Jesse Jo Stark isn’t afraid to get dark

Jesse Jo Stark grew up with the kind of connections most of us can only dream of.

Her godmother is Cher. Her best friend is Bella Hadid. And her parents own their own iconic jewelry and fashion brand, Chrome Hearts. She’s practically got DGAF built into her DNA.

Growing up she was labeled a “party girl,” but these days Jesse Jo Stark is making headlines for her music, which runs the gamut from country, to retro rock, to punk.

And while love is a big inspiration in her music, she prefers to focus on the darker side to infatuation.

Check out our Q&A with Jesse Jo Stark below.

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As a fashion designer and as a woman, what do you think of female celebs who get offended when they’re asked about who they’re wearing on the red carpet?

I disagree with that. I think people just want to know what people that they look up to or are interested in are wearing. I don’t really agree with going full feminist on such a simple question. I think people are too aggressive.

Let’s talk about your new song “April Flowers,” where did the inspiration to write that song come from?

I wrote it a bit ago and it’s just about this kind of dead end love. It’s kind of a reflection on it and wanting to do it all again even though it wasn’t going anywhere.

And what do you think would be the ideal place to hear the song for the first time?

I would think in the car is great. I picture somebody listening to it in the car with their window cracked. Or with their headphones in, walking to the beat of it. It’s definitely a driver’s tune.

Do you spend a lot of time listening to music in the car?

Yeah, I love the car. It’s pretty much the only time I’m alone.

What do you do if you’re in LA and you’re just stalled in traffic for hours?

I mean I just listen to music. It’s the time I create — I write a lot in the car. I come up with a lot of concepts and put on a lot of country in the car, depending on my mood. So I don’t really mind sitting there.

Do you have any tattoos that you regret?

I kind of — no. No. I actually have one moon that’s really tiny and you think it wouldn’t bother me but it kind of just pisses me off because I didn’t like the tattoo artist. But I appreciate all of them just because it’s kind of like a diary of different memories.

I’ve read conflicting answers to this, who makes you laugh more, your boyfriend or Bella Hadid?

That’s kind of fucked up. I would say they just make me laugh in different ways. You can’t laugh with your boyfriend the same way you can laugh with a girlfriend.

What’s the weirdest thing that anybody’s ever said to you after a show?

I’ve gotten stuff like, “you should add a chorus here,” and I’ve also gotten, “you’re really getting good.” And I always think it’s funny when somebody says that, because it’s not that I don’t appreciate the critique. Somebody could say, “you sound like shit,” and I’d appreciate that more than, “you’re getting good.” Because “you’re getting good” doesn’t really leave me with much and I think it’s a really strange thing to say to somebody when you’re putting yourself out there and showing something you created, you know.

Is it ever hard to listen to songs you made a long time ago because you’re in such a different place artistically?

Yeah, it’s interesting listening to old music. It’s great because you can see how much you’ve evolved and how the things you wanted to talk about changed drastically. But it’s interesting because you know, I wrote “April Flowers” a year ago and it means just as much to me now as it did a year ago, if not more. But there are definitely a couple songs I wrote when I was 13, a couple punk songs that are pretty funny to listen to now, but they’re still cool because it’s like a book. What you’ve created, what you’ve done.

Listen to Jesse Jo Stark’s new song “April Flowers” here.

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Photography: Danielle Defoe
Styling: Brandon Palas
Makeup Artist: Nathan Hejl
Hair: Rachel Lee


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