We had the good fortune of connecting with Arend Lee Jessurun and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Arend, why did you pursue a creative career?
I feel most like myself when I’m creating. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to have a creative career. When I started playing music in elementary school, I soon decided it was what I wanted to spend my life doing. I think I was also greatly influenced by seeing my dad have a career as a visual artist.

As I’ve grown, I’ve come to realize it takes a certain amount of courage to pick a career that is not so financially stable, and that courage is something I want to cultivate. As I continue to pursue this career, I am reminded often that money is not the most valuable thing to me.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a professional music, I wear three hats mainly: I’m a singer-songwriter, music producer/engineer, and teaching artist. All three of these hats are vital aspects to my career and my service to my community, and I believe all three of these hats inform the others.

I was a band/choir geek in school and went on to get my Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach.

Some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced have been financial. I did not grow up particularly wealthy, and making music in the institutional and industrial sense is very cost-prohibitive. I wouldn’t have been able to get a music education without grants. In my career, part of the reason I learned how to produce and engineer music was to have a cost-efficient way of releasing my own music. And part of the reason I teach is so I can give these and other tools to other musicians. I believe music-making is for everyone, not just the elite.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m still relatively new to the city of LA, so I’m discovering more myself. Perhaps we’d find new spots together. I’m a coffee and tea lover, and my favorite spot for that is Café de Leche. Right next door is a cool little book shop called Pop-Hop. I imagine we might go for a little hike somewhere like Ernest E Debs Regional Park or maybe some indoor rock climbing at LA Boulders or Hangar 18. I’d also love to take them to the Tuesday night open mic at Highland Park Bowl, hosted by Wonder & Awe Productions and Brenda Carsey. There’s always great talent there.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to my parents and grandparents, Julia Cameron author of The Artist’s Way, and my college voice teacher Marian Bodnar.

Website: https://arendleejessurun.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arendleejessurun/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arendleejessurun

Image Credits
1: Tam Lontok, 2: Sav Walts, 3: Brendan Wolf, 4: Jessica Gerhardt, 5: Tam Lontok, 6: Sav Walts, 7: Isaac Lee & JJ Yi

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.