Jessie and the Toy Boys Biography

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Genres: Pop

Jessie Malakouti is ready to push some


Upon introduction, her

disarming smile and runway-ready blonde

beauty might inspire you to quickly peg her

as the latest addition to pop music's growing

army of disco dolls. But you would be wrong.

Jessie is far more than merely meets the eye.

As the voice and creative mastermind behind

Jessie and the Toy Boys, she reveals herself

to be a clever, driven young woman on a


"I don't mind that people

approach me with one attitude and leave with

another," Jessie says. "I like having the

power to play with stereotypes... and then

shatter them. It's fun and gratifying."

First and foremost, Jessie smashes

preconceived notions by being the primary

architect of her band's sound. This girl can

write. Every note of every song is the result

of a self-imposed musical boot-camp that saw

the artist immerse -- and isolate -- herself

in the European club underground.

"I'd been in a band that left me feeling

like I needed to break out of my comfort zone

and gather new perspective and experience,"

she says. "So, I went to the U.K., which is

where a lot of important and trend-setting

music is made. I went alone. I needed to live

by my musical wits and instincts for a while,

and see where it took me."

It was a

brave move that tested Jessie's

determination. "I won't deny that those first

few days were difficult," she recalls. "It's

challenging to be that far from the places

and people who feel familiar and safe. I even

contemplated giving up and going home at one

point. But that feeling didn't last very

long. The intention behind going abroad was

to grow, and to learn more about who I am as

a person and as an artist. You can't achieve

that without a little pain, so I toughed it


The result of Jessie's

determination is a sound that brings

listeners to the next sonic dimension of

electronic-rooted pop music. The first

single, "Push It" (featuring a playful rap

interlude by Yelawolf), combines an urgent

club bassline with vibrant, sixties-spiked

girl-group colors. Jessie's vocal, by turns,

has sex-kitten and brash, rock-diva


"A great song, to me, is

one that sticks to your brain long after

you've heard it for the first time," Jessie

says. "What I'm trying to accomplish is music

that is catchy, but smart. Part of that is

combining elements of different genres in

ways that you might not imagine working

together at first."

Jessie deftly

succeeds in her creative mission with songs

like the new-wave-spiced "Valentine" and the

introspective, retro-soul-infused "Long Way

From Home." It is during these songs, in

particular, that Jessie most effectively

proves herself as a vessel for widely varied

concepts, while also indicating a remarkable

talent for genre interpretation.

It's been an intriguing journey up to

this point for Jessie Malakouti. This

enigmatic bombshell admits to starting her

own rock band just to piss off her parents

and then promptly left home at 16. Growing up

in rough patches around Southern California's

Inland Empire added a dark tinge to her savvy

pop outlook.

Going from friends'

sofas to audition to odd job and back again,

Jessie would live off various paid

acting/dance gigs as well as teaching at the

local dance studio. She earned her stripes by

fronting her rock band Shut Up Stella hitting

the sweaty LA club scene and building a West

Coast fan base.

Then things started

to change. "I just wasn't in the same head

space anymore," says Jessie, "they wanted to

carry on making angry music and I was writing

happy pop songs."

From there, Jessie

began to believe that she could navigate her

own creative ship. "When you have a vision

for yourself, you have to take risks," she

says. "I'm completely comfortable with that,

because I decided a while ago that I was

going to live or die by my own sword. I'd

rather people love me or hate me, nothing in

between, thanks."

Given what Jessie

Malakouti has beneath the surface, there's

little chance that her future is anything but

bright. If there's a boundary, Jessie is

going to push it.

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