Tell us about you and your story. Who is Jesse Montana and how did you get started in the industry and with your music?
I’ve always been an artist. My earliest memories as a kid was staying home with my brother and sisters while my parents were at work where we would put together plays that we would perform for our parent’s when they came home. My dad would end the nights with his acoustic guitar singing old Beatles’ and Creedance Clearwater Revival Songs. My dad passed that Fender guitar on to me when I was 15 where I taught myself how to play and wrote my first song “Love Me Back”. I was scouted by a manager in high school and came out to California for a summer to be in a boyband called DiVerse. After the group disbanded, I turned to social media was an amazing launching point for me. My cover songs put me in touch with influential people in LA who helped me book my first gigs and write my first song off my EP. “Drunk On You” was produced by grammy award winning producer Infinity who worked with Mary J Blige, Backstreet Boys, Ciara, and Aviici. That was kinda where everything started to blow up.
Has music always been a part of your life? What inspired you to pursue it?
My music is the blood in my veins. It keeps me going and has gotten me through my darkest of days and has been my outlet to celebrate life’s hardships and triumphs. My love affair with music will exist until the day I die.
What’s your most memorable gig so far?
I just recently headlined LA Pride in Los Angeles and wow- the memories, the energy, the crowd. It was one of the most amazing performances of my life. I got to share the stage with so many other artists I admire like Chromeo and Brandy. 40,000 people in the crowd, celebrating love and equal love for all. I had balloons all different shades of the rainbow thrown out into the crowd for my upcoming single “Colors” and I remember seeing the crowd screaming and dancing with the balloons bouncing everywhere in the sky…it was legendary. Thank you to each and every beautiful person in that crowd. You gave me something I will never forget.
Tell us about your current album. What was the inspiration behind it?
This first EP started from a really bad break up and the songs that spanned that experience from heartbreak to recovery, to finding my independence again became a diary of all the emotions I felt throughout that chapter. Finishing the album was like rising up like a phoenix from the ashes of a former me. I’m really proud of it.
What’s the story behind the song Kings x Queens?
I wanted to write a song for everyone out there that has inspired me and supported me along the way. With all the crazy things happening in the world today, it’s more important than ever for us to all come together as one and use love to overcome all this hate and fear. The song is about coming together as one kingdom. A community of love and respect where kings can love kings, queens can love queens, and kings can love queens. Love is love, love will always win and with that and this song I hope we can help spread that message. I was so lucky to have my talented friend Lauren Chavez on the record.
How did “Vanderpump Rules” affect your career?
Vanderpump Rules was and still is a funny little enigma in my life. I came into the show on season 4 with relationships to nearly every cast member on the show. I’m grateful to have been a part of something so big. It’s an international sensation. Since my presence on the show has been minimal, I am always flattered and thankful when I get support from the fans of the show. I adore the friendships and opportunities the show has brought into my life. A majority of the cast are kinda like my LA family.
You are also a Celebrity Hairstylist by trade right? Who are some of the most exciting clients that you’ve had?
Jessica Alba and Paris Hilton are just as beautiful and gorgeous in person. It’s fun watching young Hollywood friends like Katie Stevens and Natalie Alyn Lind’s stars rise higher as they get casted in bigger and bigger roles. I’m so proud of them.
How do you manage to juggle your schedule and stay on top?
Wearing many hats isn’t an easy thing to do, but I’m so passionate about everything that I do, it makes it easier, even on the days I’m running on zero sleep. You have to really be your own self motivated manager. I will admit that some days I surrender and I’m half naked on the couch binge watching TV and catching up on social media all day. I love my lazy days.
What inspires you?
I find so many threads of inspiration from all areas of my life. I love fashion, good food, art, travel and great conversation. Even the bittersweet moments in life can inspire me to write a song. You’ll find all these beautiful things and more written into my music.
What do you think is the proudest moment in your career so far?
This whole year has been such a moment for me. Since I’m just now breaking into the industry as a new artist, I’m still unsigned so everything you see on stage and hear in my music is a product of all my hard work I’ve been putting forth. Booking my own venues, finding dancers, wardrobe, finding producers, social media, flyers, curating my live shows with visuals and other artists…I do this all while working in a restaurant and salon. Seeing everything come to life on stage, and seeing the feedback and beautiful faces in the crowd, all the amazing comments on social media…the reward is forever and I feel so proud to be able to do this in the beginning of my career without a label telling me how to look, act, sing and be. I am blessed to be able to introduce my music to the world in it’s purest and authentic form right now and I look forward to working with management and people in the industry that can help my hustle and love rise to the next level.
What is your dream project?
Playing the sunset slot at Coachella would be a dream come true.
Top 3 music in your playlist right now.
Rollin’ feat. KHALID by CALVIN HARRIS
Bad Together by DUA LIPA
Good Girls by LANY
Book you’re currently reading.
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck
Currently binge watching________
The Handmaid’s Tale
Any advice you can give to any aspiring artists and musicians out there?
No matter how many “no’s” you hear, no matter how much rejection and how much discouragement you get from your peers, never give up. If you are really passionate about it and really want it, continue to perfect your craft and music, and watch it organically grow day after day. I’ve been in LA for 8 years and just now am finally surrounded by a tremendously talented and creative group of people that believe in me and are helping me make the music and performances I create today. I’m finally seeing the fruits of my labor and I’m so eternally grateful.
If you’re going to have a book what title would it be?
Fear & Loathing In Montana
If you will be given the chance and opportunity to help a specific charity, what would it be and why?
The Trevor Project is such an important foundation. I grew up in the LGBT community my whole life. My uncle is gay and was one of the most iconic drag queens I’ve ever met growing up. I’ve dealt with a lot of the same struggles, confusing emotions and thoughts these young kids today have to go through. Going through it alone is not an easy thing. Sexuality is such a delicate and fluid thing and society and our peers put a lot of pressure on what that means for an individual. The Trevor Project is such a beautiful resource for LGBT youth that may be struggling with their own identity. The fact that there is a phone number you can call for immediate support and help 24/7 is priceless. If I had endless resources The Trevor Project would be one of many incredible charities I would love to help.