I’m a Copywriter who has a love for long-form copy. Somewhere between growing up doing country-western line dancing and my love of the holidays, I came up with Holiday Slay Shuffle.
Recently, I reconnected with my old friend, next-door neighbor, and songwriting partner from my high school days. Like lots of kids in the ’80s, MTV inspired us to start writing songs and form a band. Naturally, we went nowhere, got “real” jobs, and lost touch after college. During quarantine, he sent me some music he was working on and we collaborated again after more than 30 years. And, since we were raised on MTV, we couldn’t release a song without an accompanying video.
I have been writing songs for over a decade now, but I never thought my songs were an accurate reflection of me, so I never recorded anything. I played in bands and sang at open mic nights but always kept my original songs to myself.
After going through a breakup from a long-term relationship, I needed something to sink my teeth into. I started writing songs that felt different from ones I’d previously written–I made a conscious effort to write a catchy melody with contrasting lyrics, like the Beatles song “Help”. I took this song to my brother Eddie Anthony and he helped me record it in his home studio. His guitarist friend Chris Coombs was over and graciously added some sweet electric guitar licks, elevating my acoustic song to something more pop-folk/Americana.
Through the process of writing this song, I was able to cope with my breakup. I have since recorded several other tracks and am releasing an EP by the end of the year. I took up the name Jesse Rivers as an homage to my late grandfather, Jesús Rios.
Oh no! A colleague is making a short film and wants help. A time traveler has a sexual encounter with his best friend’s mother thus becoming the father to increasingly poor copies of his pal in an endless loop. We watch it and… holy shit it’s great! He needs an authentic Nashville country song touching on the familiar lyrical themes of regret, alcoholism, family and temporal paradoxes. “The bottle wasn’t always quite so low. No estamos on some trackless shore,” begin the lyrics. Not everything is what it seems, even within this song.
Going into the spring of my junior year, I knew I wanted to be in advertising, but I also knew that my portfolio didn’t stack up to a lot of the ad school grads who were applying. The agency I applied to asked its applicants to record their elevator pitch. And I knew that if I were to make something expected, I wouldn’t stand a chance. So I got to work and in two weeks’ time with the help of a couple friends, Elevator Pitch was born. Since then, I’ve used this as my cover letter because I feel like my introduction to an agency should be as nontraditional as I am.