Jesse McCartney Drops 'Most Vulnerable' New Music, Talks Wedding Planning with Fiancée
"It’s very organic and romantic and also very reflective," he says of the new music he describes as an "in-depth interview"
Jesse McCartney is back with a new, vulnerable era of music.
On Friday, the “Beautiful Soul” icon made his return with romantic and lively single “Yours” — and PEOPLE got to talk to him about his new music and planning his wedding with fiancée Katie Peterson during social distancing due to the coronavirus outbreak.
After dropping two singles in 2018 and going on tour soon after, McCartney says he spent 2019 writing and creating reflective new music.
“I feel like the song represents a lot of what the rest of the project is going to sound like,” he tells PEOPLE about “Yours.” “It’s very organic and romantic and also very reflective. It’s about my life and what it’s been like for me as a child growing up in the industry, and now being an adult and how that affected me both in positive and negative ways.”
As a 32-year-old, McCartney says he’s now more than ever able to “let my guard down” and talk about things he wouldn’t mention before.
“Yeah, I’ve been an album flop away from being done,” he sings on the track. “There’s another side of me, no one ever gets to see. I’ve been a lot of different things and different people, but my favorite thing is being yours.”
The reason for his openness and vulnerability? Growing up, being “a lot more settled” and having Peterson by his side.
“I think when that component gets filled in in your life, it really allows you to sort of relax a little bit,” he says of getting older. “And for me, the impact that had was I was able to write. I became a better songwriter because of it. I’m more relaxed, less stressed out. I really just focused on writing great songs. A lot of that had to do with this new chapter.”
As McCartney releases new tracks, he’s also preparing for another large milestone: walking down the aisle with his partner of almost eight years. Though social distancing and the coronavirus outbreak has made things harder to plan, the couple is set with a beautiful venue that’ll be available in Spring 2021.
“It would be nice to be able to go do things, go to bakeries and go to restaurants and try foods,” he says with a laugh. “I’m sure she wants to try on a dress. At the moment, we’re at a standstill because the whole world is shut down.”
Also because of the coronavirus, McCartney had to cancel a brief tour in Australia alongside The Pussycat Dolls and some college shows in the U.S.
“It’s not a good time to be in an industry where your livelihood is based on people congregating,” he says.
However, McCartney and Peterson have used the time hunkered down in their Los Angeles home to create silly and fun content on their social media. The couple has been releasing skits titled “The Quarantined Couple” and have also gone on Instagram Live to chat with fans and play games.
“We’re in a canyon where you can sort of walk around safely and get some fresh air so we try to do that every day,” he adds. “Looking at nature, taking it all in, and internalizing what’s going on.”
Through his years in the limelight, McCartney adds that the one thing that has continued to motivate him through thick and thin have been his fans.
“They were almost incessant about me making new music,” he says. “It’s just a wonderful feeling to know that people applaud you and enjoy what you do. And it validates the reason I started in this industry to begin with. So I’m very, very grateful. A lot of this album actually shows some of that gratitude to the fans. We’re all growing up.”
As for his album, which is set to release later this spring, McCartney adds that his soon-to-be bride is the “muse I can put all of my romantic lyrics behind.”
“It’s just my world and my life, both the past, the present and the future from my lens,” he explains. “It’s the most personal record I’ve ever written. The most vulnerable.”
“Yours” is out now.