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What’s been going on?

3 exciting things I’d like to share!

A collection of 5 songs is almost here

My husband Kevin and I decided to build a recording studio and self-produce a new EP of music. Our respect for the art of music production, recording, and composition has grown immensely as we realized the work that goes into capturing a recording that is true to the song. The songs are finally in the mixing phase, and we will be releasing the first single in the coming weeks. Stay tuned! 

Photo: Emilio Azevedo 


Last year in Barcelona, my friend Alayna Jennings shared some of her poetry with myself and a few friends for the first time. She is also a brilliant choreographer/dancer, and after being blown away by the power of her words, I knew that we needed to set them to music. She wrote, directed, and choreographed the full video, and I created the music. If this speaks to you the way it spoke to me, please share with everybody you know. We hope this video will add insight and love to the current social conversations. You can follow her on Instagram at @alaynajennings.


Have you done all you can?

Kamila, pictured above, is one of my best friend’s children. She is strong, funny, resilient, and has a bubbly personality just like her mother. She also happens to have a blood disorder called Thalassemia. This means that Kamila needs a blood transfusion every month for the rest of her life. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of blood, and it all comes from donors!  Some months, she isn’t able to get as much as she needs because the hospital is low on donations?. It is imperative that her community donates to keep her alive. I know donating blood can be scary, take extra time, and easily slip off our to-do list. Let’s all donate this summer so she and others like her can live their best life!  Here is a link to find a donation center near you and schedule an appointment.  I just made an appointment this month for myself and Kevin. It took 5 seconds…  GO!


You can also donate at the Thalassemia Day event on 7/1 from 12-4pm in National City.  I unfortunately won’t be able to attend this year, but’s it’s a fun event with entertainment, food, love, and blood donations on site.  Great for the family.  Flyer below.



Something’s coming

Photo by Emilio Azevedo

Los Angeles, here I come!

GigTown gave me a moment with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot!

GigTown Gig Town Jessica Lerner San Diego

I had a moment with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot…

Although brief, it was awesome. 😉 Check out the video below!

GigTown is a mobile app where you can discover local artists, track where they are playing, and book them for your own private events. I’ve been a GigTown artist for about a year and love this company. They threw a party for all their artists on 4/25/2016 (Local Music Appreciation Day) and treated us to a complimentary Switchfoot concert at The Music Box. I had the pleasure of playing the Music Box with my band in February. For my fans that made it out to that show, you know how intimate and awesome this venue is. To be able to see Switchfoot on that stage was a DREAM. Last time I saw Switchfoot perform was at the San Diego County Fair a few years back and we had the worst seats all the way in the back behind a pole (for anyone that knows this venue, you know exactly what I’m talking about).

Opening for Switchfoot were Tyson Motsenbocker and Ryan Hiller who put on incredible shows. I had a blast hanging out with all the other talented artists there and re-connecting with some old friends.

GigTown is revolutionizing the music industry by helping the demand for live music catch up with the supply of live music. Because there are so many incredibly talented artists, venues and event planners rarely have to pay much to hire these musicians. This unfortunately devalues what musicians are worth and propagates the “struggling artist” mantra (something I’ve been fighting against for years). GigTown is changing this by giving venues a platform to showcase themselves, as well as allowing individuals to connect with local musicians and book them. All through an app!

What I like most about GigTown is that they are respecting musicians, and helping others to do the same. Paying $100 for 2 hours of music just isn’t enough, especially when the artist has to bring a sound system, set it up, etc. People have a mindset that “It’s just for fun, right? Aren’t you happy to be paid at all?” What they don’t realize is that many of us make our livelihoods playing venues, and GigTown is helping create a paradigm shift for artists and bookers alike. It’s no surprise that the principals of GigTown are musicians themselves.

