TMG is pleased to present another introspective artist interview, this time Jesse Lopez, the singer-songwriter well known for his involvement in Making Faces and The Light Within as a guitarist and vocalist respectively. With musical influences that include Green Day, Johnny Cash, Ed Sheeran, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson, Lopez’s music takes on a Rock/Pop sound. The self-proclaimed “one man band”, Jesse writes and records most instruments on his tracks, displaying the ultimate singer-songwriter experience! You can see Jesse Lopez live in a city near you this summer on the Road Warrior Tour with singer-songwriter, Brie!
Jesse Lopez has performed at many major events such as American Idol, Vans Warped Tour 2013 and 2014, Sunfest, Light Up Ocala, and even an International televised Music Festival in Zhangjiajie, China. Through his bands, he has shared the stage with such acts as Barenaked Ladies, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, The Original Wailers, Vanilla Ice, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Chunk! No Captain Chunk, and many more. Let’s check out his song ‘Heroes’ below!
*NOW HERE’S OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JESSE LOPEZ*
1. What’s your bands name? Where did the name come from?
Jesse Lopez. My stage name is my real name because I want my music to be synonymous with who I really am.
2. The Yellow Collar Collective is all about the daily grind musicians go through to perfect their craft, what has been your biggest struggle and accomplishment as a musician?
My biggest struggle as a musician has been overcoming financial issues. I put all my money into my music, so much so that it’s a stretch to pay my bills sometimes. But that’s how dedicated I am to this career. Music always comes first in my mind. My biggest accomplishments so far without a doubt would have to be traveling and touring. It’s one of my favorite things about being an artist. Music has taken me across the country to some of the most beautiful cities and places, as well as over seas to China where I performed at an International Music Festival.
3. What other instruments can you and your fellow band members play?
Although my main instrument is guitar, the first instrument I ever learned was the drums, and I would have to say it is my favorite instrument too. I also play ukulele, bass guitar, and piano.
4. Why’d you start making music and why specifically did you choose your genre?
To be completely honest, I started writing songs because I wanted to serenade my girlfriend at the time but beyond that I just grew this love for it and it was a huge outlet for me to express myself and create art. My genre was kind of blended from influences from artists such as Usher, Green Day, Michael Jackson, Ed Sheeran, and a few others, so it has become this fusion of R&B, Rock, and Pop, and even some Reggae influence.
5. Do you have any memorable musical experiences that have shaped who you guys are?
That’s a tough one to answer because I feel that there have been so many experiences that shaped who I am. Every tour I’m on improves not only my playing but my mind and my world, and makes me a better musician.
6. Have you ever released any albums or are working on any now? Any special projects?
Yes, I am very happy to say that I’ve released my first solo EP titled ‘J (Part 1)’ which you can download on iTunes now or listen to on Spotify. I am working on ‘L (Part 2)’ at the moment and I’m very excited for fans to hear the new stuff I’ve been writing for it.
7. Do you collaborate with other artists? Inside and outside your genre?
My first EP, ‘J (Part 1)’ has no collaborations but my next one definitely will. There will be features from a couple Hip Hop artists as well as an R&B artist, all of which are good friends of mine based out of South Florida.
8. What venues and events have you performed at in the past five years? Which has been your favorite?
The events that I am most excited about playing within the last 5 years would definitely have to be Warped Tour and Sunfest in West Palm Beach, FL. My favorite though is the International Music Festival I was a part of in Zhangjaejie, China with my old band, Making Faces. The Hunan government flew us out and paid for our entire trip. We played for thousands of people and it was an amazing experience.
9. How do you acquire shows and promote yourself? Do you have any recommendations for other artists?
I do all my own booking and promoting, my methods are a secret though. My recommendations to other artists would be to try new things out, think outside the box, find a way that works for you, and don’t be afraid to fail. Failing is the best way to learn.
10. Do you have any mottos?
“Free your mind.” Simple and life changing.
11. What artists inspire you?
I have so many inspiring artists that I look to for different reasons that the list could go on, but to name some: Usher, Green Day, The Rocket Summer, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Sublime, Marvin Gaye, Taylor Swift, and many others.
12. What’s next for your band?
More music, more albums, more shows. That’s all I know for now. The rest will kind of just fall into place I feel.
13. What do you do when you’re not listening to or making music?
I like to visit my family when I can. Even though they live close to me I don’t have much free time to see them so I like to visit when I can. I also like to surf in my free time and skateboard.
14. What’s your favorite song right now?
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
Huge thank you to Jesse for taking his time to do this interview for all of us! Once again, you can see Jesse Lopez live in a city near you this summer on the Road Warrior Tour with singer-songwriter, Brie! Check out her interview with TMG here!