Self Taught Musician Climbs to Success
Based out of San Diego, 28-year-old Producer and Songwriter Jesse Barrera is taking the music industry by storm. While his only formal music training has come from playing the alto saxophone in his middle school’s band, Barrera has since taught himself how to play a variety of instruments which he features in his music.
Since learning how to play a variety of instruments, he found a new passion on the music scene – production. After his band, My American Heart, finished their second record with James Paul Wisner, he knew that music production was something that he was very interested in.
Barrera Had Fun Learning Producing
“That dude [James Paul Wisner] made recording so exciting and fun. He’s definitely the reason I started producing. His style was just so different and we did the entire project in his house.” So, he started taking a special interest in producing. He says that he “looked over a lot of shoulders and asked a ton of questions,” all of which, along with making mistakes and playing around with what he likes, helped him learn quickly, Said Barrera.
Birth of The JB Cave
After working with Wisner in his home, Barrera became inspired to start his own home studio. Thus was born The JB Cave which he runs out of his home in South San Diego, California.
The JB Cave is a studio where artists can come in for help in producing a record from top to bottom. They can even stay there if need be. Whether an artist needs assistance with writing, production, mastering, artwork, or even starting a Kickstarter campaign – the team at the JB Cave covers it all. Barrera himself also uses his home studio to produce all of his work.
The music industry is one of the most competitive ones in the market. Yet, Barrera truly believes in the power of collaboration and helping out other artists as a way to move your career forward.
Joy and Collaboration over Competition
“I don’t really pay attention to [others] and hate comparing myself to anyone else. I find joy in just creating, and being able to do it for a living is definitely a blessing. But he adds, “I just always want to make sure I stay relevant somehow and create music I want to create.” Furthermore, he explains,” I always want to be different. That’s such a focus of mine.”
A Self-Described Chameleon
And, being different is something that he accomplishes well. He has always believed that “if [music] is good, then it’s good” no matter the genre – calling himself a chameleon when it comes to production. The catalog of songs that he has released weaves their way through various genres – touching R&B, Hip-Hop, Rock, Indie, and more. The sound and style of his music depends on his mood, as he doesn’t want to focus on or pigeonhole himself into one specific sound. “I love constantly being outside of my comfort zone,” says Barrera, “because it always makes me better.”
Right now you can find Jesse Barrera’s music on YouTube, iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, and IHeartRadio. That’s because, he believed, he made his original music available on as many outlets as possible from the beginning. He cites companies like TuneCore that help independent artists spread their music through these music-streaming platforms.
His Reach Benefits from Social Media
He didn’t achieve his extensive reach through music streaming platforms alone, though. Barrera thinks that social media has definitely helped independent artists and aspiring musicians reach their fans. “It gives everyone a chance to reach out to their fans on a personal level and also gives fans a chance to discover new music more easily,” he says. Barrera believes that of all the social media channels, Twitter and Instagram are his favorites. He favors them because they’re fun. But, he also thinks Spotify is great because it gives listeners a way to find new artists and bands more quickly than before.
Advice: Hardwork and Originality Pay Off
Since no on in the music industry is really making money off of selling records these days, the indie artist has all the power,” he states. Independent artists have so many methods to get their music heard in today’s markets. Platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other crowd funding sources enable artists to be successful without signing with a label.
“It’s really all about working hard these days. Just grind and good things will happen,” he adds. As far as advice for aspiring musicians, he expresses that it’s important to “Stay original.” He also advises, “Stay Hungry, Stay foolish, and the work will pay off – simple as that.”