Singer/songwriter Jesse Lynn Madera Releases “¡Hola Papi!” Music Video Directed by Eduardo Sánchez and Featuring Actors Hemky Madera and Ryan O’Nan

Jesse Lynn Madera has released a music video for her new song, “¡Hola Papi!,” directed by Eduardo Sánchez (The Blair Witch Project, American Horror Story, Queen of the South) and produced by Nell Teare (Always Remember Me, Bolivar). The video is set in Los Angeles and features Jesse, her husband, actor Hemky Madera (Queen of the South, Weeds), and actor/producer Ryan O’Nan (Queen of the South, Fargo, WuTang: An American Saga). It’s a delightful mini-thriller about overzealous attraction and fandom.


Q: What was your songwriting process for ¡Hola Papi!?

I wrote it on an upright piano I bought from Gavin Degraw’s former club, The National Underground, where I used to have a residency. It was inspired by the television show Weeds. My husband was on that show for several seasons as the character Ignacio. I started by listening to the theme song, “Little Boxes,” so the song was born from that cutesy but wry place. The humor on the show was kind of dark, but the colors of the show were bright and cheery. In my song, the colors of the music are cheery while the words are unsettling.

Q: Have you always sung and played piano or was one more dominant for you at the beginning?

I really learned how to play in order to accompany myself singing, and to write songs. Singing and playing always went hand in hand. I’ve had people want to hire me as a pianist to play at a party or cocktail hour or something, and I’ve never accepted the offer. There are much better players than me out there! And I can’t promise I won’t start singing along. Very recently I’ve started singing while other people play, and I do enjoy that very much.

Q: When did you begin writing songs?

I started making up songs when I was very little, like 2 or 3. Pretty much since I could talk. My family always thought I’d write songs. I have a cassette tape somewhere of me singing a song I wrote for my childhood hero, Debbie Gibson. The first song that was any good came when I was 15, and it was called “Too Long” and it really was too long. It was like 6 minutes and thirty seconds about my long-distance boyfriend Anthony in Toms River, NJ.

Q: What inspired the song ¡Hola Papi! and music video?

The television show Weeds was the inspiration for the song. The video wound up being a commentary on severe fandom, so it was perfect to have Hemky and Ryan O’Nan in it. People were crazy about their characters on Queen of the South.

Q: What was it like having your husband (and professional actor) Hemky Madera perform the bridge and star in the music video with you?

He’s the best guy in the world to work with. I already knew we worked well together in everyday life, so seeing him in a professional light was really just an extension of that. Plus, we were surrounded by people we’re comfortable with, so it really felt pretty calm and great. He delivers a wonderful performance, and his presence on set and the studio is stable and reassuring.

Q: How did director Eduardo Sánchez and producer Nell Teare get involved with the music video and what was it like working with them?

We know Ed from his directorial work on “Queen of the South.” I really liked him when I met him, and thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask him if he’d be interested in doing this. He was my number one choice because of his background in ‘scary’ and the absolute magic he made with The Blair Witch Project. Who has done indie better? I can’t think of anyone. When he said yes to this, I was over the moon.

My best friend Nell is a wonderful director too, and directed a previous video for me called “Holy Water.” I just had to have her on this, so I asked her to produce, and she also wound up writing the script, which came out great! I’ve known this woman since 7th grade gym class, and it’s a delight to get to keep creating stuff with her.

Q: Any plans for 2022 you can share?

I have a residency at Rockwood Music Hall, March thru June, and a north-east tour with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Zombies from April 16 thru May 1. At the end of January 2022, I’ll be playing at the Mile-0 Festival in Key West, FL. Dates for all of these will be on my website! I’m also working on my sophomore album with Grammy award winning producer Matt Rollings. I’ll be splitting time between LA, Nashville, and NYC this next year, enjoying my family and making more lovely memories.


Q: The music video and your contribution to the bridge are incredible. What was it like working on a music project and acting with Jesse?

It was incredible working with our friends and with Jesse on this project. It was amazing. Writing the bridge? It was fun. I was just pretty much telling the story of what happened to me in my youth as a young boy. I would work with Jesse again in a heartbeat. All I have to do now is learn how to sing!

Q: Do you have any favorite moments in the music video?

My favorite moments of shooting the video were just working with Jesse. It was an amazing experience. And I think seeing our boys seeing their mom creating this magic. It was a beautiful thing. I watched them just looking at the screen and the monitor and seeing their mommy killing it. It was a beautiful moment that I’ll never forget.

Q: I won’t spoil it, but Actor Ryan O’Nan makes a funny appearance. What was it like having him on board?

It was great working with Ryan again. He is a funny, giving individual. He and I became really good friends, coworkers through the years. He’s just a beautiful person. He has a big heart and I’m very grateful. It was just great working with him. He is an awesome guy.

Q: Can you share anything else about starring in the music video and working with Jesse, Ryan, Eduardo, and Nell?

Working with Jesse is just amazing. And not just that I’m working with my best friend, the love of my life, but I’m always blown away by her talent. She is the most talented person that I’ve ever met. And it’s just great working with Eduardo again. We’ve been working together for almost five years now, so it’s just fun. He is a magician at what he does.

Nell, she’s an amazing director as well as a producer. She is awesome and a great talent. Jesse and she have been friends since they were young girls. I met Nell before I met Jesse, and she introduced us. So she is also family and the godmother of my kids.

Q: Any plans for 2022 you can share?

Right now, I am filming a show for Netflix that will air at some point next year. I cannot say much about it, but just know that it’s a great show with an amazing cast and just to be ready for it.

¡Hola Papi! video link —

Stream ¡Hola Papi! here




Award-winning journalist, author of 30 books including James Dean Died Here, Roadside Baseball; lover of music, travel, history, etc.

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Chris Epting

Chris Epting

Award-winning journalist, author of 30 books including James Dean Died Here, Roadside Baseball; lover of music, travel, history, etc.

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