Belfast-based singer Jessica Hammond, who started her music career at 14 on Disney's My Camp Rock performing alongside Demi Lovato, has just released her debut single, Ugly. We ask her the BIG questions,
Jessica could have been a Michelin-starred chef or a champion boxer and she’s already a qualified sound engineer but instead she’s dedicated her life to music.
Speaking about her debut single Ugly, she says: "Ugly is a song I wrote after dating someone for a short space of time, and whilst getting to know them, learning their personality was not very nice.
"The song is about dating someone who is very beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside, this person was very insecure, unkind, disloyal, selfish and thought that because they had 'looks’, that they could get away with anything. I feel it is a great empowerment song not just for girls but for guys also."
She adds: "I want to create music that makes young girls and guys who mightn’t be the most confident feel empowered and strong like "a boss" so they feel like they can handle anything and like it doesn't matter if you don't fit in and it’s ok to be different."
Tell us three things about yourself?
I'll give you three random facts people probably wouldn’t know about me! Number one, I’m actually quite a good boxer. I’ve won over 14 amateur fights and I’m still undefeated!
I also live on a keto diet which means I never eat carbs or sugar - although that swiftly disappears after a few drinks and I’ll happily eat a full loaf of bread to myself at the end of the night!
Thirdly, I once got offered an apprenticeship at a Michelin-starred restaurant - if it wasn’t for music, I’d probably be the female version of Gordon Ramsey right now, shouting and swearing at people not to over-cook their eggs! While we are on the subject of eggs, nothing annoys me more than over-cooked, rubbery eggs...there is just no need!
How would you describe your music?
I would say its an urban pop sound, imagine a Demi Lovato style vocal on a cool urban Mabel track!
Who are your musical inspirations?
Queen - I have a jukebox in my house and anytime Matt (my producer and co-writer) comes round for a few drinks we will put the Queen album on and I’ll ask him a million questions about why they are so good. He usually tells me to shut up after the second song!
How are you occupying yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
A lot of eating! And writing...mainly eating. Lockdown for me is like that period between Christmas and New Years where it’s totally acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast! Though it’s dragging on a bit now I might have to stop lol.
What’s your favourite song right now?
Right now I’m loving Doja Cat’s new single, I think the vibe, melodies and production are sick!
Favourite lyric of all time?
Without being big-headed, I’m most proud of the lyric in my new single, Ugly: "like good music without ears, like a lion without courage, like a seagull in the sky, flying miles to find good garbage". I wrote it in McDonald’s car park watching a seagull eat left over chips out of a bin and I just thought, 'Wow - that’s grim I’d hate to be a seagull’."
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Bohemian Rhapsody - if anyone ever says there is a better song, they are lying!
Where can people find your music/more information?
Find me on Instagram – Jessicahammondx, if you want to see my horrible selfie skills or TikTok - Jessicahammondx - for some funny videos or I'm also on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter!