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Photo Credit: Pitchfork
Tobias Jesso Jr.
You may know his name from his 2015 solo album Goon. Or maybe from his work on various popular songs, such as “When We Were Young” by Adele and “Alive” by Sia. Or even from his recent award at the 65th GRAMMYs for the new Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical category.
For those that don’t know who Jesso is, here’s a quick rundown.
Tobias Jesso Jr. is a Canadian musician born in North Vancouver, BC. For years, Jesso only played guitar and bass. However, at age 27, he decided to pick up piano for the first time. In between shifts at a moving company, Jesso practiced piano. Out of this period emerged his first piano-based song “Just a Dream.” From there, his piano-based music catalogue snowballed.
With the help of other musical artists, including former Girls bassist JR White, he released his aforementioned album, Goon in 2015. That same year, Jesso went on his first major tour.
People compare Jesso’s musical style to the likes of Randy Newman and Emitt Rhodes. The former, Jesso admits, is his favourite artist. Without a doubt, Jesso skillfully brings the music of the 1960s and 1970s to the present day.
Over the years, Jesso has amassed a large collection of popular songs he’s worked on. The artists he’s collaborated with include:
…and many more!
Photo Credit: Rolling Stone
Unsurprisingly, the music industry has recognized Jesso’s talent. The Rolling Stone magazine featured him in their list of the 20 Biggest Breakouts of 2015. That same year he was nominated for Songwriter of the Year at the Juno Awards. The following year he received the SOCAN Breakout Award at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto. More recently, he was the first-ever recipient of the Songwriter of the Year, Non-Classical at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
What’s next for Tobias Jesso Jr.?
Following his award at the GRAMMYs, Jesso sold his song catalogue to the music investment company, Hipgnosis Song Management, as of Feb.8, 2023. The deal included both the publishing copyrights and performance rights of about 40 songs that he’s worked on from 2015 to 2020. Songs such as “When We Were Young” by Adele, “Alive” by Sia, and “Slow Hands” by Niall Horan are all included.
Jesso's song catalogue is one of many collections that Hipgnosis is purchasing. Earlier this year, they struck an alleged $200 million deal with Justin Bieber for his songs. Other artists they’ve bought song rights from include Shakira, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Cornell.
According to Hipgnosis Song Management, the company hopes to capitalize on the new music revenue streams tied to social media platforms like Tik Tok.
If you’d like to read the full article on the deal, click here!
Photo Credit: Billboard