The 2020 Groovy Soca Monarch College Boy Jesse will take us on a journey through his career when he drops his album and stages his concert on April 24.
Soca Love Story, the title of Jesse’s album, concert, and documentary, which will air on May 1, will give fans and those still unfamiliar with the singer, a look into his life and how he rose from former national footballer to one of soca’s new generation of stars.
“Soca Love Story is the soundtrack of my life, about me sacrificing everything and putting music first because of the love of soca. The title came from a song I have been working on for the past four years, it is the title song for the album,” he told Loop News.
Jesse, birth name, Jesse Stewart, has been performing and singing calypso since he was seven years old as a student in Enterprise Government Primary. He started singing soca at Presentation College, Chaguanas and won many competitions.
Jesse earned his sobriquet while playing on the national football team as he was the only university student on the team at the time.
Recipient of an athletic football scholarship from the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Academy of Sport and Leisure, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration and a Master’s degree in Marketing from the Heriot-Watt University (Scotland).
In 2012, he was injured and while recuperating rediscovered his passion for music,
He started writing for many artistes, delivering songs such as ‘Go Hard’ for Machel Montano and Skinny Fabulous, ‘Back to Basics’ for Aaron Duncan, ‘Doh Tote’ for Adana and ‘My Last’ for Rikki Jai.
“After I got injured playing with the national team, I put more effort into the music and I was balancing work in the corporate world as a Brand Manager and Sports Administrator. I walked away from all of that to pursue music,” said Jesse.
He said the support from his wife, parents, and his brother, Mr Spine, who works as Manager for Grenadian soca star and 2019 Soca Monarch Mr Killa, helped to ease his fears and motivated him to pursue what he loved.
“Is the one thing that makes me happy, being on stage and hearing the joy the music presents, this is where I had the opportunity to sit back and say what makes you happy and music was it. I was addicted to being on stage,” he said.
Unfortunately for Jesse, after toiling so hard to make a name for himself, the COVID-19 pandemic put a spoke in his plans to capitalise on his 2020 title. Many of his tours, including an appearance in Colombia in May, has been cancelled.
As a result, he has had to fast forward his seven-year plan which included the album, concert and documentary.
“Entering Soca Monarch was to create awareness, then the plan was to create a body of work …this is a seven-year programme coming into one,” he said of his album.
The album consists of nine tracks consisting of songs he has released over the past year, among them his winning tune ‘Happy Song”, “Catching Up” from the Staycation Riddim, “Fling” from the Ukelele Riddim and “Worry Less” from the One Link Riddim.
“Soca Love Song”, the title track, is the only new song on the album.
Jesse will perform these songs at his show which will be held at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. Proceeds from the show will go towards the Ezekiel Children’s Home in Couva.
The concert will also feature his friends in the industry, 19 cast members, among them, Ronnie McIntosh, Dawg E Slaughter, Aaron Duncan, 5 Star Akil, Mecal Teja, Terri Lyons, Nessa Preppy, Blaxx and Turner.
Jesse said artistes such as McIntosh, Dawg E Slaughter and Makamillion were part of his journey and are all featured in the documentary.
“The documentary is giving insight about my story and it will include footage from the since I was the age of eight. We have been documenting my journey from day one, all my travels to the US, UK and Europe…we are basically going to share this journey with people who were mentors for me. Ronnie, KMC, Dawg E Slaughter, these guys introduced me to new stages. You will hear from Makamillion who put me on stages locally like Fire Fete ten years ago and former national football coach Gally Cummings will talk about coaching me and sending me to national trials,” he said.
“The documentary shows that no one gets overnight success,” he added.
The documentary will air on TTT and College Boy Jesse’s YouTube channel.
Asked to describe his journey in one word, Jesse said persistence.
“There were many occasions I could have decided not to pursue music but I was persistent in my quest to succeed,” he said, noting that for him, success is being able to create the music he loves and ensuring our culture reaches new heights.
Sponsors for the Soca Love Story concert are NLCB, Cole & Associates, The Lollabee Group, Police Credit Union, TTT Network, ZIGBOI, Princess Cindy’s Seamoss Purée, KFC, Nestle Flavored Milks, Orchard, Maggi, Carib and Hydro Mineral Water.
The Soca Love Story concert takes place on April 24 at the Naparima Bowl from 7 pm to 9 pm. DM to order your tickets: @southislove @zigboi @cscs.oldboys or call/ WhatsApp: 688-3200, 297-2398, 290-6308 or visit www.collegeboymusic.com
To donate via Cash App: $socalovestory.
Look out for College Boy Jesse’s album via D’ Music app on April 24.