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Justin Jesso

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  1. 1.
    My Body
    3:160:30
Growing up in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe, young Justin was instinctively drawn to music. “I was the kid who went for the plastic toy microphone instead of the football,” he says.
His early influences include Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and Michael Jackson. He knew he wanted to be a singer when he was five years old after performing at a talent show at his grandmother’s community center in Florida. “I walked offstage and turned to my mom and said, ‘This is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.’”
After a bad management deal imploded, he decided to go to college and eventually transferred to the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University. “I was there for the camaraderie,” he says. “I wanted to be around kids who were doing what I was doing and who loved music. I wanted to be part of that tribe because for years I felt like I had been going it alone.” Jesso also interned at EMI Music Publishing, giving him a foot in the door with various studios in New York as a writer. Shortly after, Jesso moved to Los Angeles, but spent most of his time overseas at various writing camps in Europe. He dedicated himself to writing and eventually found himself in the studio with collaborators Jamie Hartman and Stuart Crichton writing “Stargazing” — the song that would change his life.

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