A Soulful Talk with Jonny P.
>> When Krit and I were in Memphis we had the opportunity to go to see Jonny P. perform at the famous Levitt Shell. For those unfamiliar with the venue's history, this is the place where Elvis performed for his first ticketed show! Jonny P. is a soul and r&b artist who was born and raised in the Bronx and later travelled to Nashville to pursue music. He is a hardworking and emotionally strong man. His performance was absolutely stellar! Braving the Memphis heat he played a 90 minute set to a full audience playing originals and some covers. At one point he gave his tambourine to two small girls dancing around in the front, they were delighted! The whole concert gave us so many good vibes, relaxing yet energizing. Truly an incredible experience. Check out our interview with this talented man!
What do you do to beat the southern heat?
I try to do my do early in the morning or around dusk as to avoid the heat. You can find me by the AC all other times.
Has being a musician, up on the stage and in the spotlight, helped prepare you for your acting role? If so, how?
For sure! There is something about the rush of performance and being on stage gives me countless opportunities to harness my nerves and use that energy to perform at a high level. That muscle memory played a big part in my acting prep.
Being the son of Jamaican immigrants, have you been able to visit? If you have, how has your visit influenced your music?
I go to Jamaica often. My grandmother retired there. I’ve learned to long for it more, now that I’m an adult. It means much more to me. Reggae has always informed my music since I was a child.
Your music being so emotional, what do you say to boys/men who are afraid to show and/or express their emotions?
People are wired differently and life experience can harden us all uniquely. I’m an emotional being. I'm not afraid to share the activity of my heart because I know it can help someone who is feeling the same way but can’t express it through a song. Men play such a major role in society and it’s important for us to show vulnerability as a sign of strength, not weakness.
If each of your songs on your EP, "Good To You", were to be pies, what flavored pies would they be?
All apple except, "Say I Do". It’s blueberry.
What is your favorite emotion?
Favorite soul food?
Mac and cheese
How have you seen soul music change throughout your life?
Have changes in how religions are perceived or new beliefs nowadays (e.g. Christianity more opened up to homosexuality, the acceptance of all religions, and the growth of atheism, etc.) resulted in any changes on soul music?
I don’t look at soul music the same way I used to. I think soul music is about the lyrics and vocal performance more than the style of music it’s accompanied by. It’s baring your soul. Simply.
So yes, I think the changes in the tides of acceptance around the world has begun to inform music in a new way. There are more openly acceptable trains of thought for an artist with a voice to write about and fans are following.
Can you elaborate on the process of creating a song, from writing to finishing and performing it?
My songwriting process is always changing. Sometimes I will begin with a voice memo or a dope bar written down. Other times it will be time spent in the studio creating music that still needs a message. I try to just let the music flow through me and be prepared for when the dots begin to connect.