Born in Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in Hammersmith, and raised in a Jewish family in Clapham, Ware is a South London girl. She is the daughter of Helena, a social worker, and John Ware, a BBC Panorama reporter, who divorced when she was 10, and the younger sister of actress Hannah Ware. Her mother, Helena, has been a big support in starting her musical career and Jessie considers her as "her hero", saying "She brought up my sister, brother and me with so much love and fun and always told me I could do anything I want."
Ware shared a flat with Felix White of The Maccabees and is also friends with Adele.
Ware was educated at Alleyn's School, a co-educational independent school in Dulwich in South London, followed by the University of Sussex, where she took a degree in English Literature.
After her studies, she briefly worked as a journalist at The Jewish Chronicle, did sports journalism at The Daily Mirror and worked behind the scenes at TV company Love Productions. There she was a colleague of Erika Leonard, otherwise known as E. L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey.
2009-2010: Backing vocals
In the years prior to releasing her first solo album, Ware did the backing vocals on live gigs for Jack Peñate and Man Like Me. Ware said she learned a lot during the periode of being backing vocal for Jack Peñate: "Performing with him was really good training, because I got to learn all about how other people do it – I was able to perform live without the pressure of being a lead singer. It gave me a taste of what to expect, and it prepared me for what I’m doing now."
Jessie Ware & Jack Peñate
It was Peñate who started up her music career, taking her on tour in America as his backing vocalist, while his bassist Tic introduced her to SBTRKT. Ware and SBTRKT collaborated on 'Nervous' (2010). 'Nervous' landed her a record deal with PMR Records.
She consequently met Sampha,