We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie Spartano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
I’d say my decision to move across the country to attend USC and leave everything I knew behind. That in itself is a major risk and to do it alone in a big city is incredibly intimidating. My family always wondered if I’d go back home once I graduated but I knew I was staying here for good to chase my dream. This was the hardest decision yet one of the best decision I’ve ever made.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
The rap industry has become very vulgar and, in many ways, unrealistic. Female rappers are sex objects and the men have a ton of cars and don’t stay faithful to their ladies. It’s incredibly difficult to compete against this lifestyle because it’s apparently entertaining and for some reason people love it! For me, that’s not my style.
I like to keep it real and speak upon the deep dark topics we should be talking about like God, depression, being faithful and fighting for relationships instead of peacing out after your first big fight. I’m also very passionate about believing in yourself even when you can be your worst enemy most days. One of my best friends didn’t think he was worthy of anyone or anything so he decided to end his life. That’s the day this became personal. So for the sake of those who don’t believe in themselves, I will always believe in you. Always.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach makes me happy so you can always find me there when I’m not working. I prefer quiet, less crowded beaches where I can be one with nature and read. I also really enjoy hiking and actually prefer to go alone. I like to see and hear nature all around me so I don’t even listen to music while I hike.
My favorite getaway is Catalina Island. When you’re there it truly feels like you’ve left the US and flew to Greece (okay I’ve never been there but I’ve seen photos). You walk everywhere, eat fresh food and appreciate the simple things with extremely friendly people. There’s a ton to do like ziplining, taking land tours, taking water tours, visiting the airport (and eating really good cookies) and shopping. Of course you can also party on a boat or lay on the beach too!
When I’m in the city you can find me drinking coffee at Priscilla’s Coffee in Burbank, right down the street from Warner Bros. Studios. I’m always down to check out local bands, art galleries and I love going to the Studio City Farmers Market on Sundays (after church of course!).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, I want to give full credit to God. If it wasn’t for Him blessing me with the talent that I have then I wouldn’t be doing what I love today.
My family has also helped me in many many ways. Not only did my grandparents and parents pay for my college degree but my parents both flew me out to LA and helped me settle into my dorm room. I’ll never forget arriving to LA and seeing a person covered in duck tape riding their bike and then a few minutes later someone was walking their goat on a leash. My dad looked at me and said, “Welcome to LA”. Ha!
They, along with my sister Lauren and brother Rocco, have always given me the courage to continue to pursue music and mentally keep me lifted. Yes every artist is different, however, I don’t have many (female) artists to look up to in the specific field that I’m in. My family has continued to remind me that I’m paving my own path and to keep going.
I also seriously need to give a shoutout to my producer Josh. You push me beyond myself in the studio and in life and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for believing in me and taking me under your wing. You were my missing piece.
Matthew Hautamaki, Mike Anderson