Jesse Kinch US singer-songwriter, talks with The Entertainment Engine!

Speaking about winning ABC’s Rising star competition and signing to Capitol Records, and with new music on the horizon!

This week’s guest on The Entertainment Engine podcast, we speak with Jesse Kinch who is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

He was the first and only winner of the American series of Rising Star international franchise based on the Israeli series HaKokhav HaBa. The American series was broadcast on ABC.

The show was hosted by Josh Groban and the panel of judges were Brad Paisley, Kesha and Ludacris

In the beginning

Kinch, a Seaford, Long Island native picked up a guitar when he was 6, after discovering an old, beat-up acoustic in his parent's basement.

They began to notice a mature sense of rhythm and pitch, convincing them to buy Jesse his first electric and soon introduced him to the great rock ’n’ roll bands of the 1960s, 70s and the 90s grunge scene which he quickly embraced.

These influences became an essential part of his musical foundation and sound.

In some of Jesse’s interviews, he recalls that even before he picked up a guitar and embraced the sound of classic rock, he was heavily exposed to operatic pop singers such as Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.

He considers the pure sound and beauty of those singers a major influence on him to this day.

At age 7, he began performing in clubs on Long Island and attracted attention from a local newspaper that called him “The Boy Wonder” in reaction to his precocious musical ability.

At age 8 he was featured as a news item on TV News Channel 12, Long Island where he played a medley of classic rock ’n’ roll songs.

Jesse continued to play the guitar at local clubs through age 9 and at 10, he was invited to the Sam Ash Guitar Competition where he finished third amongst seasoned pros.

At age 11, Jesse found his voice and began to sing.

He soon started performing around New York City where people would take notice to his strength and conviction filled rock ’n’ roll voice.

Throughout ages 12 and 13, he also became interested in writing his own songs which regularly became part of his set during shows.

Photo by Hanna Tche on Unsplash

In 2009, Jesse was chosen to portray the lead role of a young Eddie Money in the musical Two Tickets to Paradise after Money took notice to his energetic rock ’n’ roll performance as his opening act in June 2008.

Money originally mistook Jesse for being in his early 20s at the time but soon realized he was only 14. Although Money wanted an adult to portray his life in the musical, he felt Jesse was the only one that captured the look, sound and spirit of his younger self.

After months of rehearsals, the show opened in June of that year at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Centre where Jesse sang 14 songs a night with no understudy.

To listen to the full show click on the link below;

Rising Star

In 2014, Kinch auditioned on the premiere episode of the US Rising Star show broadcast live on June 22 that year on ABC singing “I Put a Spell on You” by Screaming Jay Hawkins getting 92% of votes including 7% from each of all three panellists and a standing ovation.

During the “duels” round on July 16 against Will Roth, he sang “Whipping Post” from The Allman Brothers Band prevailing over Roth with a 90% score (89% on West Coast vote).

Jesse performs LIVE on ABC show Rising star

On “The Round of Thirteen” stage on August 3, he again excelled with “Seven Nation Army” from The White Stripes garnering 88% (87% on the West Coast) ending with best score percentage of all thirteen contestants with Austin French a close second.

In the quarterfinals on August 10 with Top 8 remaining, he performed “Money (That’s What I Want)” getting 88% on both coasts with Austin French getting 89% (but 86% on the West Coast).

In the semi-finals (Top 6) where he sang “Billie Jean” from Michael Jackson, he yet again finished first among all semi-finalist with a vote 83% on both coasts and all three panellists voting “yes”.

On the final broadcast on August 24, 2014, with Top 4 remaining he performed “Fortunate Son” from Creedence Clearwater Revival eliminating rival Dana Williams (87% to 30%) whereas another finalist Austin French eliminated rival Audrey Kate Geiger with a closer margin 70% to 49%.

In the second and final round of the final the same day, he faced Austin French singing “Love, Reign o’er Me” from The Who, whereas French sang “Bless the Broken Road” from Rascal Flatts.

Kinch clinched the title with a public vote of 76% against French’s 61%. Due to the large gap between percentages, the officials changed the scores to make it appear closer.

This was a common theme throughout the competition!

Photo by Dark Rider on Unsplash

The post Rising Star

Jesse received a recording contract with Capitol Records as a result of winning the show, but shortly parted ways due to creative differences.

After parting ways with Capitol, he began performing sold-out shows in New York and Nashville in front of larger audiences all from the exposure he received after performing on national TV.

In May 2015, Jesse performed two songs on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” and shortly after that, he met Kerry Gordy (Industry executive and son of Berry Gordy) and Al Bell (Former head of Stax Records) who helped introduce him to Curb Records.

In early 2016, Jesse signed a record deal with Curb Records and quickly went into the studio that summer to record his long-awaited debut album.

His album was recorded at Cove City Sound and Tiki Recording studios on Long Island.

2018 Jesse Kinch — Debut Album Release

On March 16, 2018, Jesse announced the release of two music video releases of his original song “Preaching Like The Pope” and his cover of Michael Jacksons “Billie Jean”.

The songs continue to garner popularity and attention on Rock radio all around the country.

In April, Jesse and his band embarked on a short New York tour to promote the release of his debut album “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” on vinyl.

The tour was followed by a number of performances in “Los Angeles”, CA and “Nashville”, “Tennessee”. In June, his album was officially released on all platforms.

On October 26th 2018, Jesse released a cover of “John Lennon”’s Happy X-Mas(War Is Over).

Throughout the next year of 2019, Jesse and his band performed in many different states around the country including

North Carolina”,” Colorado”, and “Missouri”, and eventually made his debut overseas performance in “Manchester”,” England” at the Blackthorn Music Festival.

His debut album even managed to crack two top ten charts in the U.K.

At the end of 2019, Jesse’s contract with Curb Records ended and he officially parted ways with them after 3 years of working together.

What's next for Jesse?

At the beginning of the year, Jesse announced new tour dates in a number of different US states and looking forward to performing back in the UK, plus he has also dropped some hints about new music with an EP or album over the coming months, watch this space it's going to be great!

By Pete Moore



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Peter Moore

Peter Moore


Peter has lived in New York, Los Angeles and London working in the music, film and TV industries for over three decades helping creators realize their vision.