INTERVIEW: Jesse Ruben

Hi Jesse, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you! I’ve been really great. I just got back from two months of very intense traveling. I was in Germany, Raleigh, Toronto, Denver, Paris, San Francisco, and then back to New York.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “This Is Why I Need You”?

The response to the song has been really exciting so far. We’re just about to reach 1 million streams across all platforms. I’m really happy with how it came out. It’s a big departure from my previous recordings, and a good introduction to the sound of the new album.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

I got really sick with Lyme Disease and ended up having to take two years off to focus on my health. There was a long period of time I never thought I’d get to write or record or perform again. The song is an acknowledgement of how difficult life can be sometimes, and a thank you to all of the amazing people in my life who helped me get through that time.

How was the film experience?

We had a great time making the video. My good friend Dave Farah, who is also a great singer/songwriter himself, came down to the city and we shot a bunch of footage in all my favorite places in the city. It was important to me to make a lyric video, because the words are such an important part of the song.

The single comes off your new album A Reply To Violence – what’s the story behind the title?

It comes from a  Leonard Bernstein quote: “This will be our reply to violence; that we make music more beautifully, more passionately, and more devotedly than ever before”. I saw it written on the side of a building in the East Village one day, and new that’s what I had to call the record. There’s a lot of bad stuff happening in the world, and in people’s daily lives. I wanted to create something that helped.

How was the recording and writing process?

I’ve been making the record with one of my best friends, Kyle Patrick. We met at Berklee ten years ago, and have worked together on and off ever since. We know each other so well, and have totally different skill sets, so it’s a great fit creatively. We spent a good deal of time figuring out the sound we were going for. Because it’s just the two of us, we can really dive in and get the recordings we want.

As far as writing, this group of songs was mostly written after I got better, before I really started to feel myself again. So the songs are about dealing with difficult things, or giving yourself space. Of course, there are also a couple that are just catchy and fun. It’s important to have that balance.

Does Brooklyn plays a role in your music?

Of course. Living here effects every aspect of my music. The songs I write, the recordings I make, etc. It’s such a creative place, so you’re always trying to push yourself, and get out of your comfort zone.

Known for your positive lyrics, did you focus on any topics in particular for this track?

People have saying that a lot recently, although I find that I just write about stuff that is interesting to me, or that I would like to remember. “This Is Why I Need You” fits with that because ultimately, it’s got a lot of hope.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’ll be touring for most of the summer and fall. Dates will be posted at

What else is happening next in Jesse Ruben’s world?

Well my girlfriend and I just moved in together, so in the immediate future, I’ll be unpacking tons of boxes. After that, I’ll be in the studio finishing the EP, and then on the road as much as possible.

Jesse Ruben – This Is Why I Need You (Music Video)

Jesse Ruben – This Is Why I Need You (Soundcloud)

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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