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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Life + Arts

Jessie and the Toy Boys ‘Own the Night’


After her EP, “Show Me Your Tanlines” was released on June 14, Jessie Malakouti of Jessie and the Toy Boys will be opening for Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj as part of the Femme Fatale tour at Toyota Center tonight. | Photo courtesy of PMK*BNC

After her EP “Show Me Your Tanlines” was released on June 14, Jessie Malakouti of Jessie and the Toy Boys will be opening for Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj as part of the Femme Fatale tour at Toyota Center tonight. | Photo courtesy of PMK*BNC

With the Femme Fatale tour coming through town tonight, Houston can expect to be rocked by a trifecta of blonde bombshells. Opening for Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears, California-native Jessie Malakouti of Jessie and the Toy Boys is sure to bring as much charm as she does catchy, electronic pop beats to the stage at Toyota Center this evening.

She got her start playing piano in her home and found her calling in making music. Malakouti left home for Los Angeles at 16 to pursue her career in music and has never looked back.

“I literally left the day I got my driver’s license,” Malakouti said. “To be honest, I was ready to leave my whole life and pursue a career in music because I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.”

It wasn’t easy for the young musician to live on her own in the City of Angels, but she never gave up on the dream and did everything in her power to make sure it would come true.

“I didn’t know anyone, and even though Los Angeles was 60 miles from where I grew up, it was a completely different planet,” she said. “After a while, I just started shaking hands, meeting people and getting involved with anything that I could.

“I danced in music videos and was even an extra in a lot of music videos just to learn how they were made. I started a band called Shut Up Stella and we began playing up and down the Sunset Strip, and that was the beginning of my career in music.”

From there, she left the band, packed her bags and moved to the UK to return to her roots as a dancer. She began writing songs for British pop acts like Kylie Minogue, but then returned home to pursue her own career.

“I never wanted to be a song writer for other people,” Malakouti said. “That’s why this tour means so much to me. It’s really the first opportunity I’ve had to give life to my material on stage and it’s the best feeling in the world.”

When she heard that Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears were looking for a support act this summer, Malakouti jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Femme Fatale tour.

“I thought that it would be the most perfect platform for my music,” she said. “I focused on it every day for the next couple of weeks and so did my team.

“I’ve been working my entire life for something like this and here it is — I’m about to take the bull by the horns and ride.”

And of course, touring with a tandem like Britney Spears and Nicki Minaj is a huge accomplishment for Malakouti’s career.

“Spears is so incredible. She’s really inspiring — she’s a superstar,” Malakouti said. “Same with Nicki Minaj — she’s such an inspiring performer, musician and lyricist. Her music is so intelligent.”

With the willingness to succeed that Malakouti harbors, there’s little reason to doubt that she’ll make a splash.

“I want to spread my music around the world,” she said. “I don’t write music so it can stay on my computer, to not be shared with anybody. The whole point is to share it with the world because after all, music is the universal language.”


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