A soulful and honest debut EP
Last year, Jon Paul (JP) decided to move away from his roots as an R&B singer to establish himself as a singer/songwriter. A year on, he has released his debut EP. He draws on his personal experiences for inspiration, making this EP both raw and reflective.
‘Can’t Stop Loving You’ is a powerful opening track “inspired by a family member going through a divorce”. JP’s vocals are gentle and controlled yet full of emotion which perfectly conveys the emotional struggle. The theme of heartbreak and loss continues on ‘Off My Mind’. It centres on the despair following a break-up when even hearing a lover’s name causes pain, “they might mention you today and I can’t face it”. The piano backing is beautiful and compliments JP’s passionate singing as he laments , “On my own, I don’t wanna be all alone”.
“All the songs are personal but the lyrics are probably the most honest I have ever been”
JP opens up about moving away from R&B most explicitly in ‘Been & Gone’ and ‘Stronger’, “childhood dreams been swallowed by reality”. He expresses his frustration at the music industry’s focus on producing formulaic songs just because they will sell well, “sincerity’s been and gone”. He also describes the obstacles he faced whilst trying to find his feet in a new genre that would allow him to create music he was proud of and directs his lyrics at everyone who ever doubted him, “you thought that I would give up, you thought that I would give in”
“Too much music these days has no soul, no heart, no honesty”
‘Cycle’ combines reflective guitar riffs and soulful vocals to create an intimate track. Again, it is about moving away from R&B, however, it also holds a powerful message for his entire audience – to be brave enough to make a change when you see something wrong, “you can finish it and take a stand”.
“If my songs are successful, fantastic. If they flop, well as long as I am proud of the material then nothing matters”
By moving away from an industry and genre he felt constricted by, JP is breaking the cycle of “plastic pop”. Now he is driven to create honest music rather than music that will generate the most profit. His debut EP, while still a little rough around the edges, is confident and emotive. It shows off his distinctive voice and catchy melodies and confirms that his decision to leave R&B was the right one.
Follow the links below to discover JP’s music and download his debut EP:
By Eveline Vouillemin – Up&Coming