One Of The Boys

Jessie J is proud to do it like a dude 

By Clara Lock, photos by Roxanne De Blegiers

British singer Jessie J may be a critical and commercial darling, but she is also a head shaving, crotch-grabbing superstar.

Having scaled UK charts and nabbed the Critics Choice Brit Award in 2011, the 23-year-old and now sits on the judging panel of reality TV show, The Voice UK.

But the London-born artiste is not content with dominating the musical stratosphere – she wants to change the world too.

The singer-songwriter, speaking at a press conference just before the final performance on her 2012 tour, said she plans to shave off her locks and sell her hair for charity this year.

Jessie J, born Jessica Ellen Cornish, recalls being hospitalized last year after she broke her foot during rehearsals for a concert. There, she met children whose dreams she decided to help fulfill.

The feisty lass seems to have no qualms about going bald, even though she will be bereft of her signature straight-cut, jet-black bob.

Cornish, who is no stranger to androgyny, parodies male machismo in her debut music video Do It Like A Dude, and is well aware that she may intimidate lesser males.

“I don’t really care,” quipped the straight-talking singer, who was inspired by the antics of guys at a club.

“There’s a stigma that exists, and if guys dish out money and have girls all around them, it’s okay, and it’s cool. If girls do it, that’s a completely different story,” she said, adding:

“It’s not fair, and it was my middle finger up at the industry.”

Cornish, who written songs for artistes like Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus, co-authored Cyrus’ hit single Party In The USA.

She now has bigger ambitions – to write a song for Beyonce.

“I think if Beyonce sung one of my songs, it would be a really massive dream and it’s not one that I think is untouchable. You have to dream big,” she said.

And though Cornish is striking and effusive in person, she says her life is not dramatic enough to draw inspiration from for her songs, and that she looks to the experiences of her friends instead.

She added: “A three-and-a-half minute song shouldn’t represent everything. It should just be an exaggeration of the moment that you’re listening.”