Drawing inspiration from the soulful, earnest croons of Amos Lee and the vulnerable, honest confessions of Ray Lamontagne, Jesse MacLeod has developed a voice heavily influenced by the contemporary singer/songwriters of today. Yet he still pays homage to the folk artists of previous generations. As a child he remembers falling asleep to the sound of his old man playing guitar in the living room. The voices and guitar licks from legends such as Muddy Waters, Son House and Pee Wee Crayton are very familiar to him. Being the son of bluesman Doug MacLeod, Jesse can proudly and honestly say the Blues is large part of who he is.
Jesse spent the first 18 years of his life growing up in North Torrance in the South Bay area of LA county. The hip-hop culture and influence was strong in his hometown. He realized he had a voice when he spit his first rhyme in freestyle session at a house party in high school. He moved to Orange County in 2002 to attend Cal State Fullerton and quickly noticed a drastic change in culture. While studying at the university, he gradually took his craft as an emcee/producer more seriously. By the time he turned 23, he had a group and solo project under his belt and was relatively well known in the Orange County underground hip-hop scene. However, he began to feel limited in the way he expressed himself through the form of hip-hop and had reached a turning point.
In the Fall of 2006, Jesse began attending the Microphone Sessions, a weekly artist workshop led by Leila Steinberg, former mentor of Tupac Shakur. She saw the potential in Jesse’s voice and consistently encouraged him to sing. Her persistence finally paid off and made an impact. The most defining moment of his life (aside from right now) had to be in October of 2007 when he decided to pick up the guitar. Since receiving his BA in Communications from CSUF in 2008, he has put all of his effort into making a living as a musician.
Since then, Jesse has had the honor of receiving the award of Best Performer in the Westcoast Songwriters February 2009 Songwriter Competition in Hollywood and was a Top Three Male Finalist in the 2009 So Cal Music Live Competition. He released his first commercial recording, the “In Between Homes EP” in early 2010 with the help of producer, musician, engineer Michael Starr. With the EP in hand, he plans on becoming a regular face in the LA singer/songwriter scene in 2010.