Jesse Paul is an absolute powerhouse, currently holding down his pro snowboarder status as well as recently taking a position as the Marketing and Action Sports Manager at SoCal’s Mountain High. Don’t fret, his desk jockey hustle isn’t restraining him from keeping his skills sharp on a snowboard. On a recent phone call, we spoke with Jesse to examine his music taste, learn a few of his favorite podcasts, and receive a custom-curated playlist. All this and more in Jesse’s latest On Rotation interview below.

What would you say is some of your favorite music?
You know, I’ve never really had a particular genre, but lately, I lean towards hip hop and pop. Not going to lie, I listen to some hit songs. But mostly, I’d say, if I were to pick a genre, most of the songs I listen to would be hip hop, or at least hip hop influenced. Like right now, there’s a couple of reggae artists that are very hip hop influenced that I’m digging. Also, in the last two years, I’ve started liking and listening to country.

How do you find your music these days?
I’ve never really found myself being a music connoisseur per se. I listen to songs that kind of find me, whether, through the radio, recommendation by somebody, or a lot of the hip hop that I listen to is straight off the rap caviar playlist on Spotify. I don’t seek out music too much. But I guess another thing about my music choice and selection is I pretty much don’t listen to any old music. I like new music.

So you’re more in tune with what’s currently playing today?
I’m not going to lie. This probably doesn’t resonate with most of the audience, and I wouldn’t consider myself in, like, a ‘cool’ category as far as music [taste]. I listen to most current music, whether it’s contemporary country, hip hop, and pop. I like it when albums are fresh and new. If I like an album, I’ll probably listen to it a lot. Then a year or two later, I may never listen to it again.

So you kind of you just let it run its course.
Yeah, I don’t really save music. I don’t think that I listen to any music that I was listening to a year ago. Honestly, I don’t think I’m necessarily the greatest person for this type of interview, but it’s a different perspective, I guess. (laughs)

Jesse Paul On Rotation
Photo Credit: Wellhausen

No way, man, everyone has their tastes and styles. Everybody listens to something different. I haven’t had the same interview or playlist twice from somebody. With all that said, does music plays a significant role in your, day to day life? Do you have a morning routine that music plays into?
The only thing that is part of my routine that involves music is this playlist on Spotify called Wake Up Gently. It’s just soft, classical piano type stuff. Sometimes in the morning, I’ll have that on in the background, but usually, in the mornings, I’ll listen to podcasts. I’m working at Mountain High right now, and I have a 45-minute commute Monday through Friday. So, I usually listen to podcasts in the morning, but if I don’t feel like cluttering my brain any more than it already is, I’ll throw on some music.

What type of podcast topics are you diving into?
I’m attracted to anything that has to do with health and nutrition. In general, kind of like human optimization stuff. Everything from diet, exercise, lifestyle, and spirituality. I listen to people like Tim Ferriss, who wrote Four Hour Workweek. He has one of the most famous podcasts. I listen to Joe Rogan when I feel like listening to intellectuals, not so much the comedians and other people like that he adds on. I listen to This American Life sometimes, and Ben Greenfield is another podcast that I follow. He’s like a biohacker, slash, healthy living, connoisseur kind of thing. I also listen to Radiolab. The news that I get is pretty much all from Up First, which is like a 15 minute NPR thing that they put out every day. Sam Harris is also a big one, which he has a podcast called Making sense. He’s a neuroscientist and long term meditator. He’s a very intellectual person who likes to have conversations about everything from spirituality, philosophy, and neuroscience.

Jesse Paul On Rotation
Photo Credit: Wellhausen

It sounds like you got an in-depth list of podcast topics. I remember when we filmed an Aimless day with you at your house in Los Angeles, and at that time, you took us through your morning routine that involved making a smoothie, stretching, and then you went outside and practiced some meditation. Do you have anything specific that you were listening to to help guide you through meditation?
I have a meditation app from Sam Harris, the guy who has the Making Sense podcast. He has a meditation app called the Waking Up, and it’s awesome. You can either choose 10 or 20 minute guided meditations. He also has basically a podcast feed on there where he talks to spiritual leaders and meditators about reality and how meditation fits in there. So yeah, he has a meditation app, and every morning it’s a different daily meditation.

As far as stretching and things like that, I might have some of that piano music, or listen to Tibetan bowls. Those are extremely relaxing. That’s when, if I want to go and do a meditation, and I don’t want somebody guiding and talking me through it. Instead, I’ll listen to the Tibetan bowl. That stuff is super nice to meditate on.

So you mentioned, you listen to a podcast for making the drive to work up to Mount High. What about if you were going on a road trip with all the homies in a car? Who is usually playing the music?
To be completely honest, I have music anxiety or like, playlist anxiety. I usually, at all cost, will let somebody else pick what’s on the speakers.

Are you the type to ride with headphones on?
Usually no. It’s probably like 90% of the time I don’t have headphones on, especially if I’m filming. If I’m just cruising and just trying to have a good time or don’t feel like trying hard, I’ll put music on. Most of the time when I ride, I’m trying difficult things, and that’s what I love about snowboarding. I think that’s why I am where I’m at because I’m always trying difficult things. I like to be tuned in and focus. I like hearing the sounds of my snowboard on the snow and on the railing.

Is that the same for when you’re competing in streetstyle at Dew Tour?
For sure, I like to be fully tuned into the atmosphere. I definitely don’t like music when I’m competing.

Any snowboard videos that influenced what you listen to?
Yeah, growing up, that’s probably most of the music my friends, and I listen to was from snowboard videos.

Any video names or parts that you can remember you enjoyed because of the song used?
Joe Sexton in Cheers. That song and part were really cool. Also, I like Tanner Pendleton. I think he’s got good taste.

Something else that is interesting, and it kind of goes along with just how I deal with music, but I have never chosen the song for any of my parts ever.

That was going to be my next and final question. So explain that a bit about why you don’t like picking your song?
I’ve never heard a song that I want to use for my part because I think my part is going to be seen from an outside perspective from everybody in the world other than me. Whoever is dealing with my footage sees my riding and the aesthetic quality of the shots that I have, and I believe that they should choose a song that represents what is being displayed. If I chose a song for my riding, I’m trying to put a feeling or make my riding something that it isn’t. I focus on the riding and everyone that has edited my parts, I’ve had them pick the song, and they always pick ones that I’m hyped on. They’ll send me a couple to kind of pick from, and we’ll go back and forth and dial one in, but that’s my perspective. I’m not a music enthusiast. If I were to choose a song for my part, it would give me so much anxiety. Secondly, I would probably pick a song that nobody thinks is that original or interesting. Every song that a filmer has picked for me is a song I usually have never heard before, and I think it is cool.

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