First-Time Grammy Nominee Jessie Reyez Shares Inspiration Behind Being Human In Public

The 28-year-old singer-songwriter opens up about her second EP, which is nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

By Emily Mae Czachor Jan 21, 2020 10:00 PMTags
Watch: First-Time Grammy Nominee Jessie Reyez Talks "Being Human in Public"

Jessie Reyez's chart-topping—and now supremely acclaimed—second EP is all about authenticity. As the Canadian singer-songwriter and first-time Grammy nominee tells E! News exclusively ahead of this year's award ceremony, its title was born out of a personal commitment to honoring that concept in her daily life.

"The title is just connected to how I feel," she explains while discussing the inspiration behind 2019's Being Human in Public, which puts her in the running for Best Urban Contemporary Album at Sunday night's show.

"I try to live in a way that's honest, and sometimes brutally honest," Reyez notes during her interview, echoing the sensitive-but-straightforward attitude present in most of her music. And though the artist goes on to acknowledge that realness and politeness can't always exist at once, "at least you're being honest with somebody."

But it's still the internal part of that mantra—"being honest with yourself"—that seems most relevant to Being Human in Public

Grammy Awards 2020 Nominations: The Complete List

"It's about just being your most authentic self," says Reyez, who collaborated with talents like Kehlani and Normani on the emotive EP. "And how, now, in the state that our society is in, it's almost viewed as something out of the ordinary. Like, how dare you be human in public? Where's your makeup? Where's your mask? Where's your facade? Where's your walls? Where's all that?"

With the release of vulnerable tracks like "Body Count," "Dear Yessie" and "F--k Being Friends," Being Human in Public's lyrical offerings embody the essence of its name and message. 

"To me, [the title] was just kind of a statement to my mission to be my most authentic self, which sometimes isn't always accomplished. But I try," concludes Reyez, who shares more about the personal experiences that have given rise to much of her creative work later on during her pre-Grammys E! News interview. 

Hear the freshman nominee describe making "a moment" with her 2019 single "Far Away" and its accompanying music video in the full clip above. Plus, see the moment she learned about her nomination!

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