Jesse Cook wants to Say Something with his new single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“It’s not often a song stops you in your tracks and demands your attention,” the internationally acclaimed guitarist, composer and producer shares, “but A Great Big World’s Say Something did that for me. The first time I heard it, I think I cried. The lyrics were so raw and deeply personal … We’ve all been there, having to walk away from someone you love; its emotional honesty is what makes it so universal.”
Fans of both will recognize the song’s timeless arresting and enveloping effect artfully woven within Cook’s own brand of musical magic. “I’ve never thought of myself as a singer,” he confesses. “Back when I was a guitar student, I used to practise 10 hours a day but, as for my singing, I never did any kind of training. I felt I wasn’t qualified.” Until he realized that most of his favourite singers were also without formal training. “It comes down to three chords and the truth,” he says. “So I gave myself permission to try…”
Then again, Cook succeeds at most things he tries. He holds 10 gold and platinum studio albums with combined sales exceeding two million copies, five concert DVDs and live discs, five PBS specials, multiple awards including a Juno win, 11 nominations, three Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, a Gemini Award and an Acoustic Guitar Magazine Player’s Choice Silver Award — plus thousands of concerts around the world over and above millions of views and streams across platforms. This past year he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his breakthrough album Tempest.
No stranger to the touring scene, Cook was initially set to mark the occasion with a 25-date cross-country concert special when the country shut down for COVID-19. The unforeseen delay inspired the Toronto-based artist to pivot; he rescheduled the dates for fall 2021 and released a new version of Tempest — Tempest 25 — the creation of which also served as an experiment of sorts along the way.
Cook also re-released his 1997 hit Wednesday Night at Etric’s before this spin on A Great Big World’s 2013 sensation. “As a composer, I’ve always felt honoured when other musicians would cover my music,” he considers. “The greatest compliment a musician can make to another artist is to perform their work. I hope it is in that light that A Great Big World will receive my humble interpretation.”
Watch Say Something above, hear more of Jesse Cook’s music below, and keep up with the guitarist on his website, Facebook and Instagram.