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Dublin-raised soul singer Helena Jesele gives us the scoop on her upcoming debut album, tells us about her childhood in Ireland and explains how the nuns — yes, the nuns — partially inspired her current career.
Edwin McFee, 13 Sep 2012
“When I went off to boarding school, music became a secretive thing for me,” she smiles. “I remember the nuns would try to confiscate my music player, so any opportunity I had to listen to my really badly-made mix tapes, I took it. I spent hours making them during the weekend so that when I went back to boarding school I had something to get lost in. Not being allowed to enjoy music added to my lust for it.
“Remember those careers days in school?” she adds, “they were a load of shite, weren’t they? I mean, why a nun would be a careers advisor I don’t know, but I told them I was interested in being a singer and was told, ‘Why don’t you just do an arts degree in UCD instead?’ They kinda missed the point.”
Academia’s loss is the music world’s gain, though. While Helena does confess to some first album jitters, she tells us that she feels it’s all a part of the artistic process.
“It’s hard but it’s worth it,” she concludes. “As soon as you play a good gig or you hear someone relate to a song, you’re reminded why you do this. Speaking of gigs, I’d love to come over to do some. I like London obviously, but I’d love to launch the album in Ireland. I’m open to invitations!”
'Sun Is Rising' is out now. For more, see helenajesele.com.