Young musician Jesse is just about to drop his first E.P. This Massey University music student talks to us about his music, queer awareness, and individuality.
Jesse wears a kilt from AW19
Tell me about your childhood, where did you grow up?

I grew up just outside of Palmerston North on a dairy farm. My parents worked a lot so I was in an all boys boarding school till I was 17. Moved down to Wellington as soon as I could!

Have you always had an interest in fashion, or is it something that has developed?

Ever since I can remember I have definitely had a huge interest in fashion. Fashion has always given me a sense of individuality that keeps on developing the older I get.

Jesse wears the WILD HEART TOP from SS19
What inspires you?

Artists like ARCA, SOPHIE, Mike Hadreas (Perfume Genius), and Moses Sumney really inspire me musically. The new generation of young queer artists coming up through the ranks in music, fashion, film and art - I find these young creative people who step outside the norm and commit their lives to something different and “weird” incredibly empowering. I spent a lot of my life repressing my sexuality presenting a false version of myself and after finding these artists I broke out of that shell and started living a more authentic, fulfilling and creative life.

You’re releasing an EP later this year, tell us about that.

After studying music for 3 years, It has finally felt like the right time to release a solo project under the name LANCE //. I have never really outwardly expressed my sexuallity in any of my music before, which is something that I think has held me back creatively. I want the EP to be a honest representation of what it is like being queer; the struggles, mental health, family, acceptance, love and also all round just creating awareness for our community.

Jesse wears the ESCAPE DRESS from AW19
How did it come about?

I’m in my last year at music school at Massey in Wellington and apart of the study is putting together a body of work as your major project. The EP (which is my major project) will be focusing on unsettling the common expectations of what gender sounds like in music, composing within queer parameters to combat the musical tropes that govern music designed for straight spaces, and also write music that explicitly grapples with the way the heterosexual gaze falls on queer people.

Do you look to other musicians for inspiration, or do you just tend to stick to yourself, so as not to muddy the creative waters, so to speak.

For the EP I’ll be working with 4 different Wellington producers. I find working by myself in solitude creatively difficult at times - I prefer having other minds next to me to bounce ideas off and then sending those ideas to friends to get valid feedback.

Jesse wears the ESCAPE DRESS from AW19
What is your view on New Zealand fashion?

I really love being in Wellington and seeing so many different styles and aesthetics living in one place. I see New Zealand’s fashion as this kind of melting pot where heaps of different cultures are represented in many different aesthetics. What makes us unique is our own unique lifestyle that is distant from mainstream cultures such as the U.S. Having this means we create things from a different and fresh perspective and its cool when you see it shine on the world stage.

Describe yourself in six words.

Cigarettes, libra, doc martens, black coffee, Newtown, bit of a cliché? haha

Jesse wears the DYSTOPIA TEE from AW18
What’s the one item in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?

My black fishermans beanie haha its a staple.

Is there anything you want to add to your wardrobe?

The Lycan coat from Jason's line and also a pair of Saint Laurent Paris Combat Boots.

Photos: Bobby Corica

Styling: Darragh

Model: Jesse