Our top 10 Jessie Reyez songs list presents ten of the best songs released by a Canadian Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter known for her compelling musicianship in the R&B scene. Born in 1991, Jessie Reyez has been active in the music industry since 2014, rising to become of Canada’s most revered R&B stars. While the R&B sound has been her mainstay, Jessie Reyez has explored pop and hip-hop influences in some of her songs. Her inimitable vocal style and spellbinding stage presence have won her a cult following in the R&B/pop scene. Other outstanding Canadian artists who have been pushing the R&B/pop scene to mainstream include Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Ruth B, and Alessia Cara.
Jessie Reyez’s Breakthrough and Album/EP Releases
In 2014, Jessie Reyez hopped on to the music industry after issuing “Living in the Sky,” a collaborative single with Chicago-born hip-hop/drill artist King Louie. However, after a series of releases, Jessie Reyez’s breakthrough moment came when she issued her single “Figures” in August 2016. The song was an instant mainstream and commercial success in the US and Canada.
Later in 2017, Jessie Reyez issued her debut extended play, Kiddo through FMLY and Republic Records. Kiddo featured the hit “Figures” and other best Jessie Reyez songs including “Shutter Island,” “Great One,” and “Gatekeeper.” The extended play was a mainstream success, rising to the eighty-third spot on the Canadian Albums Chart. Kiddo also made it to the Billboard R&B Albums Sales Chart, rising to a peak position of number twenty-three.
The album was nominated for the R&B/Soul Recording of the Year accolade at the 2018 Juno Awards. However, Jessie Reyez lost the award to Freudian, the debut album of the Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar. Jessie Reyez didn’t walk away empty-handed from the 2018 Juno Awards ceremony. The singer bagged the Breakthrough Artist accolade overcoming competition from other upcoming Canadian stars including NAV, Virginia to Vegas, Allan Rayman, and Charlotte Cardin.
After signing a recording contract with Island Records in late 2017, Jessie Reyez went ahead to work on her sophomore EP which was released later in 2018. Being Human in Public, Jessie Reyez’s sophomore EP, was a mainstream success, rising to the forty-seventh spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Sales Chart. The album is home to musical gems including “Imported,” “Dear Yessie,” “Apple Juice,” and the remix of the hit “Body Count,” featuring Normani and Kehlani.
Being Human in Public guided Jessie Reyez to winning her first R&B/Soul Recording of the Year in the 2019 Juno Awards ceremony. The EP was also nominated for the Best Urban Contemporary Album accolade in the 2020 Grammy Awards ceremony. However, Jessie Reyez lost the award to Cuz I Love You (Deluxe) by Lizzo. Other albums that were nominated for the same award that year include Saturn by NAO, Overload by Georgia Anne Muldrow, and Apollo XXI by Steve Lacy.
In 2020, Jessie Reyez went on to issue her debut studio album, Before Love Came to Kill Us. The fourteen-track album featured some of Jessie Reyez’s earlier releases such as “Figures.” Other reputable hits featured on the album include a remix version of the hit “Imported,” “Love in the Dark,” and “Coffin,” a collaborative hit with Eminem. While Before Love Came to Kill Us was primarily an R&B record, Jessie Reyez tinged it with a few pop and hip-hop inflections. The album was a mainstream success, rising to the thirteenth spot on the Billboard 200.
Jessie Reyez issued her sophomore studio album Yessie in September 2022. Yessie is home to some of the best Jessie Reyez songs including “Mutual Friend,” “Forever,” and “Only One.” After issuing the album, Jessie Reyez announced the Yessie Tour (2022-2023). Among the best moments for the Canadian singer so far in the tour was selling out the Hollywood Palladium, a venue that has hosted legendary artists including Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, and Led Zeppelin.
