The British singer felt stalled, until she started a podcast with her mother.
In late April, Jessie Ware sang ''Spotlight,'' disco-infected single that showcases the velvety tone of her voice, on The Graham Norton Show. 

Her face was bathed in swirling, jewel-toned light, and she sometimes grinned and closed her eyes, as if momentarily lost in a dance-floor reverie.

Then, all at once, the song was over - the camera zoomed out, and viewers were reminded that Ware, 35, was not in a moodily lit nightclub but a bare corner of her 3 1/2-year-old daughter's bedroom, illuminated by a disco ball she'd borrowed from a friend.

Ware's husband, Sam Burrows, was watching from the corner of the room with their daughter and 1-year-old-son, ''bribing them with Disney,'' as Ware recalled, and ''enough snacks so they wouldn't sing or speak or ask for something.''

Set-designing a makeshift discotheque in a toddler's bedroom is, for Ware, just another day at the office : The past few years have been a crash course in going with the flow.

In the time between her last album, the understated ''Glasshouse'' from 2017, and the upbeat and self-assured ''What's Your Pleasure?,'' the author of bestselling cookbook and co-host of a popular podcast, ''Table Manners'' with her hilarious mother, Lennie.

''It's so wonderful to watch Jessie's incredible personality and presence capture all our hearts,'' said Sam Smith, a longtime friend of Ware's and the inaugural ''Table Manners'' guest, via email. ''She's honestly one of the kindest and most authentic people out there.''

Since that first episode in November 2017 - Lennie made Parmesan-stuffed turkey meatballs; Smith got loose enough to admit to packing insufficiently for a flight, mistakenly thinking Mexico was in Europe - ''Table Manners'' has produced nine seasons, clocked millions of listens and been nominated for a British Podcast Award.

During a Zoom interview in mid-May from her London home, Ware was as down-to-earth and bluntly funny as she is on the podcast. She's just put her children to bed and poured herself a glass of wine; she wore a black mock-neck top, gold hoops and a slash of red lip tint she admitted she put on just for our chat.

At times, she affected a goofy, self-deprecating exaggeratedly American-accent voice to say phrases including ''celebrity cookbook,'' baby ''No-2'' and ''showbizz.'' As I was telling her that her new album has turned the quarantined confines of my apartment into a one-person dance floor, she cut me off before those last two words and instead suggested.....sex dungeon.

That effusive personality did not exactly come across in Ware's early music, which was minimalistic and icy-smooth. Her voice - at once muscular and vaporous, soulful and cool - first started drifting through the ether about a decade ago, as a featured guest on tracks by British electronic; acts like Disclosure and SBTKRT.

An excellent debut solo album, ''Devotion,'' followed in 2012; it went on to No-5 on the British album chart and was nominated for esteemed Mercury Prize. Smith, a fellow breakout guest vocalist from Disclosure's 2013 album ''Settle,'' described Ware's music ''as the soundtrack of my 20s.''

Ware's 2014 album, ''Tough Love,'' wasn't as successful as its predecessor, but it spawned her best-known song, ''Say You Love Me,'' a belt-it-out power ballad Ed Sheeran helped write that's become popular selection on British singing competitions like ''The X-Factor'' and ''The Voice.''

The World Students Society thanks author Lindsay Zoladz.


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