Jesse McCartney has proven to be not only a great artist, but a songwriter, producer and actor. The New York native has been gearing up for the launch of his first single in four years following the release of his previous album, In Technicolor. Over the years Jesse has sold millions of albums and singles worldwide. With his voice on the forefront, Jesse has also become quite the songwriter, creating hits like “Bleeding Love” for Leona Lewis. With a solid foundation under his belt, McCartney is gearing up for his highly anticipated return to music.
Early last week, Jesse released his brand new single “Better With You”. While Jesse’s last album, In Technicolor, experimented with more of throwback feel, he admits that this single is definitely more on the modern side of the spectrum. “Right now the world is in a really turbulent time both politically and socially and “Better With You” is a message about how people in our lives can lift us up. It’s a universal message that everyone, including myself needs to hear.” Jesse reveals that the track is about finding someone who makes you feel safe and protected no matter the circumstances may be. “Somebody who also elevates you and helps you become the best version of yourself.” McCartney admits that this single was written in several parts. “Brandyn Burnette, who’s an amazing songwriter I’ve been working with lately, brought me a first verse and a chord progression that he and Molly Moore had written, which I immediately fell in love with. Together, we sat down and finished writing the rest of the song, with Rob Knox contributing to the chorus. Rob is a very talented record producer who’s known for his work on Justin Timberlake’s albums.” Following that process the team collectively came up with an arrangement that they all loved. “The whole song really gelled when we brought in Dory Lobel, my guitar player and musical director for many years, to the studio to record guitars. After hours of brainstorming different parts, we finally landed on these simple parts that felt like magic. To me, the guitars in this song are equally as memorable and emotional as the melody and lyrics.”
Jesse shares that his songwriting style varies with each track. “I have endless voice notes on my phone of melodies and lyric ideas that have popped into my head over the years. That’s usually how it starts. I’ll go into the studio with an idea that I thought of days or even weeks before and try to expand on it.” Music has had an interesting development over the years and Jesse believes that music is constantly evolving as time goes on. “It always has. The best part about music evolving is seeing how artists borrow ideas from those who came before and add something new to it to make it totally unique.” Jesse admits that he is currently a big fan of Hip Hop listening to chart-topping artists like Chance The Rapper, Logic and Kendrick Lamar.
In 2014 Jesse released an 80s driven album, In Technicolor. McCartney reveals that his new single “Better With You” is deliberately less of a throwback and has more of a modern feel. “People have told me that “Better With You” reminds them of how “Beautiful Soul” made them feel but with a 2018 sound. I’m happy to get that feedback because that song was defining for me as an artist.”
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Jesse has been in the business for quite some time, giving him the opportunity to develop his sound and find who he truly is as an artist. The last four years has taught Jesse a few things, but musically, the “Better With You” star admits that patience is key. He doesn’t feel the need to force a song to come out and he is taking his time while editing. “A song needs to be tailored like a really fine suit. You need to measure and taper it from every angle.” Aside from music, Jesse has grown to love and gain a passion for cooking. “Particularly, with BBQ/Smoking meat!!” Which if you read Jesse’s Instagram bio, you already knew.
Jesse not only treated his fans to a new single, but a music video as well. McCartney admits that the “Better With You” music video has a butterfly effect. “The idea was to show how something as incidental as dropping a quarter, can change the course of your life in such a profound way.” The video features Danielle Campbell, which was a perfect fit. Jesse really wanted someone with a background in acting. “For me, it was pivotal in order to pull off the narrative for this video. Danielle was an absolute joy to work with and an incredible actor.”
Jesse is no stranger to touring. From arenas to clubs, and even college campuses. Not many artists get to experience that level of performing in different atmospheres. McCartney admits that they are all great for different reasons. “Playing in an arena is thrilling and an indescribable rush. Seeing a crowd that size, sing your songs in unison, will never get old. However, a smaller club or theatre has its charm too. You’re able to communicate and interact with the audience a little better in a way that makes them feel like you’re in their living room. My favorite part of the colleges I’ve recently been playing is that the people attending are a substantial part of my fan base. Also, it seems that some of these students who might not have otherwise met on campus, come together because they share the same taste in music, and that’s pretty cool.” While Jesse has experience touring and performing, he admits that there are some important factors to keep in mind during the planning process. “I’d say one of the most important things to get right are the ups and downs of a set-list and the sequencing of the songs. You want peaks and valleys. You want each song to have its own purpose in terms of how it effects the audience.” McCartney reveals that the flow of a performance is paramount and sometimes you don’t always know how it’s going to present itself until you try it a few times, change it, and then try it again.
Jesse definitely has a lot to look forward to. McCartney shares that his goal as an artist is to just keep growing. “My focus is to introduce people to that growth, even if they only know me from the Beautiful Soul days. As long as I can reach them, I feel pretty confident that the new music will meaningfully connect.” Jesse is also going to make an effort to tour other countries outside the U.S. who may not have seen him perform in quite some time.
“The most humbling and rewarding part is the fact that it has been nearly 4 years since my last release and before “Better With You” even came out, the fans were singing every word of the song at the live shows.” Jesse admits that he didn’t totally understand their decision until this very moment. “After such a long break, I thought maybe it might be a little harder to get their attention with the new music, but they proved me wrong. They’ve made it very clear that they’ve been waiting all along.” Jesse is set to release more music throughout the year and we can’t wait to be there every step of the way. For you guys at home, don’t forget to pick up Jesse McCartney’s brand new single “Better With You”, now available everywhere!