Philly born, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Jesse Ruben first made waves with his inspiration anthem “We Can.” A triumphant tuned that was inspired by his initiative, The We Can Project, where he was enabled to travel to schools across America to help children believe they can achieve anything they put their minds to. Unfortunately, not long after the project kicked off, Ruben fell ill and was later diagnosed with Lyme Disease, putting the project and his music aside for several years. In 2016, Ruben returned to music with an inspiration track, “This Is Why I Need You” which premiered exclusively with Billboard Magazine, a song for his longtime girlfriend. The song gained significant recognition on SiriusXM Coffeehouse channel and was played in Starbucks locations worldwide.
Following his widely-successful single, comes “Scared of America,” a politically-charged tune that focuses on the flaws in the healthcare system, education boundaries, the rape culture on college campuses and institutional racism. The track took form when Ruben was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. The treacherous days of going in and out of doctors offices and health bills piling up, really made Ruben look at America a bit different. He recognized the things that were wrong with society and became increasingly frustrated that individuals were not making positive changes in their local communities. With each lyric he is not offering solutions to these problems but rather laying out ideas that need to be talked about and discussed to make a change. “Scared of America” is about individuals stepping outside of the norm, doing things to make a positive change in their community, and seeing a difference in this year’s election. Ruben is asking for America to step up, make a personal change and do so by voting in the upcoming election.
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The message that Brooklyn singer/songwriter Jesse Ruben has been spreading through his music is simple and direct. I can. You can. We Can. When Jesse originally wrote his song “We Can”, he had just run the NYC Marathon and hoped to inspire people to start running. As it turns out, his message was meant to be much more universal. A few months after he released the track, a Vancouver elementary school reached out, saying they had been playing it to inspire their students. They asked Jesse to fly in and perform the song for their school, and so began “The We Can Project”, which now spreads across North America. Jesse began touring the country, visiting schools and helping students come up with personal goals and ways to give back to their community. Amazing things began to happen. Playgrounds were built. Gardens planted. Cancer walks organized.
Just as things were taking off, life threw a curveball. Jesse had just headlined and sold out his entire East Coast tour and was writing new music when he became incredibly ill. It took 9 months and more than a dozen doctors before he got his diagnosis: Lyme Disease. Jesse was so sick, he didn’t think he would ever play music or lead a normal life again. Suddenly, the message he had been spreading to students over the past year rang truer than ever before. I can do this. It took two full years to rebuild his health. It’s an experience Jesse won’t easily forget.
In fact, it’s changed his perspective on life and writing. Jesse had always wanted to inspire people through his music, but now has a mission and an even bigger message: No matter what you are going through, you’re not alone, and it will get better. Now, he is healthy and more motivated than ever to build his career and pursue his dreams.
This fall, Jesse will release his EP A Reply to Violence. The title is inspired by a Leonard Bernstein quote he stumbled upon on the side of a school while walking through the East Village: “This will be our reply to violence, that we make music more intensely, more beautifully, and more devotedly than ever before.”