The Jess Hall Project is experimental Fusion-Folk from Llandrindod, mid Wales featuring Jess Hall on vocals, piano and synth with Noel Doak on double bass and beats. Taking inspiration from Trip-hop, World music and Welsh Folk traditions and mixing Welsh and English language, it disrupts convention whilst connecting to a sense of timeless sincerity. The style has been described as “like it’s from the French tradition in a way like Edith Piaf… really special, like Bjork, like PJ Harvey, these heroines who have innovated, who have defied the established order” – BBC Radio Cymru.
Jess was born in Cardiff to a Welsh father and North-West American mother. Growing up in an isolated rectory in rural mid Wales, she developed a passion for singing and song-writing that was influenced by family folk songs.
It was through Welsh medium education that Jess gained her first experiences of performing and developed a strong affinity with Welsh Folk song traditions. A natural questioner of convention, she studied classical music while being influenced by a wide spectrum of artists who were pushing at the boundaries of popular, experimental and world music. Her cultural magpie approach to song-writing is grounded in a rousing, honest style that the Welsh Folk tradition calls ‘blas y pridd’ meaning ‘taste of the earth’.
Jess studied Fine Art and Music at university, having decided that the two were inextricably linked – at one of the UK’s leading Fine Art courses where she used performance, installation, video, lyrics and wild vocal improvisations to raise questions and challenge understanding.
In 2006 she was a semi-finalist in the UK song-writing contest. In 2010 she was a semi-finalist in the BBC Radio Cymru battle of the bands. She has played in gigs and festivals around Wales and has appeared on Welsh radio and S4C TV programmes ‘Bro’ and ‘Wedi 3’.