It's impossible not to be blown away by the music of Justin Jesso. The LA based talent was the co-writer and vocalist on Kygo's "Stargazing" and has been delivering some beautiful works of his own.
Most recently he released "Getting Closer" along with the visuals. It's a chance to see behind the scenes footage of Jesso on tour and features him performing the track.
With this in mind, we got in touch to find out more about his creative process and those all-important Current Vibes playlist, which you can hear below.
We’re a little bit obsessed with your single “Getting Closer” and its official video. How have the responses to it been?
Thank you so much! I think so far the response has been good. It’s a very personal video to me.
Did you have some creative input for the video?
Oh yeah. The initial concept was mine, and then I fleshed it out with my amazing director Kyle Coogan who really brought the whole thing together and figured out how to most effectively tell the story and project the images. I wanted something unique that could only apply to me, so I thought what better way to do this than with my actual footage from my phone this past year. I also wanted to give people a glimpse into who I really am and what I am feeling.
What were some of the most enjoyable parts of making the single?
It happened really quickly actually. I wrote it with my buddy Petey Martin after we had spent a week working on production for other songs. We both thought we should try and write something before he left, and we popped out "Getting Closer" two hours later.
I think the most enjoyable part about writing "Getting Closer" was sorting through my feelings. I stayed in limbo with my ex for about 2 years after our breakup. We would get back together periodically and make plans, then she would pull away, or it would feel too one-sided… So this song is about that painful limbo phase. Are you getting closer to ending it completely or are you getting closer to coming back to me? I'm leaving the door open, if you wanna close it - either completely, or behind you as you walk back in...
What did you gain from the process, and what helps you to keep developing as an artist?
Writing always helps me sort through my feelings and every song I write I learn a little more about songwriting and a lot more about myself. I think just being open, listening and in touch with my own feelings is really what helps me to keep developing as an artist. And learning from those around me: songwriters I work with and artists I admire.
Who or what influences you musically? Do you find you get inspired by lots of different genres and styles
I do! My favorite is old soul. Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston. I love Bruno Mars, John Legend and Ryan Tedder as well.
How do you want your music to make people feel?
This is an awesome question. I want my music to help people feel what they need to feel. I tend to write emotional lyrics from a personal place and I hope what I write helps people deal with their emotions, or just escape. I want what I write to resonate with people.
Would you consider yourself a perfectionist?
Yes. But I’m getting better at letting things go.
What is on the horizon for you in 2019? Any major goals you want to achieve?
Yes, I can’t wait to get out and do more touring. I’ve had an incredible time this past year touring with Kygo, but I’m excited to do my own show. I hope to fill the arenas I’ve played with him myself one day.