This week saw Justin Jesso team-up with Nina Nesbitt for a new release of his song “Let It Be Me“. The song is emotional, to say the least, with an epic heart-warming music video that centres around bullying – it’s so worth a watch, check out our article about the release of the song and music video here.
Justin Jesso, real name Justin Stein, is a rising singer-songwriter who you may have already heard of as he featured on KYGO’s awesome song “Stargazing” which gained global chart success, hitting the top ten in The Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and Hungary. He soon launched his solo career after this featured track success, releasing his debut EP, titled Let It Be Me, back in March, with “Stitch Em Up” being his debut solo single. Prior to his singing career, he had success as a songwriter having written for the likes of HRVY, AJ Mitchell, The Backstreet Boys, and Armin Van Buuren, as well as being nominated for a Latin Grammy award for co-writing Ricky Martin’s song “Vente Pa’ Ca” which features Maluma. His new single hit us in the heart and his vocals shine alongside Nina Nesbitt’s.
We managed to interview Justin Jesso about his new single, working with Nina Nesbitt, his hit single with KYGO titled “Stargazing”, his past songwriting career, and what his future plans are.
Hi Justin, how are you today? What have you been up to lately?
I’m good! Just got back to London after traveling to Amsterdam, yesterday, to do a quick performance with my friend KYGO. These last couple weeks, I’ve been traveling around doing A LOT of promo in Europe. It’s been fun but I haven’t been home in a bit too long.
You’ve just released the music video to “Let It Be Me” which features Nina Nesbitt, can you tell us more about the song?
The song is what I would say to the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.
It’s born out of my relationship with my ex. We both dealt with depression and I wanted to make sure she knew that no matter what I would be there to help. “Through the good and the bad and the ugly and everything in between you’re gonna need somebody – Let It Be Me”.
That relationship taught me a lot, including what it meant to really be there for somebody.
What was it like working with Nina Nesbitt?
She’s awesome. Such a nice fun person, I love Nina’s voice. I felt something about “Let It Be Me” was incomplete and always thought the song would be a great duet. I saw her in concert a couple of months back and knew she could take “Let It Be Me” to the next level.
Can you tell us more about the music video?
The video is really touching. I hope people enjoy it as much as I do, even if I’m not in it very much. We felt it was more compelling to tell the stories of the kid’s (or mini me’s) than it was to put me all over it. The vid will definitely make you smile. It’s very ‘cute’.
Who directed it and what was the director like to work with?
It was directed by Kyle Cogan who was great to work with. He also did my “Getting Closer” music video.
How does the visual relate to the song?
I feel the song is really a pure sentiment about being there for someone no matter what. I thought the best way to tell this story was through a kid’s perspective.
How does this song and video differ from your previous releases?
This song, even though born out of depression in a relationship that ultimately failed, the message is uplifting and straightforward. No matter what, I’m here. That’s new for me as my heart is usually broken in all my other songs haha. Hopefully, this means I’m in a happier life place?
The first video for “My Body” was dark and grungy – temptation testing.
You’re mostly known for your hit with KYGO, titled “Stargazing”. How does it feel knowing it’s become so popular?
I’m so grateful. It’s amazing at shows ’cause everyone knows the words.
It even charted all over the world, what was that like to see it raking in various chart numbers?
I was definitely surprised by the reaction. My favorite part is getting messages on Insta where people who love the song tell me how helpful the song has been to their lives. That’s the most gratifying thing.
How did the collaboration come about and can you tell us more about the song?
I wrote the song on a Monday with some friends in LA. On Tuesday, it got sent to KYGO. On Wednesday, he sent us a version back. On Friday, it was a confirmed single. It came out two months later.
In those two months, the label wanted to put a more famous artist on the track, but it was KYGO who stood up to the label and said he wanted to keep my voice on it. I am forever grateful to KYGO for doing that.
Prior to your singing career, you had success as a songwriter. What’s it like seeing your songs being released by other artists?
Ha, it’s a mixed bag. It’s kinda like giving away your babies. Sometimes when you love a song it is difficult. But it’s great when they do well and you feel like you played a part in helping someone else’s career.
Which song, that you wrote and has been released by another artist, that you’re most proud of, and why?
“I Don’t Want You Back” by AJ Mitchell. One of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.
What was it like getting a Latin Grammy nomination on your co-written track “Vente Pa’ Ca” by Ricky Martin featuring Maluma?
It was such a cool honor. Unfortunately, I didn’t go to the ceremony because I had to fly to Bergen that day to shoot the orchestral version of “Stargazing”.
How does your career in songwriting and your career as a singer differ?
I am wayyyy busier and doing a lot more traveling as an artist. But it’s way more gratifying as well.
After this music video release, what else can we expect from you?
I’m planning a Europe tour in September/October and plan on releasing my second EP by the end of the year!
What do you hope to achieve in the coming years?
Happiness. World domination haha. I’d love to get back to the arenas I’ve played with KYGO and fill them myself. That would be amazing.
And, finally, do have a message for your fans?
Thank you. You are awesome and I love you.
Justin Jesso, you have been great to interview, thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions and we’re looking forward to your upcoming EP that you plan on releasing at the end of the year.
Make sure you check out his new collaboration with Nina Nesbitt, which was released this week, titled “Let It Be Me”, and also watch the amazing music video. His new EP is expected at the end of this year.