Justin Jesso Strikes a Pose for FAULT Magazine

Justin Jesso X FAULT Magazine

Photographer: Marta Literska
Fashion Editor: Edith Walker Millwood
Mua/Hair: Lily Vanita
Mua Assiatant: Rachel Mulligan
Fashion Assiatant: Deandra Smalls & Manny Lago
Videographer:  Kimmie Hoo

A modernistic, talented, songwriting native from Chicago Illinois who is a new sensation for all generations. Justin Jesso has given our ears the latest sound in pop music. Justin began songwriting at the tender age of just 10 years old then went on to study his passion at the Clive Davis institute in the big Apple. Jesso then relocated to California and co-wrote a song for Ricky Martin “Vente Pa Ca” which became a hit in 2016. A Grammy-nominated vocalist and co-writer who features on Kygo’s 2017 single “Stargazing” went platinum-certified, Justin released his four-song EP “Let It Be Me” December 2018 with the first solo single “My Body” and latest single featuring female artist Nina Nesbitt “Let it Be Me”. After a successful tour coming to the UK for the very first time to shoot his latest single, The pop artist talks to Fault about his experiences as a songwriter and transitioning into a vibrant solo artist.

At such a young age, what inspired you to write your own music? and why choose to attend the Clive Davis institute?

 I was always the kid who went for the plastic microphone over the toy football. I was just feeling things as a kid and wanted to express them musically.  The first song I ever wrote, I was 9 and was trying to impress a girl at camp… it went – “Leah, would you meet me by the pier, you bring the lettuce and I’ll bring the beer, there may be a deer but don’t you fear cause I’ll hold you near. We will drink some lettuce. Eat some beer. Look st your rear.”  I was 9.  I attended the Clive Davis institute cause I wanted to be around kids who loved making music as much as I did 


After your time in New York and moving to California, what were your top three goals moving forward as a songwriter?

Write enough hits for others that I would be taken seriously as an artist myself. Be able to support myself in music. Gain the respect of my peers. – funny enough I care less about this now. I just want to be able to make music the rest of my life regardless of what others think. 

How did you feel writing a hit single for Ricky Martin and not only the song being a hit, but being nominated for a Latin Grammy for song of the year?

It felt awesome. Very unexpected. Wrote that song in English in a writing camp in Denmark. Never expected it to become a Latin hit. Being nominated was a huge honour. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to the ceremony as I was in Norway shooting the orchestral version of Stargazing that weekend. 


Now that you are a solo artist at what point did you decide to write music for yourself and release your own material?

 It’s something I have always wanted to do. It was the reason I started writing songs in the first place. It would almost be more accurate to say I decided not to release during the years I was building up credibility as a songwriter. I was always writing music for myself though, even if sometimes I had to give it away.

What celebrities do you believe are the most influential on your career as a songwriter and an artist?

 Probably Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Stevie’s wonder to me is the ultimate from a vocal and songwriting perspective. Michael as a performer was unparalleled. Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Miguel, Elton John, and Ryan Tedder are also huge influences.


For your next up and coming project which artist would you love to collaborate with and why?

I think it would have to be Bruno Mars. I find him so captivating and talented. Out of all the artists today I feel like he’s doing it right and I would love to be around his creative genius. 

If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why

Haha. Um…. whatever state Trump is in at the moment. … unless he’s in NYC, LA, or Chicago. Then they are probably trying to get rid of him!


And lastly what is your FAULT?

 Hopefully everything. I want to be deliberate in my actions :)