From the rhyme cipher to the songwriter round...
The Hip-Hop emcee turned Americana Singer/Songwriter got his start making his rounds in the LA underground Hip-Hop scene. Having grown up in the North Torrance district of South LA county, he first found his love for the mic when he started going to Hip-Hop shows at 16. He knew he wanted to be an emcee the first time he heard Slug of Atmosphere on a mix CD and saw LA hip hop legends Freestyle Fellowship perform live.
He began spitting rhymes in ciphers (freestyle rap circles) at house parties and school. This eventually led to him rocking microphones at house parties and by the time he reached college, he was performing regularly in small clubs in the Los Angeles and Orange County underground hip hop scene.
It wasn’t until he turned 23 that he picked up a guitar for the first time. When he did, something changed; the guitar, singing and songwriting became an obsession and within a year he had transitioned into a Roots/Americana/Soul singer-songwriter. This abrupt change in musical direction led him to be influenced by the likes of such artists as Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Amos Lee.
Being the son of famed bluesman Doug MacLeod, Jesse began absorbing the sound of Blues, Soul and Jazz at a young age. Vinyl records from greats such as Albert King, Donny Hathaway and Kenny Burrell played regularly through the stereo of his childhood home. The culmination of these vast influences are all clearly apparent in him today.
In 2011, Jesse had the honor of having his song “As The Summer Wanes” placed on an episode of NBC’s The Voice. He now spends his time performing regularly in the Los Angeles singer/songwriter scene and cowriting with other songwriters. He makes his living performing at small clubs, colleges, weddings and private parties across the country.