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Biography: Stronger EverydayStronger Everyday
is the current release from R&B singing sensation Jon B. Now signed to Matthew Knowles' Sanctuary Urban label, Stronger Everyday is Jon B back at his very best, combining his smooth vocals with the edginess of Dirt McGirt (Ol' Dirty Bastard), Scarface, Beenie Man and the incomparable 2Pac.
New single Everytime is an instantly recognisable hit featuring Dirt McGirt and produced by super hit-maker Just Blaze, whilst the re-mix - also included on the album - has a dancehall vibe and features Beenie Man. Houston based rapper Scarface is as hard as they come and a great storyteller, which he proves once again on Through The Fire. The Jon B/Scarface combination is the perfect blend of rough and smooth and will be a huge treat for the ladies.
The absolute cool surrounding the aura of Jon B comes through perfectly on this album. On Happy Home Jon rides the beat beautifully while being complimented by the silky flow of the legendary 2Pac Shakur.
Stronger Everyday is on sale now
Some people become artists because they seek fortune and fame. They believe that somehow, performing, writing and producing will bring them accolades and acclaim they feel they've been missing. And then there are people who have no choice in the matter - artistry has chosen them. They are compelled to write, perform and record the way the rest of us are compelled to breathe. Whether they sell five million records or just five, some folks will always create.
Jon B is one of these rare individuals. He is the consummate artist. Unlike many of the poseurs who have attempted to lay claim to his niche, he is an accomplished musician, (he plays bass, drums, guitar and piano), he is a noted songwriter and producer. His is a richly textured body of music, a testament to one man's love for all things soul. His latest disc, Stronger Everyday (due out February 28th 2005, on Sanctuary Urban Records), reaffirms this fine tradition.
"Everything on this album is based on real experiences," Jon says of the album. "These are literal statements - I'm putting my life and soul into this music. An artist can have hot tracks, but if you've been through some rough lines - and we all have - then I want to feel it in your music. I believe you must go deep and really tap into your emotions before you can speak the truth about anything." Jon's own musical roots go very deep.
"The summer after I graduated from high school, I told my dad I was going to pursue music and not to go to college. He just looked at me and said, "Well, you better get a record deal!" Jon recalls with a laugh.
But the young artist's commitment was no laughing matter. That very summer he wrote, produced and recorded an incredible 40 songs and began making the rounds at major record labels, Within a few months, he'd met Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds and his wife, Tracey Edmonds, who were interested in signing Jon to their label imprint, Edmonds Record Group (formerly Yab Yum). "At first, I was simply trying to secure a deal as a songwriter and producer," Jon informs. "But Kenny was adamant about me releasing my own record."
The relationship between Jon and Edmonds Record Group immediately bore fruit. His debut album, 1995 platinum-certified 'Bonafide', was particularly notable for the song 'Someone To Love', a duet with Babyface. The single was a number 5 hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop airplay charts in the US. Looking back, Jon ventures: "That first album was really experimental. It was a fun project, and it helped me figure out what type of artist I wanted to be. But it was on my second album that I think I really hit it. I had focus, and I was growing as an artist."
Up now is Stronger Everyday, an of-the-moment take on music journey that has become Jon's life. It is cinematic, a real-life soundtrack based on one man's travels, trails and tribulations.
"I've been through a lot of emotional things that affected my music", says Jon. I think people are going to feel that on this album and that's important to me." From the recession, to the unemployment rate that effects of war and terrorism on out psyche, Jon is a social historian, documenting the ills affecting our society, while at the same time, producing music to ease that pain.
"We saw the Twin Towers come down. The world is just crazy now. We want to find a place to just relax sometimes", says Jon. "Some place where we can all form a collective and communicate on another level. You try to find that vibe where you can finally be at one with the people around you. Sometimes, a club is that place. I can communication with people, put my own struggles and perspective. This album tells the story of collective."
The narrative arc on Stronger Everyday begins with first club track 'Everytime', featuring the late Dirt McGirt (aka Old Dirty Bastard). The song is a mid-tempo outing in the 'Don't Talk' school. It's about catching someone's eye in the club - and keeping the heat sizzling all night long. Jon's delivering is subtle here, darting in and around the tingly keys that start the song off and keep time throughout. The cut uniquely showcases his buttery vocals, poured atop what could well be called "modern mood music"
After the penetrating gaze comes the introductions, the small talk, the seduction. On the track 'Patience', Jon let's his lady know that he is not in a patient mood - he's already sure she's The One, so why wait? "I ain't even heard you talk", he purrs. "And I already know what you sound like when you moan."
This smooth sailing gives way, however, to the choppy waters of 'Through The Fire', feat Scarface, on which Jon shares his feelings in a way most men seldom have the courage to do.
Perhaps the albums emotional centrepiece, the song is equal part gospel, hip-hop and blues. These accents rise and blend in a haunting producing framework as the singer bares the struggles of soul. "'Through The Fire' recalls a very dark period in my life", Jon confides. "It's about facing my fears. A few years ago, I lost my entire recording studio in a fire, which was devastating. Then I went through a divorce, which was horribly painful. This song is about keeping my head up when it feels like I can't make it. It's based on piano. I sat down to listen to some old records, and the first one was 'Precious Memories', with Aretha Franklin singing the words, 'In the stillness'. It was a perfect sample for 'Through The Fire'. It sent a chill up our spines."
'Part 2' is the next cut that had to be on this album. It features Tupac and the song exactly reflects the title. This is part 2 of the Tupace/Jon B collaboration and friendship. Jon teamed up with yet another star in the re-mix of 'Everytime' featuring reggae artist/producer Beenie Man. A classic dancehall mix that makes you shake your groove thang.
With echoes of the classic lending distinct to today's most cutting-edge sounds, Stronger Everyday appeals to both old-schools soul fanatics and the '106 & Park' crowd. It's an album for kids feeling the first blush of love and for adults in relationships burnished by time. These are songs written for lovers by someone who loves passionately, songs written by a man for men - and the women who love them. From the first song to the last, Stronger Everyday presents a life that will feel very familiar, the themes and the stories are universal and humanistic. "There are some things that we all go through. I feel pain. I know I am not the only one. This album is my way of connecting with those have been where I have."
"Some people may be surprised to hear I don't think of myself as a singer first and foremost", Jon says of the artist he presents on Stronger Everyday "The key to this album is more the sounds and texture we've created. What I want people to hear even more than the vocals is that sonic chemistry. There's something there that's hard to describe - a feeling, a vibe - that is the essence of this album. I'm trying to bring the good energy. In that sense, this is the most mature album I've ever done. I'm really proud of it, and I can't wait to hear how people connect with it."
|Pleasures U Like||2001|
|Greatest Hits...Are U Still Down?||2002|
|Someone to Love|
|Isn't it Scary||1996|
|Are U Still Down?||1998|
|They Don't Know||1998|
|Now I'm With You||2001|
|Everytime ft.Dirt Mcgirt||2004|
|What I like About You||2005|
|Light it Up||1999|