Naturally her academic commitments make touring a challenge, but Cerro will be performing in New York this January. Until then, you can hear her hit single, “Anyone But Me,” in our fashion shoot video on The Edit. You can also check out our exclusive interview with Jessica, where we discuss everything from her music and industry pressures to her vegan diet and, of course, her personal style inspirations. Our conclusion? To use the songstress' own turn of phrase, this girl is one “cool bean.” Click through to read her interview.
How did you get to where you are today?
With a little luck and being able to do something that people have responded positively to. Basically, I wrote a few songs and on about the fourth try, people started liking them. I entered “Anyone But Me” on the Triple J Unearthed High competition (a radio competition for high school musical acts) and I was nominated out of over 850 to be 1 of 6 finalists! It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it. From thereon, things just escalated. People started taking interest and now I’m writing and performing music in places that only someone much older than me has probably had the opportunity to perform in—therefore I am inexplicably lucky.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that it revolves around music and creativity. I love art, photography, music, film, and the abstract and artistic genres of media, especially music. Music’s always been an outlet for me, both writing and listening to it. Secretly I’ve been writing songs since I was about 11 so I have been able to vent the many emotions I’ve had since then.
From where do you draw inspiration for your music?
Lyrically, from all the experiences in my life, my relationships with other people, my thoughts and opinions of issues in world. Melodically, everywhere. I have favorite songs from every genre (almost) and they all inspire me one way or another.
How do music and fashion relate for you?
Music relates to me like my dog relates to food—a lot (which is still an understatement because he’s obsessed with food). With fashion, I don’t particularly fuss with the latest trends, however the way I present myself must reflect the person I am, otherwise I just feel out of place in my own body.
How do you describe your style?
Very, very plain. It might seem odd but I like looking geeky because ultimately it’s who I am inside. I’m kind of like Zooey Deschanel’s character in New Girl, Jess, however I don’t embarrass myself that often.
Who are your style icons?
I’m really digging Ellie Goulding’s style. Fashion-wise, she is a cool bean.
Do you have a favorite piece of clothing?
Probably just my denim shorts—especially in the Australian climate, they’re good to keep cool whilst they look good with almost anything I put on.
Where do you like to shop?
I like to shop in really obscure stores in a thoroughfare called King Street. It’s in a really awesome area in Sydney and there is a huge variety of vintage clothing stores, even a store that stocks tons of clothes from the ‘80s. There are also lots of burgeoning designers.
The Shoptiques motto is Be Yourself, Be Different. How do you express your uniqueness?
Through the way I dress, my mannerisms, the way I speak—I like to think that every aspect of me is unique. After all, everybody supposedly has a completely unique fingerprint; I think everybody also has a completely unique overall being.
What challenges have you faced so far in your life and how have you overcome them?
Earlier this year I was feeling pressure to be perfect, promoted by ads, fashion magazines and the desires of other people, and I was really unhappy with my weight. I don’t think it ever would have resulted in an eating disorder because I was raised in a way that fostered an appreciation and joy of life in me (thank you mum and dad). However, I was closely watching my weight, aspiring to images of women who were part of the “thinspo” dream, not letting myself wear certain clothing and overall behaving more taciturnly than is normal for me. Since then, I’ve realized that the only thing that matters is that you are happy with who you are! I love all my friends whether they’re supermodels or not, so why shouldn’t I have the same perception about myself?
What advice would you give to someone who has a dream or talent they want to pursue?
Don’t let anybody tell you what you want or should do. Often those around you are the biggest dream killers, however good their intentions. I understand where they’re coming from because they love you, but if you are willing to work hard and endure failures, just keep putting your talent out there and don't let anyone else’s opinion cause you to waver.
60 Second Spotlight
One item that's always in your bag?
A book or two—just in case.
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
I’m a vegan so I eat vegan chocolate. But of the vegan chocolate varieties, dark chocolate all the way!
Favorite day of the week?
Probably Tuesday. Tuesday is my day. I’m not sure why. It just feels right, you know?
I was into green for a while—my room has a green wall. But now it’s kind of all colors.
Favorite subject in school?
I really love all the subjects, but I’m absolutely loving French Extension right now.
So far the subjects I chose this year have been great.
There are so many good movies! To name a few, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Avatar, (500) Days of Summer, The Avengers, Ruby Sparks, all the Marvel franchise films, so many, so many…
At the moment it’s “Hands” by Alpine but it changes frequently.
Plaid, polka dots or floral prints?
Bags or shoes?
This year's Halloween costume?
Halloween is on a school night this year, so I'm probably not dressing up. But if I was, I’d probably dress up as the Doctor.
One person you'd like to meet?
Probably John Green. Or Ötzi the Iceman, so I could find out what the copper axe was for!!!!
The most important person in your life?
My family and those who have been so good to me. They are my pillar for where I am today.
Introducing the Musical Talents of Jessica Cerro