The Dubliner, 31, fronts rising Irish band Barq and has been a backing singer for Hozier
Earlier this month, Jess Kavanagh prowled the stage in front of thousands of punters at a big outdoor concert at Dublin's Royal Hospital Kilmainham - and she looked completely in her element. Her band, Barq, were supporting the ever-popular Coronas, and she's winning fans at every turn.
"Live performance is a great way to connect with people and when you're doing support slots, you get the chance to make an impact with people who may not have known your stuff before."
Her half-Nigerian mother gave her a great grounding in both music and feminism - and Jess has been keen to use any profile she has to raise awareness for the Repeal campaign. She appeared topless on the cover of Hot Press last year with the word 'Mine' written across her chest.
"Recent Hot Press cover star Jess Kavanagh and BARQ (pictured here at the recent Hot Press covers exhibition launch party) showed exactly why they deserved to open Longitude's gargantuan main stage with a killer set of their self-described aggro-soul. The charismatic Kavanagh's stunning voice drew quite the crowd despite the early time, kicking off singalong before the clock hit three.
"BARQ, a band I discovered the last time I took a trip to Ireland, brought the crowd right up to the stage with their “agrosoul” tunes. The lead singer/lyricist Jess Kavanagh is electric. She commands the room and teases her audience. Jess vibes to her music as much as the audience, and it is a rare treat to see her brand of enthusiastic, no-holds-barred performance. The funky arrangements of their three singles, especially “That Thing You Love,” had the crowd totally involved."
Following their debut single last year, BARQ have wowed audiences at a number of leading festivals across the country. They are about to embark on their first nationwide tour and have dropped their new single and video.
Tipped by many to go on to massive things, this is a band to keep an eye on.
BARQ have had a fantastic debut year in 2016, playing festivals across the country, collaborating with fellow Irish artists and releasing standout singles throughout.
In November BARQ released ‘Bear’ as a free download and launched the single in The Bowery. The Irish group have now released a video for the track.
Check out the new video from Plec Picks 2017 act Barq for their latest single Bear. The video for Bear was created by visual artist James Sheridan and acclaimed videographers Crooked Gentlemen.
The imagery contained within the video and the song’s lyrics are inspired by the dreams singer Jess Kav experienced in the wake of her mother’s death. Barq are set to tout the country in support of Bear and will be representing Ireland at Canadian Music Week later this year.
""Cut to the quick-shifting beat and blended musical canvas that is BARQ’s sound, the video for ‘Bear’ takes on a stylized, almost off-kilter look that compliments the same vein of genre warping artistry that goes into the single itself."
Need soul? Need new music? AMBY’s got it. We are extremely excited to premiere the second music video released by Dublin four-piece BARQ.
“Bear” is a song about loss and growing up, written by lead member Jess Kavanagh about the dreams she had during the tumultuous time of her mother’s passing, so it’s fitting that the video for this song sits somewhere between nightmare and dreamy fantasy.
BARQ collaborated on this project with artist James Sheridan and videographers Crooked Gentlemen. Sheridan interpreted the lyrics with his own cartoons, creating a dark, dreamy, psychedelic vibe for this emotional single.
"The in-yer-face appeal of songs like 'Gentle Kind of Lies' and the jarring emotion of most recent single ‘Bear’ are partly why Barq are so on the button; but above all of this, it’s their raw power that shines through. Reverberating guitars and the strength of vocalist Jess Kav add weight to their already emotive lyrics. Barq have clearly landed on their sound."