Upper Reality

Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience.

Jessica Bathea, born February 9, 1995 in Plano, Tx because Frisco didn’t have a hospital at the time.  I grew up in Frisco.  It was “small minded” to put it nicely.  They didn’t know what to do with someone like me.  I went to college in Austin, and I have an Economics degree.

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Tell us about your music career, your band name, musical background, experience and skills.

I’ve been playing music for long.  I started playing piano when I was like 5.  I’m alright at it, no virtuoso but I know my way around the keyboard.  I did percussion in school, and I’m still salty about being 2 chairs away from All State Percussion from high school, but whatever it’s in the past.  “Upper Reality” came when I graduated high school and I needed a more sophisticated IG name than “Skilledluvr” – and it grew from there.  I’ve been producing for about 4 years on Ableton, and I released my first EP in December 2015.

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Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song.

I’ve traveled a lot and had a lot of thrilling experiences, so the music is often a theme song to those things.  This one is similar.  My boyfriend and I were long distance at the time and I was very embroiled in music and often times he’d want to talk and I couldn’t because I was so focused on my songs.  So “Call you back” is basically about that, I’ve got a lot going on, I’ve transitioned through a lot of phases in life, I’ve had a lot happen in a short time, and I’ve grown a lot in understanding how the world works—well how my world works. And I’m in that zone of reflection so I can’t talk right now—that’s how it happened.

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Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business.

They just don’t respect women.  Basically that’s it.  Like so many times you think you’re given a legitimate chance but actually they just want to have sex with you.  Or control you like an abusive boyfriend? Which is weird as hell…Also I find people to be quite jaded so often I’ll create songs that have so much meaning and move the spirit so much and they’re like “oh the beat eclipses the vocals”  bruh! Did you not experience the song?  Also college was irritating because it distracted me, but in the end it did pay because now I have all this time to make music now and nobody can tell me shit because I have a degree.

But as far as ups go, every time I put out an EP I put together a release event on my own, so I organize everything and I ask around for resources and then I just make it happen.  And that’s always a cool cathartic experience when people come and they enjoy the vibe and I feel really proud because it’s like my project, my community effort (This was my 3rd EP, so 3rd event like this).

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Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot.

I recorded it on my own, using a handheld USB mic and just made the beats on my own.  I mixed it and then got it mastered.  For me it’s a lot easier to record on my own because there’s no middle man between me and the sound I’m wanting.  So I can start and stop recording when I want to, I can record something for like two seconds, stop, clean it up, record like 2 harmonies and it turns a 10 minute process into a 2 minute one.  Plus it saves money.

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Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal.

So the first time I got paid for music was in the 11th grade, playing piano at a church I used to go to.  He paid me $90 for like an hour, so I was stoked about that.  I’d say in that case I’ve been in the “industry” for 5 years?   But I only feel like I’ve been breaking in as an independent artist for about 2 years.  I’m in this hip hop collective Hermit Kingdom (s/o) and being with them has helped me a lot with building my performance and deal-making, plus they’re all men so I get more respect being associated with them, imo.

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Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing.

It’s a mixture of frustration and meditation.  Like usually my songs are mantras and truths and when I sit for hours mixing them I step into the world of the song, so it tells me the message I’ve been looking for at that particular time but had it inside me all along.  But I’m troubled by the world quite a lot so I find the music calms me down, gives me a bit of purpose, and keeps me young.

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Tell us the secret behind making a hit song.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…you make a hit song when you believe it’s a hit song, that’s my opinion.  If you bop to it, it’s a bop.  Period.  Forget what they all say.

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Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there.

The world is not as bad as it seems. I mean, it’s BAD, but it’s not impossible to get through.  You can do it!  We can make the existence we dreamed of.

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Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist.

Take your time, be patient, and don’t let little stuff, good or bad, get to your head.

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Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained.

My first EP “Before I Go” Came out December 2015.  I recorded my first music video for the song “iWanna” off of that one. That was pretty sick.  My second EP “Silver” came out in November 2016.  That got a lot of critical acclaim in the Austin Area, which is dope.  Several blogs and stuff featured it.  My most recent one, “Upper Reality” came out, as you know, 10 days ago.  People really ride with it which is super encouraging.  The reach is a bit slow by way of me being in Cape Town and trying to communicate with Cape Town and the U.S. sphere but it’s coming.

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List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform.

Mystic Sons accepted this song too, so they’ll be featuring it.  Texx in the City (Cape Town).  Austin Chronicle.  Welcome to the Underground Radio (Cape Town).

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Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio.

I don’t think there’s one method.  I create a set of beats that I like, or a set of ideas, then I set a deadline, like publicly announce oh I’m gonna release this thing in 6 weeks or 8 weeks, and that kinda puts enough pressure on me to just do it.

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Name five biggest artists that you like.

Janelle Monae, basically everybody from the Motown era (namely the Dramatics), Madlib, Curren$y and Thelonious Martin in the Drive in Theatre mixtape, Sade.

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Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so.

Blakchyl from Austin it’s a dope raptress, you should all check out her stuff.  We recently collaborated on a song (I produced, she bodied a verse), and I’d love to collaborate with Mndsgn tbh I know that’s ambitious but you’re never to young to be a mogul.   Sza I’d make a beat for.  Syd I’d make a beat for.  Xxyyxx I just wanna understand that guy, like how did you do all of this? So I’d just fly-on-the-wall in the studio with him, if he’s not too busy with college or whatever.

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Give us the links to your website and your entire social network.

https://soundcloud.com/upper-reality/sets/upper-reality

https://twitter.com/upper_reality

twitter.com
The latest Tweets from Upper Reality (@upper_reality). Heal yourself. Texas

https://www.instagram.com/upperreality/

www.instagram.com
984 Followers, 850 Following, 961 Posts – See Instagram photos and videos from Upper Reality (@upperreality)

https://www.facebook.com/upperreality/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

www.facebook.com
Upper Reality. 301 likes · 24 talking about this. I’m Upper Reality and I make beats. Electro-Soul Invigoration. Listen and enjoy

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Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music.

https://upperreality.bandcamp.com/

upperreality.bandcamp.com
Sometimes I wax, sometimes I wane. Soulful sounds, for personal use only. Email jessicatmbathea@live.com for commercial inquiries

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Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day.

My happiest day was the day I spread my father’s ashes in Jamaica.  That was the most beautiful day of my entire life.  My cousin took me up to the hills to this retreat vibe and I skipped school and we did yoga and ate in silence and all that other zen stuff and I really felt like I did what my father’s spirit was asking me to do.

My saddest day was the 24 hours before I graduated college. I was just over it.  Too much racism, too much jealousy from a lot of members of my family that I didn’t expect, I appreciated the people, family and friends, that did come and did support but I just felt like the work I put in meant nothing.  People gave me advice, one friend of my mom’s just said it’s like weight training, you feel so beaten down and like you don’t see any benefits, but they come later after you heal and stuff like that.

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Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

Hmmm…I’d put half of it in an investment account.  I’d pay off my mom’s house.  I’d buy a nice new computer, then I’d just live off the rest for a while and continue to make music.

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