Jesse Macht: How Independent Musicians Can Make a Living & Build a Tribe
Jesse Macht (@jessemachtmusic) is a singer songwriter. His melodies are an abundance of stories overflowing with passion, vulnerability, empathy and honesty. In 2014, he released his sophomore album called Suitcase Heart after a scary health event and an unexpected breakup. In July 2016, Jesse successfully signed with Whattaguy Record and has been producing his junior album, to be released in Spring 2017.
If you think this description fits a generic musician's story you’ve heard of before, think again. Jesse caught my attention with his grassroots growth in the music world. He’s smart, entrepreneurial and incredibly authentic. He started his journey connecting with his 1,000 true fans (a wildly popular article by Kevin Kelly, and supported by Tier-1 online marketers and influencers such as Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, James Altucher).
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Jesse was able to connect with so many people through Home Concert. You can invite Jesse to play in your living room or at your event. The sign up information is on his website here (reservation for 2017 is now open!).
This conversation dives deep into Jesse’s music as well as living a life as an independent musician. He talks about members of his family who have influenced him to do what he loves, and other singers, songwriterswho contributed to his growth today.
"Creating is failure all the time." - Brian Koppleman
I asked Jesse how he keeps showing up for his work daily. How does he manage external and internal validations? How do all creative people find the strength and courage to keep creating?
Positivity is an important source of creative energy Jesse never stops focusing on. To generate and sustain that energy, Jesse finds joy in enabling others to discover something of their own, through his music and his stories.
Jesse believes everyone has a story.
[06:00] Can you tell us about the new record you are about to release?
[06:30] What are some of the new ideas that you are throwing into your new record?
[09:30] What’s the release process of your new album? Are you planning any tour on the East Coast?
[14:00] How does the ‘treasure sharing’ works?
[16:00] What is it like to organize your home concerts? What does it take to organize your tour?
[23:00] What about using live streaming services during your live shows?
[28:00] Can you tell us about your origin? At what age did you know you wanted to be a musician?
[30:00] How long have you been working as a musician full time?
[33:00] Do you notice that you are constantly and proactively promoting other artists?
[37:00] What was the process of finding your own identity after playing in a band?
[43:00] Fei and Jesse talking about background stories behind Jesse’s song, and how knowing these stories helps the listeners.
[46:00] How did the heart-episode changed the way you compose and interpret music? In which way did that impact you?
[52:00] How do you manage your own expectations and keep showing up for your work?
[10:30] It was an eye-opening experience, it really influenced my music, it really influenced my appreciation for humanity and how music is translated and communicated and performed. It really changed my entire perspective on how independent musicians can make a living
[12:00] It asks for people to really listen to the lyrics, and try to figure out the metaphors, and that’s A LOT to ask out of listeners, especially in today’s climate: we want things that are easily understood…
[20:00] More people should start doing that in their communities. It’s just a great way to share, and look for people in your life, in your world, in your community, that just has something to share, whether it's songs or something else. I find that setup is a really amazing experience and people are getting a lot out of it.
[28:30] Singing I always did like. I think there’s something chemical and physical that just feels good about singing, and I always enjoyed that.
[32:00] ’We live in the kind of world nowadays where, people are starting to really dive into themselves and find what’s their passion in each of themselves. That’s inspiring for everyone else, so the more we can do that and then yet come together and help each other, hopefully it will just keep growing…’
[35:00] I love promoting and I love trying to bring artists together and help people create home concerts, [...] because for me that’s the magic of life, having these moments that we can really focus on and celebrate art and sharing and community, and what makes it really human...
[42:00] I love singers who are really great and talented, but the singers who I REALLY love are the ones who write great songs, and their voices help communicate the voice of the song. They are GREAT singers because they have great stories to tell, and that’s the journey I’m on...
Here's my personal favorite of Jesse's songs:
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