From The Cypher to the songwriter round
The hip-hop emcee/producer 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 spent the majority of his adolescence with a debilitating stutter.
One afternoon during his junior year of high school, LA underground hip-hop legends The Visionaries performed live for the students at lunch. This performance inspired him to start spitting his own rhymes. He began rhyming in cyphers (freestyle rap circles) 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. He had found his voice through hip-hop.
At 23, something compelled him to pick up a guitar and start telling his story in a different way. 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 and jazz at a young age. Vinyl records from greats like Albert King, Lonnie Johnson and Kenny Burrell played regularly through the stereo of his childhood home. The culmination of these influences are clearly apparent in him today.
Jesse has had two of his songs “As The Summer Wanes” and “Eyes On The Horizon” placed on episodes 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.