Jesse Ruben brings stories & songs to Mac’s

In a span of roughly 11 years, he’s written over 500 original songs. No, it’s not Elton John, a Beatle, or Bob Dylan. This musician is just 26 years old, and, wait for it…unsigned.

That’s right, singer-songwriter Jesse Ruben hails from Philly and has been singing and writing songs for nearly half his life. Growing up in a household and family lineage filled with music, Ruben began with piano and guitar lessons. “I’m a 4th generation musician,” said Ruben.

Although he has no deal with a major record label, that’s not to say this artist is lacking in the talent area by any means. “I’m doing everything myself, but I am starting to build a team,” said Ruben of being an independent artist.

One of his songs entitled, “Stupid American Guy” might lead you to think otherwise, but Ruben is no dumbie. In fact, he attended the selective Berklee College of Music in Boston and has a degree in songwriting.

 “I sing folk pop music…with a focus on lyrics,” said Ruben. While most of the 500-some songs he’s written have all been his own originals, he must admit he can’t take credit for all; there are plenty of friends to thank.

Thanks to his involvement with the “I Can” initiative, both his friends list and fan base are growing these days. With nearly 40,000 views on YouTube, his “We Can” video is soon to be viral, if it gets in the hands of Ellen DeGeneres, like he’s hoping.

Shortly after writing the motivational song, Ruben was contacted by a teacher in Canada telling him the impact his song had in her classroom. The project was called the “I Can” initiative, and it focuses on motivating students to have big dreams, and inspire them to make an impact in their community.

“I flew out all the way to the West Coast of Canada…to meet with the teachers and kids,” said Ruben. “It was amazing.”

The music video chronicles his visit to the classroom, and Ruben’s raw performance singing “We Can” with backing vocals from the entire elementary school student body. Talk about a pretty sweet show and tell.

 “What you didn’t see…at the end, it was like 500 kids and they knew every word. And that’s a wordy song. They nailed it, said Ruben.

Over 1,000 Fans, friends and funny people are uniting together, writing letters, facebook messages, and rallying to try and get Jesse Ruben to perform the song on the Ellen Show. In the meantime, he’s traveling to schools across the US and Canada, hoping to motivate and in return, be inspired by the communities along the way.

Check out the Jesse Ruben-We Can-OFFICIAL music video on YouTube below.

The day before his fall tour kicked off, Jesse spoke with me about his favorite artists, life on tour, and a few embarrassing moments.

Name three things you need on the road.

Jesse: My ipod, a Frisbee and a good book.

Favorite Current Song:

Sara Bareilles new single, its got a great message.

Most Embarrasing on-stage moment:

My first show ever. I forgot the words, my voice cracked, and I was playing at this small club, and their equipment wasn’t that good. The microphone stand kept sliding down away from my face…and by the end I was all hunched over.

If you could tour with anyone, who would you go on tour with?

Matt Nathanson, Ben Folds, Jackson Browne, Coldplay, Paul Simon.

Be sure to check out Jesse Ruben’s show at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, MI this Friday, Sept. 20th. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are only $10. For more information, visit or