‘In the Studio’ series presents singer Jesse Crosson of ‘The Color Wild’

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Hannah Villarreal

The “In the Studio” series held a Zoom webinar featuring singer Jesse Crosson of the band “The Color Wild” on April 30. Music Professor Maxwell Kiesner and Crosson discuss Crosson’s musical interests as well as his songwriting process.

The “In The Studio” series hosted a Zoom webinar with Music Professor Maxwell Kiesner and Jesse Crosson from the band “The Color Wild” on April 30 to delve into the development of Jesse Crosson’s musical interests, his songwriting process and the band’s intentions behind their songs.
“The Color Wild” is an Indie-pop band based out of Sacramento, California with four members. The band includes Jesse Crosson (Keys, Guitars, Vocals), Kyle Crosson (Vocals), Jaden Crosson (Drums), and Josh Hansen (Lead Guitar).
Crosson said he started his music education as a trumpet player in elementary school and in high school, he took an opening for jazz trombone with their jazz band.
“I fell in love with the way it moves and the way you experience playing,” Crosson said.
He also said he hasn’t always been “voice forward” (focusing on vocals). His interest in singing only began when he tried auditioning for a jazz group at California State University, Sacramento..
“Before the time I was 20, I really did not enjoy singing,” Jesse said. “I don’t know what it was, it never really resonated as a thing for me, and then I started this. This new kind of path of trying to jazz voice, kind of on a whim, I fell in love with doing it.”
Since then, Crosson said he realized there was an entire area of music performance he hadn’t tapped into or even understood at the time. Crosson said he’s been voice forward for the past seven years now.
Kiesner brought up the uniqueness of the band’s name “The Color Wild” and Crosson explained that the band’s name is meant to represent expressing yourself the way you want to.
“The reason it’s called ‘The Color Wild’ is because if something can be…like if a firetruck can be red or the sky can be the color blue, you can be the color wild,” Crosson said. “It’s kind of an abstract idea of doing what you want and being what you want and being able to express how you chose to do it without any limitations.”
Crosson described songwriting in the band as a collective effort where everyone contributes to its creation, but his role is creating the framework and skeleton of their songs.
“What I’ll do is take a chord progression, record it really quickly on my voice memos, and I’ll go for a drive for like a half-hour and I’ll just sing different ideas over and over and over again until I find the one that sticks,” Crosson said.
Crosson and Kiesner briefly discussed a song he wrote for his own daughter and how fatherhood has affected him and his songwriting.
“I think fatherhood has triggered a lot of positive emotions for me,” Crosson said.
Crosson and Kiesner also talked about the struggle for authenticity within the music industry with some of the band’s fun moments while making a few of their music videos and the dynamic between members in their band.

Kiesner said he’d known who Crosson was in undergraduate school, and has formally known him since graduate school.
“I always knew him to be a great trombone player, and then I got to know him as a great singer in graduate school,” Kiesner said.
He also said his favorite song by “The Color Wild” was “Closure.”
“I think it’s a really well crafted song,” Kiesner said. “I really like the melodies of it.”
Kiesner said he chose to interview “The Color Wild” because of his past with him and he thought it would be an interesting conversation to bring to the ‘In The Studio’ series.
“It’s really high quality music that they produce so I thought that it’d be an interesting conversation to have with somebody who’s going through what our students have gone through, and what students are going through now with music.”
Kiesner further said he would like to have a continued conversation with Crosson and they’ve offhandedly talked about having him speak to CRC’s rock and roll history classes as a guest lecturer.
“I would love to have a continued conversation about songwriting with him because I think that so many people are interested in singing, and it seems that there’s a lot of tricks of the trade,” Kiesner said.