Grey Goose Notable young professionals and entrepreneurs are influential tastemakers who have made it beyond their years and, though their careers are still evolving, are now able to enjoy the success and life they have created. These selected individuals share how they got to where they are today, how they are able to enjoy what they have earned, where they love to travel, how they entertain, and how they celebrate all that life has to offer. Jesse Labelle is a Canadian musician who knows what it’s like to pound the pavement and how unforgiving the entertainment industry is. Now, it is paying off – the Toronto native performed with Sir Elton John at this TIFF’s Fashion Cares event and his single “Heartbreak Coverup” continues to dominate the airwaves.
His hit “Heartbreak Coverup” can be heard on multiple radio stations simultaneously as its video also makes its way up the MuchMusic Countdown. He has played with well-known artists (like Faber Drive and Fefe Dobson) both in Canada and abroad, performed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and sang alongside Sir Elton John to close out the final Fashion Cares event during this year’s TIFF. Most recently, Jesse Labelle released his second album, Two, on Wax/Universal music. “Heartbreak Coverup,” the first single, is about to reach gold status here in Canada and it set to launch next in the UK. The multi-talented musician is known for his engaging voice and guitar skills, but Two is very much a piano-based album and reveals his growth as a songwriter and storyteller.
Labelle, who has been a radio, MuchMusic and MuchMoreMusic favourite since 2009 when he dominated airwaves with his Top 5 hit “Easier,” kicked off the summer with a UK tour with breakout Canadian pop princess Alyssa Reid. There are no signs of slowing down for this notable young Canadian talent, who counts Keane, Crowded House, Duran Duran and Max Martin as major influences. He is lining up for a national tour this fall.
If there were one location everyone must see, what would it be?
Santorini, specifically the town of Oia. I travelled through Greece a few years back and wound up island hopping, eventually finding myself on the island of Santorini. I was supposed to stay for two days and wound up staying three weeks. The entire island is amazing. The town of Oia is at the western tip and is your classic white house, blue roof, picture-perfect postcard of Greece. It is home to the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen. If there’s heaven on earth, I believe its Santorini.
What is your general perspective on life? Any advice for fellow young professionals?
Believe in the power of positive thinking. Always. You can create your own reality and bring the things you want into your life by concentrating and focusing on the good surrounding you. Anyone looking to broaden their views or just add something to their day-to-day life should pick up any book by Robin Sharma. He’s a fantastic leader and teaches through lessons you can carry with you everyday.
Who do you admire most?
Any of my friends’ parents who are still together. I think it’s an incredibly admirable quality to make a commitment (to someone or anything for that matter) and not only stick to it but also work to keep it moving forward.
Why were the early stages of your career worth what you are now able to enjoy?
I look at my career as still being in the early stages. I always think you can become better at what you do. Only recently have I reached a point where I believe I’m truly good at what I do, but I also believe I have a long way to go towards being not only good, but great at it. Cliché as it sounds, the much earlier stages of my career were filled with years of hard work, acceptance from few and rejection from most. By sticking at it and believing I was meant to write and perform, I turned it into a reality. These days, I feel blessed to be able to do what I do and call it my job.
What makes the best host at a dinner party?
A host with a good selection of wine. My brother is a big collector with a vast knowledge of wines and has changed the way I both see and look forward to any dinner gathering.
What's your favourite restaurant?
Playa Cabana in Toronto. It’s addictively and consistently the best Mexican food I've found anywhere. If you haven’t been, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
What's your favourite drink?
A good, 100% agave reposado tequila.
One thing always in your fridge?
If there’s one thing consistently in my fridge, it’s probably hummus. Maybe it’s the Jew in me; maybe I just really love hummus.
Do you cook?
I'd like to cook more. When I do I make a mean breakfast.
How do you stay fit and healthy?
I try to remind myself that you are what you eat. I believe this to be so true. I used to eat a lot of junk and, as much as I loved it at the time, eating clean and healthy, with lots of vegetables, water and clean organic foods, really does have an impact on every facet of your day-to-day life.
What is your ideal Sunday?
A lazy one involving sleeping in and sweat pants. It’s a day to recharge.