Meet Jess Kent, Australian artist who will open Coldplay's Manila concert

IMAGE Nikko Tuazon

Australian artist Jess Kent reveals the Filipino dish she wants to try: "There's a food that someone said I have to try, [it's called] kare-kare. I don't know what it is, they wouldn't tell me what it is. They were like, 'Just do it!' I was like, 'Okay!'"



Australian singer-rapper Jess Kent is currently in the Philippines to open for Coldplay.

Jess will be kicking off the Manila leg of Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams Tour tonight, April 4, at SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press got to know more about the Aussie artist at a pocket press conference held on April 3, at Draft in Mandaluyong City.

This is the first time Jess visited the Philippines and she's excited to try Filipino food.

She cited one Pinoy dish particular. "There's a food that someone said I have to try, [it's called] kare-kare. I don't know what it is, they wouldn't tell me what it is. They were like, 'Just do it!' I was like, 'Okay!'"

Jess also plans to explore a few tourist spots in the country during their stay.

She told the press, "Actually we were talking about going and exploring so I think... I don't know how far we'll be able to explore. Hopefully, at some point we'd be able to get out and just explore and discover some amazing things in the Philippines and eat lots of food."

Jess is already familiar with Filipino culture because of her friends in Australia.

She narrated, "I have Filipino friends back home. I never had kare-kare but they always have like... if it's someone's birthday or something, if there's like any occasion, the whole entire family would come out, all the friends, and they'll all have like a big spread.

"I don't know if it's like that here but it's very very just like love and food and sharing and... they love deep frying a lot of stuff like bananas and like ice cream and all sorts of stuff."

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ON COLDPLAY. 
Jess is fairly new to the music scene but she already made her mark through her songs "Get Down" and "The Sweet Spot" from her debut EP album My Name Is Jess Kent.

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When asked what can people expect from their set, she answered, "I play guitar and I play with a drummer, her name's Kat. She's great, we just rock out together. We just have fun. I just climb on things and jump around...

"We just try to, I guess, warm up the crowd for Coldplay so we just went out and just have fun and try to connect with people, dancing and singing along. If they can sing along to the songs and have a good time then we've done our job and I'm happy."

Jess was tapped to be the front act when Coldplay performed in Australia and New Zealand late last year.

She was brought in once again for the Asian leg of the A Head Full of Dreams Tour.

Coldplay sent her a message and invited the England-born musician to perform for their concerts in Asia and Oceania.

Jess recalled, "We actually made a music video for the song I just played for you titled 'Get Down.' And we originally wanted to make a lyric video but we ended up with making an entire video made from emojis.

"So, every word is an emoji and so we kinda decided that that would be a more appropriate lyric video to put out to the internet because then, everybody can understand it, in every language.

"It kinda went a little bit crazy on the internet and then Coldplay found the video. I think they thought it was funny and they tweeted me, and they were coming to Australia for their Australian tour. So we jumped on the tour with them and we did Australia and New Zealand and now we're in Asia with you guys."

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Jess is still on cloud nine as she relishes the chance to be with the iconic band.

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"It's definitely very magical, it's very special and the crew is just amazing. And you can definitely tell that there's a trickle down effect of just four lovely guys because everybody's very welcoming and accommodating. They're great mentors and it's a very good experience."

Her first time performing for the band was definitely one of the most memorable experiences she had during the tour.

Jess recalled, "I think the first show the we played was in a place called Mt Smart [Stadium] in New Zealand and they were sound-checking for the first show that we jumped on so we were waiting to go on for our sound check and yeah, they're lovely souls as always.

"It's always the same with them, very accommodating, and generous, and lovely, just making sure that we had everything we needed and that we're comfortable."

The singer-rapper admitted she's a big fan of the band and she listened to their music while growing up in the United Kingdom.

She said, "Of course, I actually have Parachutes, the first record, on vinyl. And I grew up in England so yeah like, of course, Coldplay is like such an iconic band."

As she mentioned earlier, she considers Coldplay as one of her mentors. What are the tips she received while performing for the band?

Jess said, "I think there's a lot to be learned just from observing them doing their thing and they've been doing that for so long and they're really veterans now. I mean that in the best possible way."

She ended, "I'm constantly learning from them."



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