I’m really happy to be part of this great company and can’t wait to see how they grow over the next couple of years.  When you download the app, you can see a list of all the local live music playing near you that day, preview what those artists sound like before you see the show, and really impress your date that night with how savvy and informed you are. 😉

Download the GigTown App and check out all the great music around you. The app is free and very easy to use. When you go out to see your favorite artists play live, you can check in on the app and leave the performer a $5 tip at no charge to you — pretty cool.

Jessica Lerner singing with SwitchfootGigTown Jessica Lerner gig town san diego


My Experience At The ASCAP Songwriting Expo – DAY 3


I unfortunately slept in this morning a missed the first class due to being so tired from the previous day. When I got downstairs it seemed as if I wasn’t alone in my exhaustion. I passed Darrel Brown and his manager in the hallway and Brown shouted to me that he loved my song from yesterday — it was so cool! Great way to start off the day!

The first class I attended was Savan Kotecha’s “The Economics of a Hit Songwriter”. Kotecha wrote “Problem”, “Beauty and the Beat”, Bang Bang”, and many more huge current hits. He played a voice memo from the moment the initial idea for “Problem” by Ariana Grande was created and it was cool to hear the bones and basic structure of the song before it became a massive hit. He emphasizes collaborating with other music creators a lot. This is something I’m really focused on incorporating in my life and haven’t done much of to date (95% of what I’ve written I’ve done alone). He said that if you want to be the best at any aspect of songwriting, be the melody person. Melody will pull you through every trend, phase, and will always win.

The last part of the expo was the Writers Jam featuring Andrew Bird “Fake Palindromes”, Aloe Blacc “Wake Me Up”, Ashley Gorley “You’re Gunna Miss This”, and “Andrea Martin “It Kills Me”. They all sang multiple songs of theirs and talked about the genesis of each song. It was a huge highlight and wonderful way to end the expo.

The day ended early and I hung out with everyone and grabbed great sushi. I hung out in the hotel with two buddies of mine, Jeff Pollach (pictured below) and Eddy Walda until 2am jamming on songs and drinking wine. Exhausted and desperately missing my now fiancé, I made the 2.5 hour drive home to San Diego, barely keeping my eyes open.

It was convenient to stay at the Lowe’s hotel (where the conference was held) as each day was very long, but it was also very expensive (around $250 per night)! I would recommend finding someone to share a room with to split the cost and still keep the convenience of not having to travel. You might think that it would suck to share a room but I really had zero down time and only used the room to sleep.

I hope you found this blog interesting and helpful. ASCAP picked it up Day 2 and shared it with their followers on Facebook and Twitter. Please sign up for my free fan club (Home page) to read future blogs and hear my new music. I am reachable at info@jessicalernermusic.com

 Jessica Lerner + Jeff Pollock

Jessica Lerner + Jeff Pollock at ASCAP Expo

My Experience At The ASCAP Songwriting Expo – DAY 2

I woke up bright and early, strapped on my high heels, grabbed my guitar, and was feeling great! Until I realized I that it was class time (damn those early classes) and I hadn’t eaten! Thankfully my hotel room had a green apple and coffee.  If you know me well, you’d know that I don’t do well on an empty stomach. I need to eat 5 small meals throughout the day, like a puppy, or I get light headed and sometimes faint! But I didn’t care, I was so excited to get to Darrell Brown’s (Songwriter, Producer, Composer, Arranger, “You’ll Think Of Me – Keith Urban”) Live Song Feedback Panel.

Mr. Brown had three back to back classes, and I stayed for all three (most people attended one)! SEVEN STRAIGHT HOURS ! They picked our names from a hat, allowing us songwriters to receive 15-20 minute critiques of our original songs. While they had a grand piano and guitar on stage for the songwriters to perform their song live, most opted to play a MP3 of their song under pressure. Darrell has an uncanny knack for using chord structures to build tension, release, and emotion within a song. I also learned that if we listen to our own album and have even a moment of discomfort, it signals something to fix. I was amazed at his engagement and excitement to help us, and he seemed to be very present in the moment.

After almost 7 hours of watching other songwriters get their songs critiqued, my name had not been called, and it was bothering me.

