As an up-and coming, artist Jessie Malakouti isn’t stressing herself out trying to figure out what her musical legacy will be—but just knows one thing: she wants to be known as “one badass bitch.” As founder, singer, songwriter and overall genius behind the pop group Jessie and the Boy Toys, the blonde bombshell is ready to make people’s ass shake, one thriving beat at a time.
And don’t let that pretty face deceive you; she’s not your average “disco doll,” but rather the new face of the future of pop-inspired jams infused with sassy lyrics, dazzling dance synths and hardcore dubstep beats. Her first single, “Push It,” has raged across dancefloors like a wildfire, perfectly showcasing her musical wits, natural instincts and ability to catch your attention. Now that she has it, this badass bitch is determined to keep it!
I think it’s cool that I’m a pop artist on the ID tour because it sets me apart from other artists on the lineup. I actually consider a lot of the other acts total inspirations, like Skrillex, Rusko, Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Holy Ghost, Calvin Harris...expect to party your ass off when you see me at The Identity Tour! -Jessie Malakouti
What’s the story on your musical origins?
Well I always wanted to be an artist and was literally just waiting for the day to leave. I left home at 15; the day I got my driver’s license, and basically moved to Los Angeles [from So. Cal’s Inland Empire] to pursue a career in music. I started knocking on doors, shaking hands, trying to meet people because I moved without knowing anyone.
I then met some girls who quickly became my friends, and we all started a rock band called Shut Up Stella. We began playing up and down the Sunset Strip, which was actually funny because we were all underage at the time. We’d play venues like The Viper Room and right after our set, we’d get escorted out by security since we weren’t of age. Every place would kick us out after—it was hilarious. Then a buzz got around and people wanted to know more about the girl who wrote the songs (which was me), until a record executive showed up to a show and signed me in 2007—that was the beginning of everything!
So what’s the story on Jessie and the Toy Boys?
When I came up with the concept for Jessie and the Toy Boys, I started thinking back about all my other music experiences. Turns out that they all ended badly. Since I would write all the music and handle the creative direction of it all, my human bandmates would talk balk, and we’d basically get into fights. It never ended and I was tired of it all, so I decided to start a band that was plastic and wouldn’t talk back. I could do my thing and not have any anybody getting in the way of my creative vision! The name was just an expansion of my concept. I thought it was a cute play on words and it just stuck!
Given your sound is a mixture of quite a few things, what would you ultimately describe it as?
I think it is just pop. I’m not afraid to say that I’m a pop artist. In the past, people have been afraid to use the term, or be associated to it, because it’s not cool or something. But I love to say that my music is pop. Sure, there are a lot of sub genres melted into my song creations like dubstep and electronic elements, given I used to live and work in the UK, but at the end of the day, it’s all pop to me. Pop is back in a big way, and Jessie and the Boy Toy are 100% pop and proud of it!
With so many pop artists out there, what makes you really shine brighter than the rest?
After being in the “scene” for a while, I’ve seen that it’s rare for a pop artist to write their own music, so that’s one thing that totally sets me apart. I am the voice, creative mastermind and manufacturer of my own product. It’s all me! That’s refreshing for a lot of fans because they see a real artist. But there’s so much room for all us pop artists. Really, at the end of the day, it’s all about good music.
Speaking of other pop acts, you’re on Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale Tour, sharing the stage with her and others like Nicki Minaj. What’s that whole experience been like?
It’s been a crazy experience. I’m the biggest Brittany fan and have been my whole life. I actually did my fifth grade talent show to her “Baby One More Time.” It’s quite hilarious to know that I’ve come full circle now. And Nicki Minaj is my favorite new artist to come around in a very long time. I love that she’s so inspiring. It’s just amazing to share the stage with them. The whole thing is like a dream come true. It’s one thing that’s made this the best summer of my life, for sure!
With your debut album, “This Is How Rumors Start,” slated to drop in the fall, you actually just put out an EP. What went into the making of “Show Me Your Tanlines EP?”
I actually wrote the song “Summer Boy” last year, but didn’t want to release it until this summer. However, a clip was leaked a bit early and fans loved it so much that I wanted to release more than just one song and decided to do a 5-track EP. It’s just a little teaser of what to expect for fall. It has a great summer feel to it, with all the songs very vibrant and playful! The title is actually the first lyric to “Summer Boys,” so it was a perfect fit for it all.
Any other projects you’re really excited about right now?
Around the release date of the album, I’ll be releasing a series of videos that are like a mini movie I wrote and co-produced with some film students from USC. I’ve broken them up into five episodes that’ll be released weekly until my LP drops. Besides that, I’ve been getting involved with other artists’ mixtapes like Good Charlotte’s upcoming one. Oh, and I’m super pumped about touring with the Identity Festival!
You’re a pop act on an electronic dance festival. How did that come about?
I think it’s cool that I’m a pop artist on this electronic tour because it sets me apart from other artists on the lineup. I actually consider a lot of the other acts total inspirations, like Skrillex, Rusko, Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Holy Ghost, Calvin Harris and more. I’m definitely going to adjust my show for this tour, though. It won’t be the same one from the Femme Fatale Tour. It’s going to be fun to go back to my roots as being more of a rock artist, which provides more room for crazier sets. I’m going to wow-out on stage and have a big party with everybody. It’s all going to be a big party anyway, so expect to party your ass off when you see me at The Identity Tour!