Music

Go Behind the Scenes With Jessie Ware on the Harry Styles Tour

The soul-pop singer shares her exclusive photo diary from opening all of Harry Styles’ Chicago dates.

by Nolan Feeney
“Day 1 show dance rehearsals with the gang.”

What was it like bringing your live show into an arena setting?

It took a bit of work, but we were up for the challenge. I have never played in arenas before, so I wanted to take the bull by the horns and savor every second. And actually, our show that we’ve been doing in theaters adapted really well into a bigger live space.

“Shop till you drop and buy an expensive hat that none of your friends think suits you.”

Normally you’re bouncing from one city to the next. How was spending over a week in one place?

Brilliant. It meant that I could really get to know the city — particularly the food scene. And it also felt far more relaxing being in one spot.

“Cocktails at Marty’s Martini Bar.”
“Everyone must go to Lula Cafe.”

“Free Yourself,” the first taste of your upcoming fifth album, arrived this summer. What’s the mood board for the new record?

Flirtatious, sensual, provocative, sweaty, late night, delicious, raunchy, romantic, raucous, obscene.

“We took an architecture boat trip down the river and felt very cultured.”

You rang in your birthday while you were there. How’d you celebrate?

I have never had a more indulgent party. Not only did I have five cakes, but I celebrated it from 12 a.m. in a club with Shea Couleé and drag queens singing happy birthday to me — finishing the day with Harry Styles leading a chorus of 18,000 people singing happy birthday to me. And then — the cherry on the top — I sang a duet with Harry, and it was fantastic. All my family and best friends were there, it was special.

“Bambi Banks & Shea Couleé at Berlin nightclub.”
“Birthday balloons.”

Harry Styles fans seem really receptive to his opening acts. What are they like as an audience?

Incredibly generous and warm and good fun. If I wasn’t dancing with them when I was on stage, I was in the Conga line at the front. They are remarkable fans, and it was really wonderful to be embraced by them.

“Pre-show at Harry Styles on the final night.”
“The best crowds.”