NEW NEW YORK: SISSY CLEMENS, WAX POETIC

By Jessica Glick

She opened the door and I momentarily felt as though we were meeting for the first time. It had been about a year since we last saw each other; we often only meet under creative circumstances. However, my feelings of unfamiliarity vanished by the time we reached her white couch. She sat down and I followed.

A few years ago, when I was first experimenting with photography, I found her while searching for potential subjects through a social media site. We’ve both never been the same since. My former employer at Nublu Records, Ilhan Ershain, sent me an email asking if I knew any vocalists for his band Wax Poetic and so, I sent along her music. A record and tours in Europe, Turkey, and Brazil, later, she has become the face of the group that once called Norah Jones its lead singer. Having recorded part of their new album in Turkey, they are continuing to write here in New York.

While she continues to play with Wax Poetic, she allows her own material to write itself when it’s ready. Beginning as a solo artist, she now focuses her attentions on the band and so; creating a separate musical identity is not currently a priority. But, she does have a few songs written that could potentially turn themselves into an EP.

She lounged deeper into the couch, tilting her head upwards. Looking towards the ceiling, she said that music found her. It has taken on more of a global purpose for her rather than simply a way to express her feelings. Using the current crisis in Turkey as an example, she explains how Wax Poetic recently wrote a song about Taksim Square and the uprising in Istanbul. She feels that the ability to share a message through music is her way of contributing to the world. She emphasizes this point by acknowledging that music and language exist in all cultures.

We walked outside and I could smell the dampness in the air from the downpour that had just occurred. The sun started to escape from behind the clouds as we walked to a nearby coffee shop. Once we arrived and placed our orders, I noticed paintings of Serge Gainsbourg on the wall and a man speaking with a French accent. I sat down at a table and waited for her to retrieve her drink. I looked out the window in front of me in contemplation. I couldn’t believe how far we’d both come…

-Jessica Glick

Jessica Glick is a photographer, writer, and music lover. She developed an interest in photography while working at various Lower East Side music venues. Jessica started photographing local musician and has now expanded her work to include fine art and fashion. In addition to photography, Jessica has been writing since she was a child. Attempting to combine her writings with her photo work, she created an ongoing portrait/story series called VAGABOND.

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