Jessica Neill, Mentor

Jessica Niell, Hummingbird Copy


3 biggest achievements to date:
Writing and co producing and directing a short film made in tribute to the memory of my late father
Successfully crowdfunding my second film, a documentary about home currently in post production
Taking the decision to quit my job and go it alone as a freelance writer. (This isn’t an achievement as such, more a work in progress, but it’s certainly a decision I’m thankful for every day!)
Why is it important to help others by mentoring them?
I’m 34 now and, although self-doubt still rears its head from time to time, I’ve accumulated lots of valuable experience over the years. It’s great to be able to share some of that with younger people at the beginning of their own personal journeys.
Why is it important to support a female youth record label like Saffron?
Although we’ve come a long way, the playing field for women and men is still very different. We live in a world where unequal pay, sexual exploitation and objectification of women’s bodies are commonplace. I have huge respect and admiration for Saffron Records because it challenges these archaic modes of thinking. It encourages young women to value their talent and creativity and gives them a safe space in which to develop their artistry. It’s a great honour to play even a small part in an organisation that supports young women in this way.
Who is your inspiration?
I’m inspired by all sorts of people but the first person that springs to mind is Erykah Badu. She’s been at the top of her game for decades and continues to be an exemplar of excellence and invention. And she mentors lots of young and upcoming artists, which is wonderful.
Who was your first album/single that you bought?
The first album I ever bought was the soundtrack to Who’s That Girl by Madonna – a cassette tape in a plastic case.
The first single was Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees – a cassette tape in a cardboard sleeve. Before that I used to record my favourite songs off the radio, try and stop the tape before the DJ started talking again.
Younger readers may need to Google this now ancient practice…

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