Jessie Reyez’s Accolades and Legacy
Jessie Reyez remains one of Canada’s most revered R&B/pop songstresses. Despite not having a huge catalog to show for her musical career, Jessie Reyez has managed to gain a cult following thanks to her endearing musicianship. Over the years the singer has toured with distinguished musical artists including Billie Eilish, PartyNextDoor, and Halsey. As a songwriter, Jessie Reyez has successfully worked with Kehlani, Calvin Harris, Normani, and Dua Lipa. Here we present the all-time best Jessie Reyez songs.
#10- Mutual Friend
Ushering us to the ten best Jessie Reyez songs list is the tempestuous hit ‘Mutual Friend.” The song is among the top musical gems featured on the singer’s sophomore studio album, Yessie. “Mutual Friend” finds the singer issuing quite some deep yet painful lyrics about how she wouldn’t shed a tear if a former love was to die the following day.
The song is a blatant message directed to a former love that seems to have ensued after a heartbreak. Amazing about this track is its brooding melody and emotive vocals by Jessie Reyez that fully complement the song’s theme. “Mutual Friend” never made it to the mainstream charts. However, the song is archetypical of Jessie Reyez’s musicianship. Among songs off Yessie that give “Mutual Friend,” a run for its money is the track “Only One.”
#9- Apple Juice
We have earlier mentioned that Jessie Reyez has created a reputation with her compelling stage performances. Having realized this as one of her strong suits, Jessie Reyez started performing the hit “Apple Juice” way before its official release during her live concerts. Eventually, the song would be issued on June 2018 and featured on the singer’s sophomore extended play Being Human in Public. “Apple Juice” has its lyrics alluding to the arduous struggles of learning to love and the challenges that come with the encounter.
The song’s somber lyrics and soulful instrumentation make it quite an emotive ballad. “Apple Juice” was among the songs that saw Jessie Reyez nominated for the 2019 Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year. The other two songs were “Promises” by Calvin Harris and Sam Smith, and “One Kiss” by Dua Lipa. Unfortunately, Jessie Reyez lost the award to Shawn Mendes for his efforts in penning the hits “Lost in Japan,” “In My Blood,” and “Youth.”
Coming in at the eighth spot on our ten best Jessie Reyez songs list is the stirring hit “Gatekeeper.” The song is one of the brightest tracks off the singer’s debut extended play, Kiddo. “Gatekeeper” is among the songs that shed light on the dark side of the struggles of people in pursuit of their dreams. In this context, Jessie Reyez takes to record her horrid encounter with a renowned producer in the music industry who emotionally abused her with his predatory requests and desires.
The man in the subject is producer Detail, who is best known for his successful work with artists such as Akon, Lil Wayne, Ray J, and Beyoncé. Unfortunately, behind his successful musical input in the career of multiple artists was sexual misconduct that saw him slapped with several sexual assault charges. Other artists who made allegations about his sexual misconduct and unprofessionalism were Tinashe and Bebe Rexha.
“Gatekeeper” goes down as one of the most fearless expository hits about the rot in the music industry, specifically the exploitation of artists by predatory executives. The song was nominated for Best Video with a Social Message accolade at the 2018 MTV Video Music Award. However, Jessie Reyez lost the accolade to “This is America” by Childish Gambino.
#7- Love in the Dark
“Love in the Dark” is one of the best Jessie Reyez songs featured on the singer’s debut studio album Before Love Came to Kill Us. This heart-stopping track finds the singer re-examining the possibility of unconditional love between her and a new lover. All of these have resulted from Jessie Reyez’s previous relationships which were marred with unrequited love.
The singer revealed in an interview that she penned this song at a moment when she was quite sad, terming it a vulnerable hit. “Love in the Dark” was a mainstream success, peaking at number forty-two on the Canadian CHR/Top 40 Chart. In 2015, Adele had issued a song with a similar title (but with different lyrics). Her version is featured on her third studio album, 25.
#6- Great One
Number six on our top 10 Jessie Reyez songs list is the gorgeous hit “Great One.” The song is among the top musical gems featured on the singer’s debut extended play, Kiddo. “Great One” has its lyrics centered around expressing gratitude for the souls in one’s life. The song was a mainstream success, rising to the twenty-sixth spot on the Canadian CHR/Top 40 Chart.
