November 4, 1979 |
Granby, Connecticut, U.S.
|Occupation||Television personality, musician, filmmaker|
Jesse Camp (born November 4, 1979) was the winner of the first Wanna Be a VJ contest on MTV. He beat out Dave Holmes for a VJ job on the popular music video show Total Request Live (TRL), and also hosted the short-lived Lunch with Jesse, which was canceled in 2002. Camp also hosted Mtv's program "Rocks Off" which allowed Camp to present modern rock videos while interviewing guests such as Korn, Joey Ramone, Peter Steele, Mötley Crue, Silverchair, Garbage as well as countless others. Although his wild and outrageous personality could be quite polarizing, his charisma and charm were undeniable. Camp quickly became a favorite on the channel, and musicians across the Mtv landscape from Marilyn Manson to Method Man quickly became fans of the six foot five rocker.
Camp was born in Granby, Connecticut where he attended public school through the eighth grade. Camp received a scholarship from and attended high school Loomis Chaffee, a prestigious New England boarding school, graduating in 1997.
Camp entered MTV's first Wanna Be a VJ contest in 1998 beating out over 5,000 auditioners. Projecting the image of a "street kid", controversy arose when it was discovered that he had been raised and attended private school in Connecticut. Nonetheless, Camp beat fellow contestant Dave Holmes for a VJ job on the popular music video show Total Request Live, known as TRL. The Wanna Be A VJ contest winner was originally scheduled to be on air for only two weeks but Camp proved to be so popular with viewers that he stayed on Mtv for a full year and a half.
Following his departure from TRL, Camp parlayed his MTV fame into a rock career under the name Jesse & the 8th Street Kidz, releasing his debut on the Hollywood Records label. The album featured many guest stars such as Stevie Nicks, Rick Nielsen, Steve Hunter and Alex Kane and was produced by Rob Cavallo and Julian Raymond. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone gave the album a glowing review. Although the album was not a commercial success upon its' original release, it has since gained a tremendous cult following and is now regarded as an ahead of its' time classic helping to open the doors for the likes of Avril Lavinge and The Strokes.
Camp appeared in an impromptu cameo on the documentary titled Power & Control LSD in The Sixties, by Aron Ranen.
In 2008, Camp was "captured" on camera at the final MTV TRL party purchasing two "eight balls" by TMZ camera men/women. During the purchase, Camp stated he would sell both kidneys and a leg for two eight balls of cocaine. Although not everybody got the joke, Camp was merely having fun with the TMZ cameras and poking fun at his notorious reputation. Camp has been sober for many years now and continues to help others struggling with addiction through his work with Musicares. Camp has also made several short films with his sister and frequent collaborator, photographer Marisha Camp. A new Jesse Camp record is rumored to be in the works with a new tour set to kick off in 2015.