Jesso Jr. has since found and developed a much more comfortable way to foster community with the launch of his own publishing company, Orange Publishing, named after his favorite color. “There's a space in the industry that I want to help fill,” he says. “When I was 26, I would've loved to sign with me. And I'm not trying to look for like 10 of me, but I'm trying to find people who are in a similar position and just want a break. If I can do that, I'm giving back -- and that feels amazing.”
He admits to not checking emails much, but he does listen to demos all the time that people mostly send him on Twitter -- he just signed an aspiring artist who did just that, to which Jesso Jr. replied, ‘Hey, come over.’ He says: “People send demos all the time because that's how I got my start. So, obviously, I kind of opened the floodgates for people to be like, ‘You owe the world one.’ Which is true.”
Today, Jesso won’t write off the prospect of new solo music entirely (he jokes that a sophomore solo record could be called Still Gooning), but it would, of course, be on his own terms. “It seems crazy, but the preferred method for my music to come out would be for it to completely fail,” he says. “So no one's really interested in it, but people can still listen.”
“Maybe when I need more songwriting material I'll go into that world [again] so I can get a treasure trove of suffering,” he adds with a laugh. But for now, he’s content living in the liner notes. “[My first] record was a learning curve -- its micro-success was a little much for me at the time,” he says. “Most people I meet, they love performing. They love getting onstage. They find that it’s their true selves up there -- that’s just not me. I’m very scared. Maybe I’ve changed a little bit, but I just have so much fun writing. That’s what I try to be good at. Talk about me as a songwriter -- that’s all I want.”
This article originally appeared in the July 21 issue of Billboard.