There is nothing more lovely than a rose in full bloom. Its beauty is bewitching, much like Jessica Hunte, also known as Jessica Rose, when she graces the stage with her natural beauty and captivating voice to stir even the stillest of men.
Her performances are both enchanting and enthralling. The 19-year-old professional contemporary jazz vocalist is small in stature, but known for her booming voice, which is capable of doing big things – not to mention her fabulous Afro.
Currently an Arts and Entertainment Management student at the Barbados Community College (BCC), Jessica Rose recently debuted her first single and self-composed song, I Just Can’t, on the Honey Jazz Gala stage.
After working tirelessly on the composition, it was warmly received by the audience.
“I want to create music that I want to listen to, I just don’t create for the sake of [saying], ‘I did this,’” she told Bajan Vibes.
“It is hard for me to externalize what I am feeling internally so that is why it takes a little longer for me to write music and create . . . [but] the longer it takes, the better it will be,” she added.
This would have been her second appearance on the Honey Jazz stage. Back in 2015, the Coleridge & Parry alumna was a sponsored student at the musical showcase. Her mentor at the time was Honey Jazz founder Ebonni Rowe.
Her invaluable experience in that arena has contributed greatly to her progress.
Raised in a household filled with music, Rose fondly remembers her father listening to old jazz and dancing to disco tracks. This ignited her love for jazz.
“I always loved jazz. That type of music is the core of my heart,” she said.
The self-professed introvert explained that she heard music in the simplest things; be it the sound of running water or the chimes of the wind – music was everywhere.
When producing songs, once she can master the chord tensions, she is able to come up with the lyrics.
“I hear music more than I hear the idea for lyrics so I would have to put the lyrics to what I am feeling at the moment in time,” Rose explained, adding that “the writing of the lyrics was just the spark of the emotion that you were feeling at the time”.
The past member of the Coleridge & Parry Voices is continuing her musical journey under the Marlon Legall Voice Project where she has taken on the role of assistant director. The transition to assistant director was a simple one for Jessica given the knowledge she had gained during her time with the school choir.
“I got more of a professional viewpoint and when I gained more responsibility it made me even take it more seriously, which developed my interest in the business aspect of things. So coming from Coleridge & Parry and gaining a familiarity with how Marlon Legall does his work, it made it a lot easier now coming into his choir and his brand to basically do my job,” she added.
Surprisingly, Jessica Rose’s journey in music started because of a primary school crush.
“A guy I liked at that time joined the choir, so I was like, ‘I will join it too,’” she disclosed, while adding that her participation in the Roland Edwards Primary School choir fuelled her passion for music.
As she works on the upcoming Marlon Legall Voice Project concert, Jessica Rose still has her sights set on becoming an internationally recognized artiste on par with some of her favourites such as Esperanza Spalding and Jill Scott.
“It’s about being happy with the things that you do and those things take you far,” she said.