Singer-songwriter Jass has swiftly made a name for herself in Kansas City’s music scene––and beyond.
She performed at the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans in July and opened for bassist Thundercat at Grinders KC the following month. In October, she was a major draw at the second annual Troostapalooza. From clubs to community events, you can frequently find her performing throughout the area.
And earlier this spring, her music was twice featured on the second season of Bel-Air, Peacock’s modern reimagination of the nineties sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“I had no intention of my music taking on the life that it has,” Jass says, “but now I’ve been putting a lot of movement behind it.”
Born and raised in KC, Jass’s love and affinity for music made itself known at an early age in her church choir, but she didn’t start performing and releasing music until 2020.
It was after putting out her music on SoundCloud that Jass was invited to play at an open mic as a featured artist. Things progressed from there. She put snippets of her music on Twitter, expanded her releases on to a wider variety of platforms and booked more gigs.
“From there, everything just grew,” Jass says. “Before, I had just been sending songs to my friends. I’ve always written.”
Jass overloaded and crashed her computer after writing and recording so much––over two-hundred songs. From that collection, she released two four-song EPs on physical copies only in April and May: April Showers and May Flowers. In May, she released the dual CD on all streaming platforms.
Jass’s style remains rooted in the old-school sounds of soul, R&B and hip-hop. She sites some of her biggest influences as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Erykah Badu. Frequently found with a bass or flute in hand and occasionally at the keyboard, she performs as both a solo artist with an accompanying band and with Jass and the Boys.
“When I perform my own music, I like to stay in a soul pocket, but I do spoken word and rap too,” Jass says.
Last month, Jass and the Boys took the stage in Chicago for a Sofar Sounds Pride performance and in KC at the ninth annual Boulevardia with a primetime slot. The band––a collaborative effort Jass describes as a “psychedelic fusion” of funk, rock, R&B and more—showcases energetic originals with a funky, contagious groove.
No matter the ensemble, venue or instrument in hand, Jass’s warm vocals, inviting presence and lyrical prowess will captivate you. She’s an artist to keep your eye––and ear––on.
GO: Learn more about Jass’s upcoming performances on her Instagram, @jassrcouch.