Watch out John Mayer — there’s a new soulful pop-rock singer-songwriter on the scene. That’s right, Philly native, 23-year-old Jesse Ruben’s sophomore album, The Ones That Matter is filled with passionate and upbeat tracks. According to Ruben, it’s an investment in those who have helped him throughout his career. “In the process of doing this album I realized how many incredible people have helped me,” he said in a phone interview, “without them I wouldn’t have this record.”
Ruben’s enthusiasm and gratitude are only matched by his dedication for perfection. “I wrote 93 titles before I came up with this one for the album.” He added, “I’m more proud of it than anything I’ve ever done,” which means a lot considering all he’s accomplished at such a young age. As a kid he grew up in a musical household and took piano lessons, but as a teenager he taught himself to play guitar and began songwriting. Nine months later, he had written five songs and had applied to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he worked hard and graduated with honors.
After graduation Jesse Ruben moved to Nashville with friends where he played gigs and recorded his first album Aiming for Honesty. When he moved to Williamsburg in New York City a year later, he found a welcoming and supportive music scene with incredible talent. In 2010, he released his second album The Ones That Matter and continues to play shows. “The first record was all about me — trying to figure myself out. The second one is about telling other people’s stories and relationships.”
Ruben’s committment to storytelling and strong bonds with fans and other musicians is surely the product of his friendly and generous demeanor. Whether he’s pacing his apartment late at night trying to get the lyrics of a song to flow, or training for a marathon and raising funds for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, Jesse Ruben is dedicated to achieving his dreams in respect to how much he cares about people. “When I play a show, what matters is that they got what they came for, or what they didn’t know they’d get,” he said. “Playing shows is my favorite thing in the world. That’s why I get up in the morning.”
Jesse Ruben is only at the dawn of his career, we cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. If his marathon aspirations are any indication, he’s in this for the long haul. Be sure to run away with his new songs below.
“A Lack of Armor”
“Bleecker and 6th”
“Love Don’t Turn”
Aiming at Honesty (2008)
The Ones That Matter (2010)
"I will play for anyone, anywhere. I have done private parties, sweet 16's, high school graduations, fundraisers, anniversaries, and just about anything else you can think of."
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Read more: Jesse's MySpace.