Jesse L. McDaniel
My name is Jesse. I primarily am a producer/songwriter, but I've toured as a session player throughout the US and abroad by playing the keys. I studied at Cornish College of the Arts as a performance major, but realized my love for encouraging artists to see their vision come to life in their songs. I love to hear new songs and see them come alive.
Producer: I make sure that your project is complete with the vision you originally had. As a producer, it is vital to get the performance. Thus, with your help, I select the right musicians for the project. I go through a list of studios that I may feel right for you. I handle everything from the bookings, scheduling, arranging, writing, (if you'd like) all the way until the mastering engineer is called. I also love to be creative in the areas of marketing to ensure that the artist's songs are heard.
Songwriting: My love. I absolutely love writing songs. Whether it be the music or the words, I can help you in both.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Jesse L. McDaniel
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on a fantastic soul EP. We recorded at London Bridge here in Washington, and I'm really happy with it. Top notch people all the way around.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Because we can. I use to be all about analog, but I'm less fussy about those things as technology allows for incredible sounds these days.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll believe as much or more in you than you do.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get to create something that has yet to be heard.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: People think music is instant in an instant world. It's not. There's a ton of work that goes into every project and that's a definite misconception. Especially in a streaming world of convenience. Because the music is instantly uploaded, people may believe that the process is just as immediate. But a great song takes time and hands to shape it into form. From pre production to master.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What do you want out of all of this? What are you after? What sound are you going for? What are your dreams?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Just send an email and let's start a conversation.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Gear would be pointless on an island. Music is meant to be shared.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been playing piano since 8. Went into college as a piano major, band leader, touring musician, songwriter, composer, engineer, and then realized that I am a producer. It's the love of all of these things.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Old school pointing north.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I'd love to work with Corinne Bailey Rae. I love what is going on in Europe. I've been a fan for a very long time, and there's something timeless in her voice. She has the ideas behind the songs.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Your team is everything. Humble yourself. Appreciate everyone you work with and hold yourself at a professional level. People will remember that.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Soul, Gospel, Worship, R&B, Pop, Sing-Songwriter, and Folk.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Songwriting and producing. Many people today instantly see an engineer as a producer. I've worked with a lot of fantastic engineers who take over as a producer, and it gets really messy. But a producer's job is to see the entire project come to life. It is my job to work with an entire team of selected individuals to get a project done. I'm a people person that has a wide range of skills and background in music that enables me to collaborate with music professionals.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring an idea. I believe many people ask the question "how," and I want to ask the question "why?" At the very core of the song, there has to be a soul. There has to be an idea that gets out- otherwise it's just a group of sounds. I bring a relationship because I deeply care for the person, and want their ideas to be expressed accurately through the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My first priority is knowing the artist. Without knowing you, I cannot be as passionate as you to see this project come to life. I do a few sessions of writing to ensure that we're on the same page- and then start scheduling heavier stuff after that. I am constantly communicating through email, and ensure that when clients and I do meet up- we take full advantage of the time and get a lot done.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I work out of studios primarily. My thing is to capture the live sound in a room. There's nothing like that energy. I can do over dubs anywhere once the foundation is laid- and that is done through a Universal Audio LA-610 MKII and then into my Focusrite Clarett 8Pre- then into Pro Tools. It's a very easy set up and it depends what we're doing. We can use a variety of mics to capture whatever sound we are going for- but I am all about minimalism.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by Raphael Saadiq, Mark Ronson, and producers who are both bringing something back- and still looking ahead. I am very inspired by European trends in music as well.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I see the project until the end. That means, hiring the right musicians, writing, scheduling, and bringing together the collaborative effort from start to finish.