Interview – Jesse Maxwell

Some artists have the ability to reach a listener on multiple levels in a song and that includes Toronto’s Jesse Maxwell and his new single “nosedive”. Not only do the melody & beats create an instant earworm, but the story told will be relatable to most everyone may it be for themselves or someone that they know.

Your new single “nosedive” transports the listener to a different time with its ’70s-esque groove. Did this sound come naturally to you or are there artists/bands that you listen to that planted the seed?

No, we didn’t plan anything like that specifically, but the song does have a sort of old-timey feel. As an artist, and even a listener, I’m influenced by and marvel at music from any time period, and that shapes the type of sound that I like to hear and create. Me and my co-producer Andrés listen to a lot of soul and neo-soul music which is more specifically where the initial inspiration of the sounds you’re hearing are from.

With the single focused on your personal journey to sobriety, was there any hesitation sharing something so close to home?

I’m always an open book with my music, so no it’s never a hesitation. I have nothing to hide, and in fact, my sobriety and life experiences are something I’m proud of! These things shape who we are and how we see the world, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to reflect on those experiences with a clear head. I’ve always been unfiltered in my music, and I always will be.

Having spent some years writing and performing in New York before returning home to Toronto, what would you say were the biggest challenges during your time away?

New York was a great time, and it taught me a lot. A challenge out there for me was starting in a city where I didn’t know anyone. Being in my home city, I’ve been able to receive a lot of love and support from has really been a blessing. Over there, I was treating music more like a hobby, plus I couldn’t legally make money out there from my music. Moving back to Toronto, I was able to focus on my music like a business whether it be performing, releasing or producing music for other artists – I was able to take my career to the next level.

What have you missed most over the past two years of the world being in a *very* different state, especially for artists?

Playing shows is something I missed very much, with time off from that I was able to mature as an artist and as a person, work on my singing voice and my performances, so that was helpful, but we really had no choice. As an artist, playing shows is really the only thing that’s tangible, that you can engage with people and be in the room and just vibe out. There’s nothing like that feeling of interacting with a crowd of amazing people who are there with you and having a great night.

What are your hopes over the next few months with your single and anything else on the go?

I just hope people connect with the music on a deeper level. I feel confident in what we’ve created, I feel that there has been an evolution in my approach to it and I hope people recognize that. I hope this album gets me more recognition. We’re also releasing music videos which is something new to me, so listeners will be able to experience my art in a different medium. But I always say, whatever happens, happens. I try to take things day by day, I try to put myself in good positions with my music career, and I try to live without expectation of anything.

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