Jesse Ruben

By Dani Felt (July 1, 2016)

1.What inspired your passion for music and who has been there supporting you from the beginning?

I was always drawn to music more than most people. When I was in middle school, my dad would give me 2 albums a week to listen to. We went through all the classics…The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Cream, Hendrix, Joni, Simon and Garfunkel. It was an amazing education.

My family has been there since day one. My parents and my sister. They had sit through me playing the same thing over and over and over for hours until I got it right. They’ve always come see me play, and I would not still be doing this without them.

2.How do you feel about people downloading music rather then buying physical copies?

It’s a double edged sword. Obviously, it is great when people download your music, because then they have it and can enjoy it and share it with other people. But it is nice when people buy physical copies, because that is a huge part of an independent musician’s income. There has to be a balance.

3.How do you feel about the music industry today?

Like a lot of businesses, there are things about it that work really well and things that don’t work at all. But, there are a lot of people working hard to fix it, and to connect artists with their fans.

4.Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Doing exactly what I’m doing now. Writing songs, and performing them as much as I can to as many people as possible.

5. Do you think singer/songwriters are the best interpreters of their own work or do you believe some cover versions can be better then the original?

Great question. There is something to be said about having the writer of the song record it. But some people have such great voices, it can’t help but come out better.

6.Who have you always dreamt of working with and why? How would you go about accomplishing this?

I’d really love to write with Ben Folds. Lyrically, I think he’s one of the most brilliant people ever. His ability to tell stories, and to say things in songs the way people would actually same them in conversations, is unparalleled.

7.As you are starting out your career in the music industry what steps do you plan on taking to reach your goal?

I guess you could say I’m starting out, even though I’ve been doing this for about 7 years. The great (and sometimes overwhelming) thing about music and the music business is that you never “get” there. You never arrive. You can always get better, learn more, and be more successful.

8.Have you found that as you are starting out your career in the music industry there are aspects that have taken you completely by surprise. If so, what are they?

There are certain things that you don’t think about when you first start that occasionally happen. For instance, some people (fans) will be very nervous when they talk to you, even though you’re a normal person. But there are so many amazing things about this industry as well. Hearing your song on the radio for the first time, having your song played at someone’s wedding, being a part of people’s history. It’s an amazing feeling.

9.What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?

The greatest thing is being able to follow your dream, and love what you do every day. What would I change? Who knows. A lot of things. But the bad stuff is what makes it so damn interesting.

10.If you could have asked anyone for advice when you were starting out. Who would you have liked to ask? What would you have liked to ask? What would be your answer now?

Back in 2003 when I first started, I would’ve liked to talk to John Mayer. He basically restarted the singer/songwriter movement that happened after that. I’d still like to talk to him, actually. Paul Simon would be fun too.

11.From your experience in the entertainment industry what advice could you offer people looking to get where you are today?

Love your songs. More than anything. If you don’t love your songs, if you have any doubts about your material, you’re screwed. Be nice to people. Everyone. Even if you know they’re ripping you off. You never know how that’ll come back to you.

12.What courses/classes would you recommend someone take if they want to be a professional in the music industry?

To be a songwriter, learn basic theory and harmonic concepts. And then forget all of it and just WRITE.

13.How many years were you fighting to get to where you are today and what was that time in your life like?-

Eight years, And I’m still fighting. You never get there.

14.From your experience so far, what have you found to be most challenging? And how are you dealing with it?

Staying positive and being motivated are sometimes difficult. But if you believe in what you are doing, That is all that matters.