Tobias Jesso Jr. Describes What It Was Like Writing Songs With Adele

Adele’s ubiquitous, record-smashing behemoth of an album, 25, hit stores yesterday. One of the tracks on said ubiquitous, record-smashing behemoth of an album is “When We Were Young,” which Adele co-wrote with the young singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr., who had a pretty big year himself (relatively speaking). Now, Jesso has taken to Facebook to reflect on the experience, writing a lengthy, admiring account of meeting and working with the superstar. Read his post below.

a few months back I had the opportunity to not only meet, but to work with my favorite singer/songwriter since I first heard her music in 2009. I’ve been saying it since my very first interview with pitchfork ( and had no idea I would ever get to meet her or what I would do/say if I ever did. Her music changed my life and as a songwriter she was an inspiration and showed just what a song could go on to do if it came from the right place (although lets be honest, her voice helps a bit :P). When I got the call that I would be working with her, my heart stopped. I spent four years in Los Angeles trying to write songs for anybody I could get to sing them, and eventually, as some of you know, I had to start singing them myself just to get them on a record. I was nervous as shit as anybody would be with someone like Adele walking in the room and being my first professional collaboration I would ever have. She was so down to earth and so very sweet, even after realizing what she probably realizes every day of her life, that the person sitting across from her is having trouble registering what is really happening in that moment. That was me, just a gigantic Adele fan meeting her for the first time. She made me instantly comfortable, we just sat in the garden and shot the shit. After that we spent two days writing songs and trading jokes. There was no studio, just a piano and us, and we wrote a lot. I mean a lot lot. I learned a lot from her, most of all just how much she truly deserves to be exactly where she is, and why all of her songs mean so much to the people who hear them. I can tell from the bottom of my heart she means what she says and the words she puts into her music. Every lyric and every line comes from a place that she feels. She does not settle. For a songwriter it was probably the best experience I could have possibly had. One of the songs, When We Were Young, made her record, and a second one we did made it onto her bonus track album from Target (get it, it’s amazing).

I’m writing this because my very first show was a year ago. Before that, I had nothing, no hopes of getting to write for anybody, no big dreams I thought would ever come true. Just a 28 year old in his parents basement learning the piano for the very first time.

But a dream did come true, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

If it could happen to me, it can happen to you.

I love you Adele. sorry for any spelling errors i’m writing from a studio in NY, ha (She’s on SNL tonight!)