“Great One” was a commercial success in Canada where it was certified gold. The song was among the top musical gems featured in the soundtrack of the 2019 romantic comedy film Someone Great. Other prodigious songs featured in the soundtrack of Someone Great include “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo, “Supercut” by Lorde, “Mansard Roof” by Vampire Weekend, and “Moon River” by Frank Ocean.
#5- Coffin ft. Eminem
Jessie Reyez’s impressive music career saw her work with Eminem in his 2018 album, Kamikaze, featuring on two hits, “Good Guy” and “Nice Guy.” Fast forward to 2020, and the two connect once more, this time on Jessie Reyez’s hit “Coffin.” The song is among the most sought-after tracks off Jessie’s debut studio album, Before Love Came to Kill Us.
“Coffin” has its lyrics allude to yet another unhealthy relationship. The relationship seems to be toxic with the lyrics telling of suicidal moves by the partners. “Coffin” elucidates more on how love can be ‘blinding’ for some that they would put their lives at stake for the sake of their significant others.
#4- Body Count
“Body Count” is among the top musical gems off the singer’s sophomore extended play, Being Human in Public. The song has its lyrics alluding to the way society judges men and women differently when it comes to the question of how many people they have dated in their past.
“Body Count” feels more like a feminist anthem ready to put to rest the bias when it comes to the matter of one’s past love life. A remix version of this hit was issued featuring Normani (formerly of Fifth Harmony) and Kehlani, two female artists who have had quite a share of success in the R&B/pop scene.
#3- Shutter Island
The third pick of our ten best Jessie Reyez songs list is the phenomenal hit “Shutter Island.” “Shutter Island” was initially issued as a single, and eventually featured on the singer’s debut extended play, Kiddo. The song finds Jessie Reyez narrating the story of a toxic relationship where she was suffocating from endless insecurities and unrequited love.
Jessie Reyez rises above all of these situations liberating herself from the toxicity. While the song never made it to the mainstream charts, it guided Jessie Reyez to some commercial success. “Shutter Island” was gold-certified in Canada.
#2- Imported ft. 6lack
Infectious is the one word that befits the remix version of the exceptional R&B duet by Jessie Reyez and 6lack. Jessie Reyez had initially recorded featuring JRM, a singer-songwriter known for his work with Beyoncé, Lukas Graham, and Blink-182. Unfortunately, the original version has almost been discounted following great synchrony between Jessie Reyez and 6lack’s musicianship.
“Imported” is a sulky cut off Jessie Reyez’s sophomore EP, Being Human in Public. Once again, Jessie Reyez delivers to her audience a song inclined to her signature ‘heartbreak vibe,’ with its lyrics shedding light on her insecurities. “Imported” made it to position twenty-four on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart. The song was a commercial success, earning platinum certification both in America and Canada.
Number one on our top 10 Jessie Reyez songs list is the outstanding hit “Figures.” The song is Jessie Reyez’s signature R&B track off her debut extended play, Kiddo. Eventually, the song made it to Jessie Reyez’s debut studio album, Before Love Came to Kill Us. “Figures” is among the songs by Jessie Reyez with a personal touch, having it inspired by an actual breakup that she went through.
Unfortunately, Jessie Reyez seems to have been on the bitter side of love with most of her stories ending up in tears despite her efforts to be the best to her lover (s). While her past might have been bitter, Jessie Reyez might as well have found her signature lyrical style. “Figures” failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 but made it to the Billboard R&B Digital Song Sales Chart, rising to the seventh spot.
The song also made it to number fifty-eight on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. “Figures” remains Jessie Reyez’s best-selling hit earning platinum certification once in the US and thrice in Canada. Jessie Reyez issued a remix version featuring fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar.
Top 10 Jessie Reyez Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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