There is something so crisp and classic about Jemma Johnson's heartbreaker track, "Sweet Heart".
I love hearing an artist take inspiration from bigger names but still being their own distinct sound. From the anthemic sweet notes of Taylor Swift, to the vocal inflections and some synthy influence from Billie Eilish, Jemma carves our her own niche in music. Her voice is just so youthful and light, a true joy to listen to her have fun with the melody and ride the groove of the witty instrumentation on the track. ‘Sweet Heart’ is a poignant and infectious dose of electro pop tackling the stereotype of people burying their emotions and instead reassuring her audience that it’s ok to not be ok. Jemma’s third single in under a year is perhaps her most important yet.
The single itself is yet another example of Jemma’s way with words and how they empower her audience with a message, “even though you won’t see how you’re better than them… I love how you don’t but I still do”. As for the music, from the syncopated vocals, the irresistible guitar lines in the chorus or the touching breakdown of strings in the bridge, ‘Sweet Heart’ moves unlike anything Jemma has made before in such a way that it makes you wonder what might have happened if Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish had ever gotten together to collaborate.
More than that though, it’s how the single represents a message that Jemma is all too familiar with - learning to love yourself without judgement or comparison - something that (especially in recent years) more and more of us can relate to with the pressures that come with social media or the likes of a lockdown on people and their mental health.
Of the EP, Jemma says “In the last couple of years, I’ve become more and more aware of the belief that is enforced on us that men should be “strong” and not show emotions. The irony of it is that it’s seen to show weakness, which after having therapy myself for three years now, that is far from the truth. Sweet Heart is a message to anyone who feels that pressure, to say it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. We’re all human, we all need to release these emotions and I really hope that we can all work together to break this stereotype down.”
Jemma began her music career as a Leeds-based YouTube musician where she built a dedicated fanbase who became enamoured with the beautiful and melancholic twists she gave to her cover videos. At age 26, with over 150 videos and 7 million views later, it was time for Jemma to reflect on her relationship with music. With over 50,000 monthly Spotify listeners, over 7 million YouTube views and 65K Subscribers to her name, Jemma has been consistently proving her place within the industry as one of the most promising artists of tomorrow and ‘Sweet Heart’ is no exception as further proof of her talents and begging the question as to just how far she can go.
Review by Hannah Schneider