Noteworthy Sound Jesse Lynn Madera


Jesse’s charismatic songs have attracted a diverse group of people who continue to seek music from the up-and-coming artist. With tracks smoothly intertwining the deep emotion of jazz with the cool, humble songwriting of American soul, Jesse’sfolk-tinged country melodies in “Come Visit Soon” stand as an impressive addition to a profoundly eloquent musical catalogue. Here is our quick noteworthy exchange with the artist.

Could you finish the statement, I am worthy because

I am.

When and how did you realize that music was your passion?

It’s been a thing I’ve realized over and over again. It started when I was a little girl, about 3 years old. I saw my cousins singing together in our living room at a party and something clicked. I was also an MTV baby, part of a musical family, and extra audio absorbent. I see a similar thing happening with my younger son – he creates and repeats melodies all the time! It’s cool to watch.

You hear so many opinions about making your passion your area of study. Would you encourage others to major in their passion? How was your experience with that?

This is a big question. We’re all unique. The joy I experience making music is in communicating something that’s inside of me, rather than, for instance, playing note-for-note a song someone else wrote. For that reason, and some others, I have never been an enthusiastic formal music student. When trying to explain what I hear in my head to other musicians, the gap in my musical education sometimes creates tension in rehearsal or in the studio. (I remember one bass player who was super chart-reliant, and annoyed that I didn’t create perfect charts.) On the other hand, my lack of formal training has gifted me a fun ignorance to the rules, and that ignorance comes up with some good ideas. It’s worked to have some softness. Life itself is mostly gray area. When we are over-educated in the arts, stuffed full of other people’s ideas, we run the risk of coming up with their ideas, not our own. After the writing stage is complete, I gravitate toward people who are smarter than I am. My friend and sometimes producer Paul Redel is a perfect example of someone who is skilled and knowledgeable, and speaks the technical language, while being simultaneously inventive, tolerating and translating my language (“Can we go more yellow boom here?”). We make a great team. So whether a person hones her craft alone, or with a private instructor, or a mentor, in a field, in a basement, or in a classroom, there’s really no wrong way to eat a Reese’s. Round out your team, and do it your way. Without arrogance, be vigilant about protecting your unique take on this crazy world. That’s the only secret as far as I can tell. No good or bad, just true or false.

How would you describe your sound?

The EP I just released is Americana. The one I’m releasing in the fall or winter is more cinematic, dramatic, grandma’s attic. Lots of strings!

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