Over 100 Songs recorded. Multiple top 10 hits with Backstreet Boys, Nick Lachey, David Archuletta & Martina McBride. Syncs - Samsung, Hyundai, Mini Cooper, Fortnite, Starz, Super Bowl, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Shameless, Quanitco, TLC, ESPN, Amazon and many more.
I’ve spent my whole career helping artists (signed and indie) write the best song possible. I hold my songs to a very high bar, and I don’t give up until we get there.
I’ve been a professional songwriter for over 20 years with success in multiple genres - Pop, Film & TV, Country & Christian - and I’m confident I can help you no matter your musical style.
When I first started, I remember how valuable it was to learn from established songwriters and even get in the room and write a song. To have hit songwriters give their honest feedback and perspective only elevated my songs and made me a much better songwriter. I’m the songwriter I am today because of them. So, I can’t wait to help you, however I can. Let’s connect!
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6 Reviews - 2 Repeat ClientsEndorse Jess Cates
There is not enough space to write about how much I appreciate Jess and his songwriting abilities. In 3 hours he taught me how to write a song AND we created a song all in one session--granted teaching me how to write a song was actually my song we were working on. Anyway, I am astounded by how he understood my message and how he understood me and what I was looking for in such a short amount of time. I am super happy with my song and cant wait to work with Jess in the future. I highly recommend him.
Another great project finished with the incredibly talented Jess Cates! Super easy to work with, impeccable work ethic, and he really listens to you and what you want. If you need help, this is a no brainer. Hire Jess!
Amazing! Will definitely be a returning customer.
One of the absolute most talented songwriters I've come across! Very easy to work with. An absolute pleasure overall! Can't wait for the next one!
Jess is Very skilled and experienced songwriter. Was such a great honor working with him. I look forward to working with him again!
Jess Cates is truly a SONG WIZARD! We've written multiple songs together and I can honestly say that I'm a better writer because of him. His melodies, titles, and overall writing abilities are living proof of why he's so successful. (Just look at his credits, I mean WOW!) Hire him today and I promise he will help give your song exactly what it needs! #jesscatesfan4life
Interview with Jess Cates
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Studio is for Macbook Pro API 512 Pre Vocal mic - AT4050 & SureSM7B Piano - Yamaha P-120 The studio is for programming piano demos and doing vocals.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I try to give the artist the best song possible, either starting from scratch or working on the client's existing idea.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: As a songwriter, you always dream of hearing your song on the radio or being used in Film or TV. Well after writing for a while in LA, I wrote a song called Incomplete with some friends and the Backstreet Boys recorded it. Amazingly, our song was the first single and it became a worldwide hit. I'm still blown away that we can sit in a room and write something that possibly the whole world might hear.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What is your process? ...which I've answered on another question. But also, mostly my process is writing until it's up to my standard and until I feel it can win at whatever I'm shooting for, whether for an artist's single or a sync opportunity.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I'm more of a songwriter than a producer so I would def just need a guitar, piano and a way to record it.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I grew up in Nashville TN around songwriters and saw that you could actually make a living writing songs. So I started writing songs in high school and got my first publishing deal when I was 19 and had my first taste of success. But I always loved pop music, so I packed up and moved to LA. I met some amazing friends/ songwriters who I ended up having most of my success with. Finding your team is so important. I've been writing now for over 20 years.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Emotional, heartfelt. If you can't feel it I need to keep trying.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I feel strong in melody/ chords as well as lyrics.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on some side sync projects. One is an old school Grey's Anatomy singer-songwriter vibe. I'm also in a side band called In Paradise - fun summer pop. We are always writing new songs for sync and Spotify.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Brandon Ray is an amazing singer, songwriter and is so talented!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I grew up on digital, so that's what my ear is used to.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to be 100% transparent and help you write the best song so you can win, in whatever you want to do!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being able to be creative every day and play a part in a song that could possibly inspire someone and maybe even change their life. It's an amazing feeling!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it's easy to write a hit song. Doing anything great takes time... and many rewrites.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What is your goal with this song? Aiming at a target is essential in this music business today. Have a vision for your music.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: When I first started out, I sat with a professional songwriter and played him some of my songs. I can't tell you the impact that made on me. I believe his honest feedback and guidance set me up to be where I am today. Don't underestimate how something like this can impact your future.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Songwriter/ producer Max Martin. I've always respected him as a songwriter and how he's been able to adapt in each decade and continue to be relevant.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Move from the head to the heart.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Film and TV
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Melodies, chords, and lyrics
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Every session is different. Sometimes I start with melody on guitar or piano and words just fall out.. or we start with a concept first. Sometimes I start with a track vibe but mostly just writing on instruments first before we produce because the song is everything!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Since I'm a songwriter, I'm typically inspired by other songwriters... that can range from Max Martin, Ryan Tedder, Sia to Ed Sheeran. Coldplay, Maroon 5 to Post Malone. I just love a great song.