Maybe I was tired, influenced by the heavy pull of LA passion, or I was a little crazy from only having and apple and granola bar all day, but I decided to stop hoping for my name to be picked and take matters into my own hands.  Brown’s manger was the one picking and calling out the names from the hat.  I walked to the back of the room and kindly asked the manager if I could forgo the hat draw and be the next person to go up for a critique.  The look he gave me was a combination of exhaustion, disgust, and annoyance – totally understandable.  “You realize you’re like the 7th person to ask me that today…”, he said to me.  I apologized, retreated, and walked to the back to my seat in the front row where I had set up camp.  I joked with my friends around me at what I tried to do and they all giggled.  Then like the sound of an angel, I hear the manager’s voice, “We have time for one more song, is… Jessica Lerner here?”.

I jumped out of my seat as if I’d just won the Grammy for Best Song of the Year.  No joke!  I was so excited and completely caught off guard.  My friends around me cheered.  It was ridiculous. I am still embarrassed about that outburst.

I then turned around and looked at the manager who I’d just had that awkward exchange with.  His baffled face gawked at me.

I got up on stage on shaky legs, rambled embarrassing things about Brown needing to go to the bathroom (he didn’t take 1 break for the entire 7 hours), and sat at the grand piano to play my song “Under These Sheets”.  The performer in me was ticked that there was no monitor, but I put on my tough face, wanting to impress Brown and my peers.  I started the song, people were into it, Brown sang along, and it turned into a bit of a duet in the middle.  It was everything I hoped for in that moment.

The most helpful critique I got from Brown and the class was to do a key change on the last chorus.  I didn’t get as many critiques as I would have liked, it was the end of the day and we were all exhausted, but the positive feedback was very rewarding.

One of the biggest benefits I didn’t anticipate was people remembering me from the performance.  I became the “Under The Sheets” girl and that enabled me to make strong connections with other songwriters.

The last class was Aloe Blacc (“Wake Me Up”, “The Man”, “I Need A Dollar”) interviewing Bill Withers (“Lean On Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Just The Two Of Us”). It was the best interview of the expo, hands down. First thing you need to know – Bill Withers is so freaking funny. He can make an auditorium crack up with the slight movement of his eyebrow. They discussed a wide range of topics, talking about where they’ve both come from, how it’s shaped their music. Withers wrote his songs because they made him and others around him feel good. He wasn’t trying to write the most famous songs of all time. His inspiration was pure and simple, something that is probably less common in this massive content churning world we live in now. He encouraged us to study the ins and outs of the business so we are not taken advantage of.  Many years ago, Withers was in a bad deal and to keep the record company from selling his music and not paying him properly, he destroyed the master copies.  At one point, (randomly) he went on a 15 min tangent about illiterate people trying to interpret the bible — amazing.  My personal favorite moment was when a lady from the audience asked Withers a strange question along the lines of “How do I know when I’ve made it big?”.  Withers responded, “You must fake orgasms!”  The audience erupted in laughter.   Last quote from Withers from the interview, “Don’t bet your life on the music business”.

I stayed up late hanging out with everyone in the hotel lobby when someone pointed out to me that Mike Reid (Songwriter “I Can’t Make You Love Me”) was right around the corner.  I got to meet him and chat for 20 minutes.  I thanked him for the wonderful performance he put on the night before and we chatted about the expo and his experiences in the business.  It was a huge honor meeting him.  I’ll never forget that conversation.

This was by far the best day I had there.  I finally stumbled to my hotel room around 2am and passed out with the lights on.

Jessica Lerner performing for Darrell Brown

Jessica Lerner performing for Darrell Brown at the ASCAP EXPO 2015

Mike Reid and Jessica Lerner

Mike Reid and Jessica Lerner



My Experience At The ASCAP Songwriting Expo – DAY 1

I had an amazing time at the ASCAP Expo conference in Los Angeles and wanted to share a few highlights with my followers.

