Jessie J's paying the price
Time goes by/ So slowly", runs the mournful refrain of one of pop's most emotional songs, Hung Up by Madonna. But not for Jessie J, who laughs in the face of the showbiz clock. She stomp-stomped, she arrived, and then, with impressive efficiency, she squashed into half a year the starry antics most artists take 20 years to pull off. She's done it all so quickly, in fact, that next month, she's getting back together with herself to do a Classic Albums gig in which she runs through debut Who You Are in chronological order for loyal fans who haven't heard it live since five minutes ago. In the meantime, here are the career milestones she's already ticked off.
Embarked on a journey
In much the same way that "staff" has been rebranded "team" and "accidentally killing people" is now "friendly fire", what olden days pop stars used to call a career has now been rephrased as a "journey", mostly thanks to the X Factor. After accepting her Critics' Choice Brit award with a nod to "anyone who's been with me on my journey", telling Seventeen magazine that she is "still so early in my journey", and explaining album track Big White Room with, "It joins ties [sic] together all the pieces in my journey", Jessie needs to hurry up and get there, because at this rate, her royalties won't even begin to cover the petrol.
Fallen out with journalists
Some stars decide not to get on with the press from the start. Most follow a path — a journey, even — with the tabloids that gradually unfolds like this: "Love that you love me... Enjoy your usefulness to me... Hate you, scum... Get out of my bins..." Liked by journalists so much that they gave her both the Critics' Choice Brit and voted her top of the BBC Sound Of 2011 poll, she nevertheless got a pre-emptive strike in last October, shouting "Let the journalists think about that one" at a London show, before she had released any music for journalists to think about. Yeah, that'll learn 'em.
Coped with the pressure
"Never a failure, always a lesson": Rihanna was four albums in to her mega career when she decided to get herself the mandatory celebrity self-help memo tattoo (see also Lindsay Lohan's "Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle"). But super-advanced Jessie won't need the mid-meltdown paparazzi-haunted late-night visit to the backstreet tattoo artist! She's already got "Don't loose [sic] yourself in the blur of the stars," a motivational lyric from her song Who You Are, which was written before she had any stars to loose herself in, even though she was in the middle of trying very hard to get some.
Gone ‘big band'
Big band music is what pop stars do when they're either thoroughly bored of pop music (Robbie Williams) or think a sharp suit and a brass section are a fine substitute for charisma (contestants who come third in X Factor). Not Jessie, who conquered America recently with two performances on Saturday Night Live. One was the radio-friendly if financially dubious Price Tag. The other was big band "spectacular" Mama Knows Best, which Jessie used to show that she can sing every note of the musical spectrum, often in the same line, occasionally in one word. To make sure no genre felt left out, she then broke out the scat. Yes, she scatted. If there is anything to suggest she might need to skeebedeeboobopslow down, then this is it.