Neon Jungle star and ex-Hayes School pupil Jess Plummer talks Valentine's Day, festivals and the Fresh Prince

News Shopper: Neon Jungle were at the launch of Brooklyn Bowl in Greenwich last month. From left: Asami, Amira, Shereen and Jess Neon Jungle were at the launch of Brooklyn Bowl in Greenwich last month. From left: Asami, Amira, Shereen and Jess

IF you want to date a pop star, you’ll have to be funny and confident – and it’ll help if you take her somewhere hot.

As Neon Jungle star and former Hayes School pupil Jess Plummer celebrated their second single Braveheart breaking into the top five, Vibe took the chance to quiz her about Valentine’s Day and romance.

It turns out the 21-year-old, who splits her time between the band home in west Kensington and her family home in Crystal Palace, is a secret romantic.

She said: “I like to pretend I’m not, but I am.

“If on Valentine’s Day I didn’t have a Valentine, I’m that girl who would just go through her phone book and just find someone – anyone – to do something because I can’t stay at home and feel left out.”

If you want to woo the feisty pop star you’ll need to have a sense of humour and not shy away.

She said: “There is nothing worse than being in someone’s company that takes themselves too seriously.

“They’ve got to have a sense of humour and confidence, because I’m quite an opinionated, outspoken person.”

She’s also spontaneous.

While waiting in the foyer for her audition for Neon Jungle this time last year, she abandoned the song she was planning to sing and went left-field for the theme from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

She said: “It was a last minute decision.

“I needed to go in there and be remembered. I had heard someone else practicing the song I was going to sing.

“Instead of rapping it, I sung it but I don’t even remember how. I was freestyling on the spot. I think they just found me funny.”

It worked, and half-Jamaican Jess got a spot in the band alongside Shereen Cutkelvin, Amira McCarthy and Asami Zdrenka.

And with three of the bandmates being single with February 14 just around the corner, Jess said they could be each others’ Valentines.

She said: “Amira and Asami both don’t know but they both asked me to be their Valentine and because I’m a player I said yes to both of them.

“I’m going to take Asami to the cinema and then go to dinner with Amira without either of them finding out.”

The singer - who described herself as a south east Londoner ‘through and through’ and is adamant the Intu should still be called The Glades - said she always wanted to be in entertainment, having worked in kids TV and independent films among her eight jobs since finishing school.

She said: “I have worked countless retail jobs, I was a teaching assistant for a while. It’s all been building up to this.

She added: “Everything is happening so fast, I don’t even have the chance to register it all. But when I do, I will sit there and cry my eyeballs out.

“When I think about it, my whole life has done a complete 180.”

The summer, Neon Jungle is set to play bigger gigs as their profile is set to grow even more, including British Summer Time at Hyde Park on July 6 alongside McBusted, Backstreet Boys and The Vamps.

Jess said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

“This year we’re doing Hyde Park and Wireless Festival so it’s going to be a big one. I’m scared but looking forward to it at the same time.”

As well as the chance to play big gigs, Jess is looking forward to some sunshine. In fact, if you want to sweep her off her feet, her ideal first date would be to somewhere hot.

She said: “Take me out of this rainy country. I’ll go anywhere. Where’s that place they go on Take Me Out? I’ll even go to the Isle of Fernando.”

Catch Neon Jungle at British Summer Time at Hyde Park. Tickets are on sale now. Go to bst-hydepark.com or find out more about the band at neon-jungle.com

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