We shot these photos outside in the rain in front of the Mercury Lounge where Justin Jesso recently performed [a great music venue in NYC on the Lower East Side] & his positive spirit was such a joy to work with. It is truly magical when creatives come together to make sh*t happen regardless of the circumstances [in this case the weather]. We have been playing Justin’s hit with Kygo“Stargazing” in the office all week, and are now awaiting for his new single with Nina Nesbitt “LET IT BE ME!” to drop on June 7th. Learn more about Justin Jesso and his journey below in our backstage with BOY MEETS GIRL® series.
Thank you Justin for bringing positive vibes during the whole shoot and to photographer Sophie Elgort for your positive energy too. Co-creation is only made when the creators align.
This was a total alignment [Justin is also from Chicago]!
From Chicago, IL, Grammy-nominated songwriter & vocalist Justin Jesso is making his mark on the music scene as the co-writer and featured artist on Kygo’s multi-platinum record “Stargazing”, which has amassed over half a billion plays in just over a year. In 2018, Jesso supported Kygo on the Kids In Love sold-out arena tour in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America. On Dec. 7th, Jesso released Let It Be Me - The EP, with the lead single “Getting Closer” currently a top 10 radio record in Europe. As a songwriter, Jesso has written singles for HRVY, AJ Mitchell, The Backstreet Boys and Armin Van Buuren. Additionally, he was nominated for a Latin Grammy as a co-writer on Ricky Martin’s “Vente Paca” ft. Maluma. In February 2019, Jesso supported Tears for Fears on the European leg of their Rule The World tour. In April, Jesso embarked on his first headlining tour in North America, where he sold out venues in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Where was the last time you performed before this performance?
"Well I’ve been on a mini US tour. Before The Mercury Lounge in NYC I was in Chicago at a little joint called Schubas. The show was really fun because it was my hometown with a bunch of family and friends, and before that I played the Troubadour in LA which was awesome! I love that space and the energy in the crowd was incredible. I expected it to be more of an industry vibe and it was the opposite... everyone was super hyped and we sold it out, which I am so grateful for."
Have you ever been backstage with an artist before?
"Yes, I’ve been backstage with several... probably the most - star studded - was Coachella... hanging backstage before the Kygo show with Kygo (of course), Miguel (one of my favorites), Ariana (so sweet), Rita Ora, Jamie Foxx... and so many others. I also spent the last year and half on and off tour with Kygo, so I’ve hung a good amount of time with him (fun fact, there is usually a juicer in his dressing room). Oh and any iHeart award show, literally everyone is backstage."
What is the feeling that comes over you before you walk onto the stage?
"Usually hyped up nervousness. I usually feel my stomach churn. I’m always excited right before a show, but get really nervous and feel pretty terrible on most show days. I’m not sure how to stop it, but the anticipation and pressure always really gets to me and I don’t know how to relax."
Favorite spot to be creative?
"I get a lot of ideas in the shower. So bathroom? - I like to be creative in the bathroom."
"Songs in the Key of Life. Stevie Wonder."
Causes you advocate for?
"GivePower Organization - bringing power to third world countries through clean energy innovation / + Build Chicago - an organization that helps inner city kids in Chicago by giving them a chance to rise out of poverty and violence through Scholastic and other enrichment programs."