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How British singer Jess Glynne turned heartbreak into pop gold

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If you’ve been to a spin class or plopped in front of the tube to catch a certain soda commercial, chances are you’ve been seduced by the siren sound of Jess Glynne, the 25-year-old Brit whose pipes power Clean Bandit’s single “Rather Be” (closing in on 400 million Spotify streams!). She’s moving to the forefront this fall with the release of her debut full-length, I Cry When I Laugh (out Sept. 11), an 11-track set of Eurodisco bangers and empowering pop anthems.

Growing up in North London, Glynne caught the music bug after hearing Amy Winehouse. “I thought, ‘Wow, a North London girl, a Jewish girl, from a similar background, doing what I want to do.'” But it was another woman who would inform her art. Glynne says the album was largely inspired by a “shit breakup” with an ex-girlfriend, the first woman she’d ever dated. (Glynne doesn’t identify as gay or straight.) That’s not to say Cry will leave you weeping: “I feel I’ve written an album based on love and hope, an album people can relate to. Yes, there’s a sadness to it, but it doesn’t let you pity it.”

This article originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1380, on stands September 11, 2015. 

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