Since leaving the UK three years ago to seek fortune and fame, well a new manager anyway, JONT has discovered a philosophical and creative spark from the embers of his poetry and mystically guided enthusiasm for song writing. The happy-go-lucky and intriguing songster seemed like a coiled spring, as he waited in the Night & Day to start the first leg of his UK tour. He spoke with passion and a sense of relief about his recently released; ‘One Long Song’ mini album that is a commanding and elevating tempter;
“It was a long journey trying to find producers and a new manager, since I left my previous management company three years ago and headed to the States. One Long Song is simply a taster for the album. ”
His eyes gleamed at the thought of a full length offering and, it certainly appears from his music that the opportunity to build up emotion and display variety is made for him. What will the album be like though? Will it contain any of the six ‘One Long Song’ tracks on it?
“The album will be different. I may use a few tracks from One Long Song, though. I tend to write sporadically, I have written a lot of songs in the time since I left the U.K. It will be mixed slightly differently to One Long Song.”
Given the jovial and accommodating nature of this hat wearing wordsmith, I decided that it was time to explore his uplifting side conveyed through bracing offering; ‘You Can Be The Stars’. This number is therapeutic to listen to, parading enchanting guitars and softly commanding vocals, with an underpinning of innocence trickling through it. I was keen to learn about the song’s inception and whether or not it was a toughie to perform when he is feeling blue?
“Not really, it is never tough to sing. That song is about my niece, I wrote it for her when she was a baby. I really wanted to address a whole song to her.”
Pride was seeping into the air to mix with the smoke and you could tell it was getting to the heart of JONT. I allowed the proud tunesmith to elaborate on the topic of his current music. What about the striking philosophical powerhouse of ‘We Are The Grapefruit’, a number that is melodically careering, musically speaking, setting things up for life to be dissected with the aid of a fruity analogy?
“I wrote that while I was sitting on a rock outside a neighbour’s house, whilst staying on my manager’s sofa in L.A. I’d met a psychic and she told me that I was going to write six songs in two weeks and I didn’t even have a guitar after the first week. I was on my way to Starbucks to get a coffee and I came up with the line; I’m just a doughnut sitting in Starbucks. Then I said to myself I have to write a song with that as the opening line when I return.”
Here is the scary part; he managed to do exactly what the psychic said and he produced five more songs that week! They do say that you have to be open minded to be an artist, don’t they?
The moral do not believe all you hear and read was emphatically substantiated, as when quizzed about his musical influences the name Coldplay never appeared;
“The Cure, Pulp, The Flaming Lips and Bowie. “
With time creeping upon us like a stranger I could sense some apprehension, so I cut to the chase and enquired about the poetic nature of his work, does he have a background in poetry?
“Yeah, I used to write a lot of poetry and get it published. I also travelled around the U.S.A. interviewing poets like Ginsberg. I became sick of the fact that no-one understood what I was doing, so I concentrated on putting my poetry into songs.”
With his set looming, it was time to finish things off by allowing him to divulge what he would change about modern music;
“I would make all music fruit.”
With a sly chortle and a mischievous grin beaming on his face; JONT proceeded to produce a thoughtful and rising set that commenced with the briskly performed ‘We Are The Grapefruit’. His earnest vocals and commanding electric guitar had the mainly seated gatherers uplifted and contemplative, something that continued with ‘You Can Be The Stars’. A tender new number; ‘Sweetheart’ displayed his thoughtful poetic side for all to see. The Wilco-esque; ‘Caught Out In The Rain’ combined crispness with the mundane to highlight the range of this honest artist. JONT certainly provided enough for thought tonight.
Words: David Adair
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