Jesse O’Brien: ‘Being the Best Dad I Can Be’

Chapter 10 Hamilton Christmas Vignettes: The Musician and Superstar Dad

We know you as Hamilton’s Father of the Year, a passionate maker of music and a Twitter aficionado. How would you best describe what you do?

Well, I’ll clarify firstly that I’m not the Father of the Year… But I am extremely passionate about being a Dad. I grew up without a dad and determined a long time ago that I would be the best dad I could be! it just so happens that being a dad is not limited to just my biological children but also the foster children we take in. Any man can father a child, but it takes a Dad to raise one.

Music – Yeah, I make it. And I’m super passionate about making it. Music is extremely important in my life and got me through some pretty rough patches as a young teen.

Here’s a link to my brand new release if anyone’s interested:

Twitter afficionado? I wouldn’t say that… But I would say ‘Social media addict’! Haha. I LOVE the connecting that is made possible through Twitter & Facebook and the likes

So what do I do? I live life LOUD, like full volume, finger in your ears loud.
Family, music, people, connection… That’s me!

What is your Hamilton citizenship status?

I was born and raised in Dunedin, an incredible city with awesome people.
At age 26 my, then little, family – my wife, oldest son & I – shifted to ‘Te Tron’ for work. This happened after we had visited while I was doing music for a conference in Hamilton.

We have been here for 10 years now and truly call Hamilton home. We have grown to love the city, it’s people and it’s uniqueness more every day. We are Waikato proud! #ChiefsMania #LoveTheTron

Where do you currently call home?

Te Tron, Hamiltron – City of the Future, Kirikiriroa… HAMILTON!!!

Will you be in Hamilton for Christmas?

No, my family and I will be in Tairua for Christmas this year. Why? Because my kids LOVE to see their grandparents at Christmas… And they’ve got a beach!!
I will be here for New Years though! Parrrrrtae!

In 10 years’ time, you will look on 2013 as the year that you…

Discovered ‘Love the Tron’!
Got me my first teenager (my oldest son turned 13!)
Found the balance – Family, passion, work, community.

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Haha… Now that would be telling!
It probably depends who you ask. I am never too far from controversy thanks to my strong opinions and lack of filters, but on a whole I’m a lover not a fighter.
There is always mischief just waiting under the surface though… probably not naughty, but definitely cheeky!

What are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?

Honestly? I just want people to be happy and feel they belong and are loved this Christmas.
I guess that starts with my inner circle, but that hope goes far beyond that.

As a part of my job this year we have given some deserving families from our school bags of presents because we have known how hard their year has been and the challenges they’ve faced. The surprise & pure gratefulness on the faces of those families… covers it all!

That has already made my Christmas!

Hamilton’s best-kept Christmas secret is…

Love the Tron… I even looked into Love the Tron’s eyes once, possibly twice and still didn’t know it! But I like the mystery. I think it shows a great and genuine desire for the focus to really be Hamilton! (eds -yes we totally made eye contact that one time!)

Also, Foundation Bar at Te Awa The Base. I have played music there every Friday this year and it still amazes me how many people don’t know about the place! Great food, great (and local) drinks, average entertainment (haha – that’s me I’m talking about!), awesome vibe!


We love Jesse for his passion for the Tron and love for the #HamiltonMafia. Follow Jesse on Twitter @DarkroomJesse or do like us and seek him out in person on Friday nights at Foundation Bar at Te Awa! For more of his music, head over to the Darkroom Project, and read all about his passion for being a dad on the Waikato Times.

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