Jesse Paul Warren
A Designer*
Jesse Paul Warren
a designer*
My first career path, creating music.
Designer + Songwriter + Producer
2012 - 2016

Spektrem was the name I produced music under as my first career. It began in 2012 at the University of Maryland, when my first song, In a Dream became a surprise hit. It ultimately led me to Los Angeles, where it ended in 2016 with the last song I made, Don't Look Down.

The most significant record from this period is Shine, which found a home in the world of NoCopyrightSounds and has amassed over a hundred million plays as of today.

This period was mostly about sitting in my studio and writing songs, using my computer as the primary instrument. My life revolved around whatever song I was working on at the moment. I worked on some of them for almost two years.

What kept me going was the process of watching an idea come to life. It's like a giant puzzle. Finding the right melody, the right drum sound, the right transition, and figuring out how to blend it all together is hard, and can take a lot of time. But it gives you a great buzz when you figure it out, especially when you play it for someone and you can tell from their body language that the song really works.

This has shaped my understanding of design to this day.

In 2016, I left the music world behind and started working in politics. But it doesn't really feel like I left anything behind. Because the process of bringing a song to life feels exactly the same to me as bringing an application, a book, or an organization to life.


When I got to college, electronic music was the craze. I hated it. I grew up listening to Metallica, The Beatles, Blink 182, and Nirvana.

But as I began to open up to it, I realized the same software I had grown up using to record my band could be used to make the electronic music all my friends were dancing to. The idea of having a new musical outlet was interesting to me.


It took some time to adapt what I knew about recording my high school band to making electronic music. But I eventually figured it out.

The first song I released was “In a Dream”. I worked on it for about 9 months. It was, surprisingly, very well received. It jumped to number 1 for three weeks on a popular music ranking site at the time, called FindNewJams — sort of like a Reddit for new music. This led to a Miami-based team signing on as my managers.

The whole experience gave me the confidence to keep making more songs.


This musical chapter of my life was riddled with a problem: I loved sitting in my room for months, even years, making music. But I hated DJing.

In the electronic music world, DJing was a must. A career was financially built on playing at clubs and festivals. So throughout this four years, there was a rotating cast of DJ's who joined me as part of Spektrem. I would make the music, they would handle the DJing.

None of them ever worked out, and I finally gave DJing a go myself. But it never really clicked.

This is a picture of me with one of the DJs who joined for a brief period, on the right. In the middle was one of my managers. This was after a show in Clemson, South Carolina.


Sitting in front of the tools I used to make music feels the same as creating anything else that I create today. Arranging a book feels like arranging a song. Designing in Figma feels like producing in Logic. (Actually, Figma is 1,000% more intuitive than Logic, but that's another story...)

So even though I stopped making music in 2016, I've always felt like the creative energy I channeled through music has continued to have an outlet.

All Spektrem Recordings
Audio Polaroids
Don't Look Down
Miles Above You
Enter The Spektrem
All Too Soon
In a Dream
2003 - 2010