Jessie Ware Takes Us to a Romantic Zone

UK songstress Jessie Ware spins some tunes for a sultry party with a romantic vibe.

Photo: Tim Zaragoza
Photo: Tim Zaragoza

With her debut album, “Devotion,” Jessie Ware tore up the UK charts and earned a Mercury Prize nomination. She released the follow-up, “Tough Love,” last month and it has been warmly-received by critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic. This week, she released the globe-trotting “Jessie Ware: Remixed,” created with five producers in five world cities.

From a career launched in the UK dance music scene to her recent collaborations with American R&B royalty, she crafts beautiful songs which blend the electronic with the soulful — and the longing with the sassy.  Just like this playlist.


Jessie Ware: Hello. I’m Jessie Ware and I’ve been asked to make a dinner party playlist.

I recently got married. My husband and I had this whole thing of a playlist for our dinner music. This was very, very important to us.  I think I’m still in that romantic zone, so I’m going to stay with that with this dinner party.

Rhye, “Open”

I would start with Rhye, “Open.” The way that it comes in, it sort of feels like it’s almost been with you forever. So it’s not like a big shock, and I think for dinner party music, you don’t want it to interrupt too much. We put it on when people were having cocktails, just after we got married. It’s got this beautiful energy about it where it felt optimistic, it felt happy… it’s warm. and I want my dinner party to be a happy and warm place.


Marvin Gaye, “I Want You”

I like to think my playlist is going to be, you know, a good two hours. So this would probably come later in the party. People have had a few drinks, maybe we’re on to a whisky hour. I choose Marvin Gaye, “I Want You.”

Everyone knows “Sexual Healing,” everyone knows “What’s Going On” and all these songs, but this song… it’s the most moody, hypnotic… just the way he kind of coos in it.

There’s an amazing YouTube video of him doing it in rehearsals where I think he’s pretty stoned, and he’s lying down, and it’s just drowsy.

I feel like it’s perfect dinner party music because it’s not like he’s right in your ear-hole. You know what I mean? It’s not desperate; it’s honest. And those are the best songs. The longing songs are the best.  The bittersweet songs are the best.


Usher, “Good Kisser”

Finally, I’m going to go for a newer song, because actually I think it would work very well with the Marvin and the Ryhe song. It’s Usher, “Good Kisser.”

I mean it is such a choon. Actually, it sounds like a Marvin Gaye song.  And it’s got that [imitating rhythm:] uhn-duh-uhn-dugu-daga-uhn.

I love how Usher is using his voice — its high-register. This is just sassy! This is so cool. It makes you kind of want to shimmy into somebody and, like, go and grab that person you’ve wanted to flirt with all night that maybe you’ve been eyeing over the dinner table. It’s so good, man! So good.


Jessie Ware, “Kind Of…Sometimes…Maybe”

I would never play a song of mine at a dinner party — I’m just putting that out there.  But, because you’ve asked, I shall not resist. There’s a tune I did on my new record called “Kind Of…Sometimes…Maybe.”

I did it with Miguel. Now, Miguel is the king of sex music, I think, at the moment. And he was like, “You’re a really confident woman, and you never show this in your songwriting. I want people to see how confident you are.” And I was like, “Oh God, I don’t want to, I like to be the one who’s longing for somebody!” And he was like, “No, you need to be sassy in this.” So this song is sexy. Miguel is whispering in my ear, being like, “Let me come over… I just wanna talk to you.” I can’t believe we got away with it. It’s just fun.