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Vancouver Island tunesmith Jesse Roper cracks TV soundtrack barrier — twice

Popuar bluesman’s songs heard on Netflix’s Riverdale and The Equalizer on CBS
Jesse Roper of Metchosin performs with his band at the All Ways Home music festival in Langford at Starlight Stadium in September. Live performances have been somewhat rare for Roper lately, but he had excerpts from two of his songs play on Netflix and CBS recently. (Black Press Media file photo)

While he’s not able to perform on stage as often right now, people are still hearing Jesse Roper’s music.

The Metchosin-based singer/songwriter made a long-awaited breakthrough into TV recently, first having a clip of his song Horizons played on Netflix’s teen drama Riverdale. Shortly after, an excerpt from Brightside was heard on the CBS remake of The Equalizer starring Queen Latifah.

Roper’s manager has been working on getting his songs into TV shows for years. It was a long process, but he eventually signed a deal with Zinc Music, a company in the U.S. that focuses on getting songs played in TV shows.

“To travel in Canada you’ve got huge mileage in between towns. So I lose money every time, like I’ve never made money on the tour,” Roper said. “So this stuff puts me on tour.”

Making inroads into TV has helped during the pandemic, Roper said, not only as a resume booster but to help financially. “A lot of the money is in this kind of stuff.”

It’s been a long wait for this breakthrough, as a number of similar deals for songs in TV shows and commercials have fallen through, he said.

“One commercial I had was going to play for a year throughout North America and I was like, “Oh my god, this is gonna change my life,” he said. “After a month, I was like, ‘Okay, no big deal. It’s probably just delayed a little bit.’ And then two months later, it’s still not out. Three months later, it’s still not out. Six months later I phone my manager and he says, ‘They just notified me and gave it to someone else.’ That kind of shit happens all the time.”

Roper says the process is out of his hands and he gets a call when a deal is finalized and tries to catch the clip. Otherwise he just focuses on producing the music. His new album, finished before the pandemic, is currently being released song by song. The latest release, “Another Day Down,” was released Oct. 21.

Getting songs on TV is a good avenue for Roper’s future, and takes away some of the financial risk of scheduling tours.

“For the little guys in the music industry, like myself, looking too far ahead is tough because it’s a big gamble and you can lose a lot of money,” he said.

Opportunities for performing shows have been scarce, but Roper said that’s making them all the sweeter.

“Maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve played, but I feel like I’m enjoying it more than I ever did,” he said. “Or more than I have in years, just not taking it for granted and just trying to squeeze all the juice out of those lemons when I’m up on stage.”

READ MORE: Metchosin musician Jesse Roper is buzzing with excitement to perform new songs live


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