Ingrid Michaelson gave a “Master Class” (to which she jokingly scoffed) on her career and discussed the big ah-ha moments she had through her life. I especially enjoyed her thoughts on building a quality team. She said to focus on finding people who strongly believe in your music. Throughout the session, she performed a couple of songs with her side-musician and they killed it — more flawless than you could ever imagine! She was silly, made funny faces, said sarcastic things, and above all, was very grounded. This gave me a nice sense of validation — I’ve been told throughout my career to be more poised, not say “umms,” sit up straight, have impeccable grammer, etc. Now I know that I can misspell GRAMMER as much as I would like!  While all these things are great and important, at the end of the day, if your music can speak for itself, who cares! Be yourself.

I didn’t have the pleasure of attending the next class in person, but met the main speaker, Ken Abdo, Esq in the lobby bar later. He was kind, funny, and generous with his time, and his class (highly recommended) “Adoption vs. Babysitting: How to Chose Between a Music Publishing and Admin Deal” gave me much more clarity than I was able to give myself reading a dozen books on the topic. The title alone is more telling than some books!!!

I learned more from the songwriters who spoke than I would have time to write in one sitting, but you can look at the lineup to get an idea: Toby Gad (“If I Were A Boy”), No I.D. (“Heartless”), Deborah Lurie (“Film- Footloose”), Richard Marx (“Right here Waiting For You”), Chris Taylor (“Knife”), Kevin Kadish (“All About The Bass”), Greg Kurstin (“What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”), William Larsen (“Am I Wrong”), Jesse Shatkin (“Chandelier”), Sevyn Streeter (“Yeah 3X”).

No I.D. was a standout speaker. He was eloquent, shared great insight, and gave me the most to think about.  I’m enjoying a book and DVD set he recommended called  “Q On Producing” — great stuff!  Here are a few great quotes from his seminar:

“Because you wrote it, does not mean you can make a record.” “It just takes one song to change everything.” “Handle adversity and challenge yourself inwardly to better yourself artistically.”– No I.D.

The issue of music devaluation and what the future holds for content creators came up frequently. Music has shifted from tangible goods to data. Our parents held vinyl, we held CDs, and now music is ‘invisible.’ Unfortunately, there is a strong correlation between new modes of music delivery and a rapid devaluation of perceived financial value.

Concluding the night, we were treated to a performance by Kevin Cronin “Keep On Loving You”, Hanson “MMMBop”, Mike Reid “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, and Valerie Simpson “Ain’t No Mountain High”. All the musicians accompanied each other and it was a wonderful and unique presentation.

Mike Reid was a stand out and stopped time with his performance of “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. My friend Brian and I were holding back tears (it didn’t help that we had just done Tequila shots at the bar) as we marveled over the intensity Reid laid over the room while he sang. I actually got to meet Mike Reid — more on that in Day 2’s blog.

Me and Brian Beckwith

Me and Brian Beckwith

Live Webcast Concert Thursday 3/19/2015

Jessica Lerner Green Room Sessions

I’ll be appearing LIVE on The Green Room Sessions with Cathryn Beeks of ListenLocalRadio.com, performing some new songs and chatting with all of YOU!

Tune in by CLICKING HERE to register (LIMITED TO 40 GUESTS). The show is Thursday, March 19 from 4:30PM – 5:00PM PST. See you there!

Univision San Diego Performance and Interview with Jessica

Univision San Diego Performance and Interview with Jessica Lerner

UE Earphones Contest Winners Announced!

This contest was amazing and I’m so proud of all the submissions!  Great job everyone and I look forward to doing something fun like this again!

CONGRATULATIONS Emmanuel Armas Esqueda!

CONGRATULATIONS Emmanuel Armas Esqueda!







ue pic 3CONGRATULATIONS Amanda S Lee!


CONGRATULATIONS Isabella Diaz-Short and Samantha Diaz-Short!

CONGRATULATIONS Isabella Diaz-Short and Samantha Diaz-Short!

ue pic 5