14-year-old singer/songwriter Jessarae stopped by the J-14 offices to tell us all about his music, what his parents think of his tunes, and his secret celeb crush!
J-14: How would you describe your sound?
Jessrae: It's singer-songwriter with an edge. It has a little bit of pop in it but it's a little funkier.
J-14: Who are you influenced by?
Jessarae: When I started playing guitar and writing songs, I mainly listened to Damien Rice. His music is kind of down, but he's still my favorite. My parents went to dinner one time and they came back and I was like, 'Guys, I have a new song for you. You have to hear it!' So I sat them down and started playing this song -- and it had to be like ten minutes long -- and I was just sitting there singing 'Why did you have to die, die, die?' My dad's cracking up with tears, and I thought he was crying like he felt it, because I was feeling it so much, but he was laughing because I was a ten-year-old singing this song about a lost love that you've been with for your whole life!
J-14: A lot of your songs are about love - is that what influences you the most when you write?
Jessarae: It's more of a spur-of-the-moment thing. Whatever mood I'm feeling at the time, whether it's happy or funky or kind of sad. I add stuff that hasn't happened and stuff that has and kind of mix them in to what I feel. It's hard for me to write a lot of these songs because it's so heavy on me. Every time I sing it, like my soul pours out into it, but I love it.
J-14: How were you discovered?
Jessarae: It happened when I was singing in the dentist office. I wasn't actually even going to go to the dentist that morning because it was really early, but my mom made me. I was just singing and playing guitar for a few songs, and this guy came over and wanted to hear me sing. So I sang three songs for him and as he's sitting there listening to me with his dentist mask on!
J-14: How do you balance school with your music?
Jessarae: I'm in 9th grade at a very musical school, so we sort of work as partners with them. They give me work ahead of time. They're happy for me [at the school] because they see how hard I work. It's always been my thing to be a musician. It's in my family - my mom's a musician, and so are my grandpa and my great-grandpa.
J-14: Who's your celeb crush?
Jessrae: I don't know if I really have a crush right now.
Jessarae's Mom: When you were young it was Miley Cyrus!
Jessarae's debut EP,Damaged Heart, is currently on iTunes -- be on the lookout for his full album this winter! Plus check out the songs he performed just for J-14 after the jump.