Jerason Dean Is A Name You'll Want To Remember
There are those who choose to talk about chasing their dreams, and then there’s Jerason Dean Gines — the artist who’s singing it into existence.
I met the 27-year-old at work; I had heard him humming well before we had introduced ourselves, so I should have figured it out. Before he told me about his music career and future plans, I learned a lot of personal tidbits within the first couple of days of us officially meeting. He told me he was from Paducah, Kentucky, I got to see pictures of his adorable dog Oscar, flooding his camera roll, and soon I was up to speed on his volleyball tournament brackets. I found out that Dolly Parton is his icon (more on that later), he’s obsessed with plants, his grandma is his world. When he finally told me he was a singer, I admit that I was shocked it had taken so long to mention. How did I know that he was gluten-free before I knew he was musically talented? When I at last heard him sing, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a young, modern Sinatra.
It turns out that Jerason Dean has been singing nearly as long as he’s been talking; one of his earliest debuts as a singer was getting his first solo for the song ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ as a fifth grader; the anthem Johnny Cash covered in 1969 provided big shoes for an 11 year old to fill, but Jerason managed just fine. “I had a solo every school program after that,” Jerason told me. Fate must have had plans for him because he started competing around 13 years old and hasn’t looked back since.
While he has always felt that singing would play a huge role in his life, it hasn’t been sunshine and record labels falling from the sky.
“There was a period in my early twenties where I was a bit defeated and moved away from music but it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about — singing, song writing, listening to my favorite artists, etc. It eventually made its way back to me and that’s when I knew I had to focus on my passion if I wanted it to become more than a daydream,”
Like a lot of independent artists making a name for themselves, Jerason works a 9-5 job and spends his nights pouring his heart and soul into lyrics at the studio. Through careful balancing of two careers, a task most would find daunting at best, Jerason’s dedication has resulted in his EP, ‘The Standards.’
“I had been waiting for so long for some ‘big break’ to motivate me to get in the studio but I think eventually I just realized nothing was going to happen if I didn’t get out there and make it happen for myself. After I sang at Pandora Performs in 2017, I remember getting off the stage and thinking ‘this is what I should be doing’ and that’s when I hit the ground running.”
The EP released in early November this year. He partnered with Chris Steinmetz — who has worked with some big wigs like Madonna and Rihanna — and Stonecutter studios in Chicago. “It was honestly five times the work I thought it was going to be but I’d do it again in a heart beat — and I will!” he claimed.
Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra helped shape the sound and vibe Jerason wanted for his EP — and that’s what makes it so special and unique, given the way current music has been trending. The songs will make you want to open a bottle of vino, or pour yourself a gin on ice, and just drift into bliss. You’ll want to play it at your holiday parties in a room full of people, or maybe you’ll want to let it hum on the speakers while you take a candle-lit bath. Whatever you choose to do while you play it, don’t forget to actually listen.
I was lucky enough to do some behind-the-scenes shots for the music video that accompanied the second single off his EP, ‘I’m A Fool to Want You’ which also happens to be his favorite track. It was an intimate experience for everyone involved — we were in his apartment, he had a bottle of wine and held nothing back. “The idea was inspired by a music video Leanne Rimes did back in the day,” he admits. “I liked that it was just her and the video focused on her emotions. ‘I’m A Fool to Want You’ is such an emotional song so, I wanted my video to focus on the song and not a lot of bells and whistles. Most people know me as a bit of a ham and a sass mouth. So I was worried I wouldn’t be able to really commit to the seriousness of the project. I’m also not very comfortable in front of a camera when it comes to filming. I think I was just worried it wouldn’t come together,” he said.
Even though I later found out that he was nervous and anxious on the day of the video shoot, the final product exceeded his expectations and put all of his worries to rest. He told me, “Irving Vazquez is a phenomenal videographer and such a pleasure to work with. Can’t wait to do another one with him!”
You can also expect to see another music video from Jerason and his team very, very soon. “I wanted to go the polar opposite direction for the next video and I wanted to be able to show a little more camp. I think by choosing this song I’m able to highlight a side of me thats more like my day-to-day.” He revealed that it’s also going to be drawing inspiration from a few movies that highlight one of his favorite decades in Hollywood.
Speaking of inspiration, let’s bring this interview back to Dolly Parton like promised. Every single person in our office knows she’s his favorite artist and he will debate strangers if there is even a whisper of Dolly slander coming out of their mouths — trust me, I have been there. You can’t say Dolly Parton and not think of Jerason if you know him. Why? “Dolly is the OG rags to riches story and she’s such a talented songwriter. I look to her a lot when I’m trying to capture a certain emotion in a song because she’s played with just about all of them and she’s just a hoot. I’d pay a lot of money to sit in a room with Dolly.” Of course it makes sense that Dolly Parton would be someone he would love to collaborate with one day. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that he would like to sing with Miranda Lambert and Brandi Carlile, too.
It’s clear that music has always been a part of Jerason’s life and even though this article cannot touch on all of his life’s experiences that his led him to this point in his calling, I hope you take away the feeling that working to turn your dreams into a reality isn’t easy but it sure as hell can change your life.
“Just do it. Stop coming up with all the reasons you can’t do something and just do it. Sometimes the scariest part is taking the first step but I promise the journey after that is well worth it.”