We had the good fortune of connecting with Jesse Terry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jesse, what do you attribute your success to?
A lot of this has become much clearer to me in the last couple of years. The pandemic really gave me time to take stock of my life and career and gain valuable perspective.
I believe we owe it to our fans/customers to keep striving to be better every single day. It’s a daily decision to grow & get better at our craft. And we’ll never run out of things to improve or ways to expand. When our fans see this growth they can go on that journey with us and not feel stagnant. Before Covid, I didn’t fully understand the magic of preparation or the excitement of incremental, perpetual growth. It’s been a transformational thing to understand and apply to my life. Growth also comes from blocking resistance to the work (which Stephen Pressfield perfectly explains in his masterpiece “The War of Art”). That book should be required reading for every human being.
Folks have an uncanny sense of seeing through anything that is untrue or contrived. It’s a bigger challenge to tell our truth 100%, but it makes all the difference. People respond to truth.
Not to be confused with a lack of confidence, humility gives us the motivation (and sheer excitement) to keep striving for personal growth. And also keeps us grounded as we treat everyone around us with the same utmost respect.
Humility keeps us working every day to be high level human being in all facets of our lives and careers – When we do this, people take notice and magical things start to appear.
Hopefully this is something that comes naturally to us, but the old phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats” are great words to live by. When we root for each other, we actually become better artists, because we are not dragged down by the despair of comparison and competition. I’ve realized the only person I need to compete with is myself. If I can be a better version of the person I was yesterday – and I do that every day for the rest of my life – I will accomplish magnificent things. And when we can learn from others that are better than us, they become teachers and not our competitors. There is a feeling of gratitude without any malice. So many unexpected blessings have come into our lives as a result of our kindness – That’s not why you practice kindness, but the commitment to kindness has profound repercussions.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started playing guitar and writing songs at 19 and when I applied to Berklee College of Music at age twenty, I was not accepted, which is not surprising! I’m very proud that I worked my tail off that next year and was accepted into Berklee at age 21, with a scholarship. That set a tone for my perseverance in the music business. And perseverance is definitely something you need in this business – I’m sure it’s something you need to achieve anything great.
It’s been a long and winding road for me in this career (with many more miles ahead), but for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the journey and that has sustained me. I’ve had plenty of notable accolades and achievements along the way, balanced with a fair share of rejection. But I really think that’s part of the gig. If you’re in the arena, you’re going to get roughed up once in a while.
More than anything, I’m just so grateful that I found a path that I truly love. Music and creating is a true purpose and if I don’t do it daily, I’m miserable to be around. So I keep doing it and I never take it for granted.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in a little fishing village in Stonington, CT on the New England coast.
I love the solitude here in the “Borough” – Sometimes it’s enough just to sit by the docks with a coffee and take it all in.
We’ve been lucky to have all of these foodies invade our town, so amazing spots have popped up all over Mystic, Stonington and Westerly. The Oyster Club in Mystic has the best “sea to table” menu I’ve ever seen. Dog Watch Cafe in Stonington is like stepping back in time. Nana’s in Westerly has the best coffee and made to order donut I’ve ever tasted.
We’re close to all of the Rhode Island beaches too. I trip to George’s in Galilee for fish and chips on the beach is always recommended!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s no way to limit a shout out to one person…
Since 2012 I’ve financed many albums through the power of my fans – Hundreds of people that came together to make this work possible.
It does take a village and I’ve definitely learned the massive importance of having a trusted hardworking team.
Without my manager, agent, publisher and publicist, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. They make this career possible and allow me to focus a majority of my time on touring and creating.
Eric Gerard Alex Berger