Miami Living Magazine

Bailee Madison

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Page 129 of 187

On the Rise Justin Jesso talks about his transition from songwriter to singer Words by Claudia Paredes Justin Jesso has been working behind the scenes for about five years. It was not until recently that Jesso, now 25 years old and living in L.A., found himself in front of the mic and sharing a stage with world-famous DJ Kygo. For Jesso, it seems like it all happened in the blink of an eye. But the reality is that this talented Chicago-born singer and songwriter has been pursuing a career in music for as long as he can remember. "I was always the kid who would go for the microphone over the football, so I guess I always knew that I wanted to be in music. I started off performing around Chicago and signing when I was a kid," explains Jesso. It seems that music has always captivated Jesso's senses and brought him peace. "When I was not even one year old, Whitney Houston got up to sing the national anthem [at a football game], and, supposedly, I get up in front of the TV and I was so fixated in her singing and her voice. The second it was over, I started crying again." Writing songs came naturally for Jesso. "I always knew this is what I wanted to do, and as I grew up, I started writing songs. When I was nine years old, I wrote my first song for a girl named Leah. I wanted her to like me, so I wrote her a song," Jesso chuckles. Jesso was born to perform and be a part of the music world. When he was 16 years old, he worked for Disney on a project he finished by the time he graduated high school, he tells us. And after graduating from the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU

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