Things Are Always Better with Jesse McCartney
by Jackie Speiss
It has been about a decade since PopEntertainment.com had the privilege of catching up with singer/songwriter/actor and, of course, self-proclaimed grill master Jesse McCartney. Last time we got the chance to hang out, McCartney had just released his third solo album Departure, which included the smash hit “Leavin’.” He had also recently written Leona Lewis’ top single “Bleeding Love,” which made him a mint as a songwriter.
In recent years, McCartney has worked hard to build up his acting career. Nearly ten years later, Jesse is back in the music game. His brand-new hit song, “Better with You,” was just released, and McCartney has proven that he is still here and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
McCartney is back in the spotlight after a much-deserved four-year hiatus after releasing his last album in 2014, In Technicolor. He took that time to spend quality time with his girlfriend, Katie Peterson, take walks and Instagram pics with his precious pooch, Bailey, and take up a new hobby; grilling and smoking meat! Sounds like the perfect way to live life if you ask us!
Although he took some time off, that doesn’t mean his creative juices weren’t still flowing. Jesse attended a songwriting “camp” in Nashville, and also kept his acting skills up to date with his hysterical alter-egos “Hansel” and “Gentle Jerry,” who can be found on his Facebook page. And trust us, you definitely want to see it.
With his new song release, Jesse’s fans are absolutely thrilled to see him back in action. “Better with You” has the feel of his classic “Beautiful Soul”. There is never a dull or boring moment in the song, and just like his other songs, this one can play on repeat. It’s safe to say that “Better with You” just tugs at some heart strings. Makes us eagerly wonder something. Will Jesse McCartney be releasing anything else this year?
It’s awesome to be able to catch up with you again!
Oh, yeah cool. You as well!
You’re the kind of artist that has the most loyal fans. You have changed so much throughout the years (always positively, might I add) and you still have the same fans. Going back to your Dream Street days, to now, how are you able to maintain such a strong, loyal fanbase?
I mean, I don’t know. I wish I had the answer to that, but it’s really nice. I’ve been doing this, as you know, for a really long time, and especially now with this project I didn’t really know how the fans would react being away for a few years, and they were just remarkably THERE. They were just there and super vocal, like “we can wait!” “what’s been taking so long?” why have you been away for so long without any music?”. So, I mean, I don’t know what it is, I’m just so grateful that they have been there for so long and that they show up because it allows me to do what I love!
Well with that being said, were you surprised by the response you got with your new release “Better with You”?
I thought that they would like this song. I really felt strongly about this new record “Better with You”. I felt like there was something about it that I kind of thought might tickle the nostalgic bone. It has a sort of throwback reminiscent feel to the early days of my music so that was sort of intentional, but still, I mean, you never know. You never know what’s going to happen when you release new music. You know, people tell you “oh this is going to be a hit, this is going to be a hit, this is amazing!” and then it’s not, and vice versa. So, I mean, you just never know. The really cool thing is now with social media, I get an immediate response, like, “this song sucks!” Or ” this song is amazing!” It’s like immediate feedback.
Yes, I can totally see that. Social media is a blessing and a curse these days! So, in reference to that feel good, nostalgic sound of “Better with You”, and going back to “Beautiful Soul”, but more so “Better with You”, I saw you were at a songwriting camp in Nashville during your time off?
Yeah, I was.
Well, could that possibly mean that we are going to get some country from you ever? You know how some artists these days are doing that cross-over, like Maren Morris was country and tried out some pop? Do you think it might happen? I ask because “Better with You” has that little touch of a country feel to it.
It’s a fair question, but probably not. I mean, I never say never. The songs that I wrote were definitely very country driven, and not something that you’ll hear on this project that I’m doing right now, this year, BUT, I do love the songs. SO, if they don’t get recorded by any big country artists, I mean, maybe. You know, maybe I could do like a pop-country thing with another country female singer, and maybe we could do a duet. I don’t know, we’ve talked about it, but right now I think I’m just going to stick with these four or five songs that I have for this year and see where that goes.
Okay, so you have more coming out then?
Definitely have more coming out. That’s exciting! Do you have any collaborations with anybody in these upcoming songs? No collabs right now. It’s just I have five songs, well four or five songs, that I love, and there’s really no rules anymore. I thought eventually I’d put out an entire LP or even an EP, but with the success of “Better With You” and the way it has this momentum behind it right now, I think that I’m going to wait a couple more months and release another song and then maybe after that release another song, and then maybe do an EP or a whole album, I don’t know. But definitely at this point I have four or five songs that I’ll be releasing this year.
That really is exciting! I have a feeling this will be a great year for you. I know I am, but I am sure your other fans are probably thrilled about your return to music. One last question, which you can totally say no to, you want to show me Hansel in person?
(In German accent) Hansel? Yes of course, Baby! We’re going to go to the club and have some Bison Beer! (Laughing)
That was awesome! Alright, well it was awesome catching up with you again! Good luck this year, and I can’t wait to hear what else you have up your sleeve!
Thanks! It was nice catching up with you as well!
Copyright ©2018 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: April 17, 2018.
Photos by Jackie Speiss © 2018