Despite the first episode of the Amercian Song Contest kicking off this coming Monday, we were able to snag Wisconsin native and ASC artist Jake’O before the live shows began. Learn more about his state, his pathway into music, how he first learned about the Eurovision Song Contest, and more below!
Welcome to ESC United Jake’O! We’re super excited to have you on the site for an interview! For our readers who might be hearing about you for the first time why don’t you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Jake’O! I am singer, songwriter, and performer.
And you’ll be representing your home state of Wisconsin in the American Song Contest this coming Monday! How has life been for you since you were announced as a participating artist?
It’s been a beautifully busy. I’m excited to finally hit the stage here in a few days!
Because many of our readers are not from the United States, they might not know too much about Wisconsin. What are some of your favorite things about the state that make it unique?
Wisconsin is stereotypically described as “America’s Dairyland” and is known for their cheese. However, from the state’s Native American ancestry to the Driftless region being formed by ancient glaciers, Wisconsin is culturally and geographically diverse.
I noticed that you describe yourself as the originator of the “Nuvo-Retro” sound, something I’ve never heard of myself. Could you explain what that means for us?
It’s a term that I coined to describe music and fashion style. Nuvo-Retro combines vintage vibes, modern motifs, and futuristic flair to create something new but familiar.
How did you first realize you had such a passion for music and when did that passion turn into a career for you?
I realized I had a passion for music when my older brother bought an electric guitar. At age 11, I found myself gravitating towards it daily and eventually taught myself how to play; I would listen to songs on repeat and play by ear. At the age of 15, the hobby became a career when I started performing at bars and busking on the streets —making money from something I loved seemed right.
What is something that our readers might be surprised to learn about you – like a hidden talent or hobby that you’ve never shared?
On top of being a profession musician, I had three other jobs when I joined American Song Contest. I was a cheese packer and I also worked at a cemetery and tavern as a ground’s keeper.
I know that you’ve opened for other musicians for other concerts in the past, but if you had the opportunity to open for any artist in the world, who would you choose and why?
Bruno Mars is an artist that I would like to open for —if I had the opportunity— because he’s a great performer, singer, and songwriter.
Let’s chat more specifically about the American Song contest now, how did you first learn about the contest and what motivated you to submit an entry?
I saw the opportunity online and it caught my attention. It caught my curiosity as well because of its original song format, which was an incentive to pursue the opportunity.
While I know that your entry is a well-guarded secret, I’m curious about how the song came together. Can you tell us about the songwriting process for your ASC song and about the message the song carries?
I wrote “Feel Your Love” back in 2018. It was originally a six and half minute song, so I decided to make a radio edit and streamline it to under three minutes. I wanted the song to encompass all five basic human senses and evoke theatrical imagery.
Of course, the American Song Contest is an adapted version of the Eurovision Song Contest in Europe. How much do you know about Eurovision?
I knew a little bit about Eurovision Song Contest, because I lived in the U.K. in the late 1990s to early 2000s.
For our readers who want to connect with you ahead of or after the contest, where can they find you and your music?
Please connect with me at my website, www.jakeOmusic.com. This will take you to different social media and streaming platforms.
Alright, one final question for you – is there a final message you’d like to share with our readers?
Thank you for your time and for ESC United for conducting this interview! Thank you to my family, friends, and fans!
Well Jake’O, I want to thank you again for your time today and we wish you the best of luck in the American Song Contest moving forward!
Remember #YOU can catch Jake’O on the first episode of the American Song Contest on Monday night, March 21st, at 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central. #YOU can also jump into the ASC discussions on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!