Jonathan McReynolds

Newcomer Jonathan McReynolds is already being heralded as one of the most refreshing artists to emerge this year. With is neosoul stylings and transparent songwriting, not to mention production skills and artistry that widen the eyes, the Chicago native's debut, Life Music, on Tehillah Music Group/ Light Records is an absolute standout release.

GOSPELflava.com recently spent some time talking to the artist:

GOSPELflava.com: Tell us about your connection to music and singing growing up.

Byron Cage Jonathan McReynolds : I grew up in the church and my family was very musically inclined. We were the type of family to sing happy birthday in three part harmony and things of that nature. We loved music. I started on the drums and then moved on to the organ and keys. During high school I began to really get into singing. I sang in a group and got into vocal production during my college years. I continued to create music and one day a song of mine got to a radio announcer in Chicago. Soon after I got a call about going to sing it at a church and I kept getting called on to perform. That was my journey into becoming an artist. I was not really seeking after becoming a recording artist. It happened and I'm learning along the way.

GOSPELflava.com: Who do you pull inspiration from musically?

Jonathan McReynolds : Some of my musical influences include Smokie Norful, Kim Burrell, India Arie, Bob Dylan, John Mayer, and Musiq Soulchild. These are also people that inspire me from a lyrical standpoint as well.

GOSPELflava.com: In thinking about the process of putting together Life Music what stands out about the journey?

Jonathan McReynolds : A lot of the project was already completed, and there are definitely some new additions and re-recordings of some of the songs. The project is reflective of my life and the lives of those around me. I had no commercial ambitions initially, so I just wanted to write what was real to me, and about experiences that

Life Music is a 12 song project that touches the very core of your soul. Jonathan McReynolds gives you a mix of gospel, R&B, jazz and neo soul in his delivery, wrapping his vocals around his equally impressive songwriting talent...

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I believe are indicative of real life. Because my motivations for doing this were not for commercial success, no matter how tired I have felt, or if I have been unsure about something I have continued to push forward. It has been about sharing my truths and hoping that it would resonate with someone.

GOSPELflava.com: What are some favorites for you on Life Music?

Jonathan McReynolds : "No Gray", "Loving Me", "Coming Out" is a personal favorite, and "I Love You".

GOSPELflava.com: What do you want listeners to understand about what you're bringing to the table as an artist?

Jonathan McReynolds : I want them to feel like they can relate to what I'm saying. I do not want them to feel like I'm speaking from an elevated position. For me it's all about navigating life well by following the path God has for me, and I want that to be the takeaway. In terms of my sound, I would describe it as Folk, Pop, R&B, Neo-Soul, and of course Gospel. Folks are getting a great mixture of sounds on this project. I'm a different kind of dude. I like to experiment stylistically and I also listen to a lot of CCM. Songs like "Glory Up" displays my desire to experiment with the sounds of different genres.

GOSPELflava.com: Tell us something about you that we might be surprised to know.

Jonathan McReynolds : I'm a big nerd and I wanted to become a meteorologist and look at where I am now.

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interview by Nakiyah Hayling

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