In 2016, Jessie Reyez landed at a songwriting camp in Sweden with tears in her eyes. She was in the middle of a brutal breakup, and being thousands of miles away from home wasn't helping. She was completely distraught. Slowly, her writing partners helped her channel her angst into a song called "Figures", built around a desperate chorus:
"I wish I could hurt you back
Love, what would you do if you couldn't get me back
You're the one who's gonna lose
Something so special, something so real
Tell me boy, how in the fuck would you feel?
If you couldn't get me back
That's what I wish that I could do to you"
A standout on Reyez's Kiddo EP, "Figures" has been the backbone of her shows, with audiences screaming the chorus together. It's a weird sensation, when hundreds of people are wailing together, about their pain, resent and desire for vengeance. It's like when everyone's in it together, for a moment, it's not so bad. As Reyez has said many times, the song still feels so fresh that it's tough for her to hold it together, and she welcomes the crowd's help in finishing the lines she can't.
Reyez took this experience one step further recently at the Juno Awards (Canada's Grammys), bringing out Daniel Caesar for a surprise guest verse. You may remember Caesar from his smooth track "Get You" that's also featured on this playlist. On the "Figures" duet, Caesar adds delicate vocals, and another helping voice for when the song gets too real for Reyez.
Listen to the official release: "Figures, a Reprise".
You can learn more about Jessie Reyez here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.