Singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney has had the kind of career that most young artists dream for themselves. Ask the New York-born artist to recall some of the highlights and he’ll tell you about performing for two U.S. presidents (Barack Obama and George W. Bush), playing to thousands of devoted fans in Tokyo (where he watched the non-English-speaking audience sing along to every word), and meeting his musical heroes Stevie Wonder and Craig David.
All that was done before the release of his 2018 single “Better With You,” his first new music since In Technicolor, his well-received 2014 album (among SPIN’s top 20 pop albums). The success thus far has helped McCartney reconnect with a feeling that he hadn’t had before with his music: the freedom to write as he wishes, everything from his perspective.
The turning point from boy band pop star to serious working artist began when McCartney co-wrote the Grammy Award- winning single “Bleeding Love” with Ryan Tedder, performed by Leona Lewis. An international mega-hit, “Bleeding Love” was Grammy-nominated for Record of the Year, reached No.1 in 35 countries, and became the best-selling single of 2008 worldwide. It has racked 365M streams on Spotify.
He’s excited that his fans have come along for the ride with his singles “Better With You” and “Wasted”, released in 2018. “It’s nice to be able to talk about things that the fans are also going through,” he says. “I think they feel connected to me because we did basically grow up together. When I was 16, they were in high school with braces on just like me, and now here we are; they’re playing my song at their wedding.
In 2019 after touring the US and Asia, Jesse is now back in the studio working on a new project. “At this point in my life everything feels like it’s clicking into place. I’m looking forward a whole new stage.”