Before his show with How To Dress Well in Chicago on November 20th, we talked to JSPH about his music and what it’s like to be put on by Pharrell.
Hey there! Tell us a little bit more about you and how you got started as a singer.
It’s just something I’ve always been drawn to. I was in law school and would always be writing lyrics in my casebooks or go to the fine arts building whenever I had free time. After I graduated I started dropping singles independently. I ended up hitting a few million streams on Spotify and getting different film and tv placements with the music, so I just kept focusing on it.
You’ve been compared to a lot of contemporary R&B greats like Frank Ocean and D’Angelo, while still retaining a very distinct sound. What do you think makes you and your music different from your peers?
I think when something comes from the heart, there will always be a uniqueness about it. Everyone brings their own experiences and backgrounds that make them who they are. Which is why when it comes to expression, artists could be saying similar things at the root, but it comes out all different ways.
Pharrell‘s put your music on his otherTONE playlist, and you’ve been featured in Live Nation’s Ones to Watch. Does that kind of hype ever feel overwhelming, or does it serve as a motivator for you?
Big shoutout to Pharrell and Scott Vener, and to Ones To Watch for always being ahead of the curve. It’s a dope feeling and I just try to use it as extra fuel to focus on what’s next. Obviously Pharrell’s a genius, and it’s motivating especially as an independent artist. It feels like if they appreciated it, maybe others will once they hear it. At the same time I try not to get too caught up in hype or expectations, but stay true to who I am and trust the process.
What projects are you working on for 2019?
I have about seven new tracks recorded that I’ve been pretty excited about dropping. Right now I’ve been in conversations about how to release them—singles versus an EP, independent or with a label, etc. I’m planning to tour in the spring and continue writing and recording!
Follow JSPH on Spotify and grab tickets to his show with How To Dress Well at Sleeping Village on November 20th.
Photos: Lexie Alley and Breanda Fedie