Jesse McCartney has played a lot of roles throughout his career, but in 2020 he's ready to focus on the most important one: himself. McCartney got his start as a child actor on All My Children and went on to become a major teen heartthrob with hit singles like the 2004 classic "Beautiful Soul" and swoon-worthy lead roles on TV shows like Summerland. But 15 years later, McCartney is more familiar than ever with the volatility of life in the spotlight, and he's releasing new music that reflects on how his highs and lows shaped him into the man he is today. Jesse McCartney's new single "Yours" marks the start of a new era — he's back and ready to be vulnerable.
McCartney tells Elite Daily that when he sat down to start writing his new music, he knew whatever he wrote was "going to be a love song of some kind." McCartney got engaged to Katie Peterson, his girlfriend of nearly eight years, in September 2019, so he figured there was "no better time" to write one. But just because McCartney has a history of churning out romantic bangers, doesn't mean the songs come easy.
"It's hard to keep [romantic lyrics] fresh-sounding," he explains. "If they're not done correctly or written correctly, there's a fine line between being corny or super sweet... I knew I had to be vulnerable and let my guard down if I wanted to dig deep."
"Yours" is, first and foremost, a song about McCartney's love for Peterson, but he also explores other sides of himself on the track — even the dark ones. In the second verse, he sings about being "an album-flop away from being done." While he's steadily released new music over the last decade, he hasn't quite been able to recreate the mega-success of his 2004 breakout hit "Beautiful Soul," or his 2008 single "Leavin," which is his biggest hit to date.
"I think anybody who experiences any sort of success has also been through some really great failures," he says. "There are two ways to handle that sort of outcome: You can spiral and get caught up in it and lose your way, or you can channel it and use it as fuel to motivate for your next project... It [made me] stronger as a writer and as an artist."
For McCartney, all the challenges made him more resilient. For example, McCartney is only 33 years old, but today's social media-obsessed world is a far cry from the early 2000s, and he had to adjust.
"I grew up in a time in the industry when the curtains were drawn and that was it. You came out, you performed, and then when you came back behind the curtain, nobody saw what your personal life was like," McCartney says. "There are times where I do feel the pressure to create extra content for people that want to see a more revealing side of your life."
While some celebrities who've grown up in the spotlight might resent the teenage hit they can't escape, McCartney embraces it. In 2020, he's prouder than ever of his teenage heartthrob status and his breakout hit "Beautiful Soul."
"That song is forever a part of my identity at this point," McCartney says. "It's given me legs to stand on musically and given me this amazing career."
"Yours" will give you all the same feels "Beautiful Soul" once did, so prepare to swoon.