Justin Jesso is a Grammy nominated singer-songwriter. He has written songs for The Backstreet Boys and Armin Van Buuren. You probably know him best ‘Stargazing’, his collaboration with Kygo. He is back with a new track ‘If you’re meant to come back to me.’ We have this special Q&A with him
Hi JJ, welcome back to Gigsoup, it’s been a while!
Happy to be back! Thanks for having me
How are you? How have you making the most of lockdown?
I’m actually doing ok! I’m quarantined in Jupiter, Florida with my dog Elvis and my parents. It’s actually pretty nice to be home with my parents… makes me feel like a kid. Mom and Dad cook almost every meal. For the first 14 days I was quarantined to my room, and my mom was so scared I might have the virus because of all the travel that she would knock on the door, put the food down and run away super-fast before I could get the food. I’ve been writing a lot, and trying to not be anxious or get depressed. So far I’ve been able to keep my head above water and be productive.
Please tell us what inspired the new song ‘If you’re meant to come back to me’?
So I wrote this song with three friends of mine about a year and a half ago, Mac, Phil and Plested. All Londoners. I took a train 2 hours to Mac and Phil’s place in Swindon for the first time. We all started chatting and Phil had just gotten back together with his girlfriend. He said he had chatted with her a couple weeks ago and gave her this little speech: “No one knows where we will be in the future, but I know that I’ll be waiting for you… so I’ll let you go to fill whatever hole you need to fill, and if you’re meant to come back to me, then you will.” I turned to him and said: “dude, we have to write that song!”
I found out after I wrote it that his girlfriend was actually a friend of mine from College, a songwriter named Emily Warren. I was writing it with my ex-girlfriend in mind. We had just broken up and the sentiment resonated with me. Whether it’s a person, or the love you had with a person… if it’s meant to come back to you, then it will. I believe overall, it’s a pretty hopeful message. It certainly worked for Phil 🙂
Shout out to my other co-writers, Matt – an incredible producer and great dude, and Phil Plested, another awesome guy with some amazing skills as a singer songwriter. I was very lucky to have such fantastic collaborators on this song.
How do you begin each day?
I wake up, open my window, make a cup of coffee (in my bathroom – I had a French press and coffee grounds and a kettle in my room from when I was quarantined there for 14 days so I could have coffee in the morning, and I liked the immediacy of it so I kept the kettle… saves me a trip to the kitchen!) then I try to do a workout. Sometimes I fail to get there -ha!
How do you end each day?
I never watch live TV, but. I have one at my parents’ house and I turn on ‘Friends’ which is always on around 12pm when I’m trying to go to bed on Nick at Nite. I forget how good ‘Friends’ really is. I basically laugh myself to sleep. It’s on in the background now.
Five things found in the perfect pop song might include
- A great lyric
- A catchy melody
- A memorable concept
- An interesting interpretation of the vocal
- A sick ass bass line 🙂
What are your hopes for the next decade?
Oh wow. That’s a lot of time. Well right now, I hope we end pandemics forever in the next decade. I’d like to see a lot of progress made socially in my country and around the world. Personally, I’d love my music to reach as many people as possible, and I hope people are still listening to what I have to say 10 years from now (if I still have stories to tell 🙂
Quick fire Questions
Resolve or React? – React
Serve or lead – Lead
Eggs or bacon – Ohhh … bacon
Text or call – Call
John Legend or John Mayer – Tough….Legend