I fought through that jungle and came out the other side only to be thrown into this industry and the uphill battle that a lot of women face: If you’re too matter-of-fact with your vision, you get labeled a bitch. That was something I had to learn to navigate.”

Jessie Reyez by Leeor Wild for Elle Canada September 2020

Why she got into music

“The whole reason I wanted to be a musician is because it felt like home. I don’t ever want to look in the mirror and not recognize myself. If you allow yourself to be a malleable product, then the reality exists that you might fucking fail. That’s what scares me the most; I’d rather bet on myself.”

Jessie Reyez by Leeor Wild for Elle Canada September 2020
Cotton dress (Versace), 14-karat-gold-plated-silver rings and 14-karat-gold- plated-brass ankle chains (Cuchara) and gold necklace (Reyez’s own)

Change in the Canadian music industry in regards to racism

“I want to implore Shane Carter from Sony Music Canada, I want to implore Jeffrey Remedios at Universal Music Canada, who I know personally, and Steve Kane at Warner Music Canada: If you guys are hearing this, or watching this, you guys have the power right now in your hands to be pioneers and to be legitimate allies. It was scary, but it still felt like it just needed to be said. I’m fortunate enough to have an open line of communication with the guy on my label. Jeffrey and I got on the phone and were talking about things they’re going to actually implement to [make] fundamental change.”