Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is country recording artist Jesse Bandura. Picking up his first guitar at age nine, Bandura quickly fell in love with rock, rap and country music. These genres are at the forefront of his own musical sound. To date, he performed at venues nationwide, including playing at festivals such as ” Summer Winds, Howl at the Moon, booked at Sandhills, South Beach, Painted Hand casinos and Canada Day celebrations.” (Bandura). Jesse recorded his first 5 song EP titled, “Crack a Bottle ” , and released a music video for his radio single “Whiskey”.” (Bandura). In 2017, he was also named The Most Outstanding Manitoban-Emerging Artist at the Indigenous Music Awards. (Bandura). In 2019, he released his last single, “Good Time”- a gritty country anthem with a strong drum line that will have you wanting to roll the windows down, turn up the volume and sing along. The song also reached #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown on Sirus XM (During the week of August 22nd, 2020). Since then, Bandura has been working on new music and has plans to release his next single by this summer.
Recently I spoke with Bandura about his last single, “Good Time”, his music journey and his goals moving forward in 2021.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing country music? What made you want to become a country artist?
Jesse Bandura: There was always a lot of music around my house growing up, my father is a musician and I would come home from school and there would be band practices going on, they were playing songs like the race is on by George jones and copper head road by Steve Earl so falling in love with country music and playing it came very natural to me.
KP: Melodically, your sound draws upon both country and rock. What influenced this stylistic direction?
Jesse Bandura: I grew up learning how to play guitar by listening to bands like Metallica and artists like Jason Andean I always felt most at home with the speakers blaring and a guitar in my hands.
KP: You’ve been playing guitar since the age of 9. What inspired you to pick up the guitar? Do you play any other instruments?
Jesse Bandura: Most definitely watching my dad play as a child, I really fell In love with the guitar when I first felt the feeling of creating music for the first time. It was something that really got me hooked. I also play the bass guitar and piano.
KP: Your latest single, “Good Time” was released in 2019 and speaks to two people just enjoying each other’s company and having a “good time”. What was the inspiration behind the song? Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making the song?
Jesse Bandura: This song came from a really honest place I was out at the cabin cracking a few cold ones strumming the guitar and it just came over me like a title wave, thinking about picking up my girlfriend driving out to the beach and going to burn it up for the weekend, it probably took about 45 mins to finish so it was really fast, after that I headed to the studio and recorded one of my favourite songs I have written.
KP: What have you been up to since your last release? Are you working on new music?
Jesse Bandura: I’ve really been doing a lot of rehearsing and writing and yeah I’m really looking forward to releasing it and playing it live.
KP: When it comes to writing songs, do you find it easier to come up with the melody or the lyrics? How do you come up with your ideas? What do you think makes a “hit” country song?
Jesse Bandura: For me, it honestly starts with a riff then from that a melody and then the lyrics, when it come to writing I try to be universal and real, I want to make music people can relate with, to me what makes a hit country song is a great story and a solid hook, I love it when I get goose Bumps from a real song.
KP: You have previously toured across Canada sharing your music with your fans. What has been your most memorable moment/gig in your career thus far? How has the journey been for you?
Jesse Bandura: My most memorable moments come from When the fans are into the show and they’re singing your song back to you for me that is a very special moment each and every time I play, the journey to me is like everything else in life there are ups and downs but when you’re doing what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.
KP: Looking back, What would you say is one of the most important lessons you’ve learnt over the years?
Jesse Bandura: Always be prepared for the unexpected because you never know what’s going to happen, and always have a set of backup guitar strings.
KP: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music?
Jesse Bandura: Oh yeah I plan on releasing new music, I am currently in the studio working on my next single, as a goal I would love to see it be recognized as real honest music with some drive and to be enjoyed by all my fans and lots of new enthusiastic listeners.
Listen to “Good Time” Now:
To learn more about Jesse Bandura, be sure to check out his music & socials:
FB: Jesse Bandura
Apple Music: https://apple.co/3sMDvRu
Bandura, Jesse. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Mar. 16 2021.
Jesse Bandura. (n.d.). My bio. Home. https://jessebandura.com/my-bio. Accessed Mar. 16 2021.
Unknown. “Featured: Country recording artist Jesse Bandura”. Photo courtesy of Jesse Bandura. Accessed Mar. 16 2021.