You’ve heard him on Rudimental’s track Feel the Love (and if you haven’t here’s a link), but John Newman is making it big. Call it soul, r&b, funk, whatever you want, but Newman’s music is unbelievably catchy and charismatic, and although he’s only released a handful of singles (his debut album is set to release October 14!), his climb to fame is attracting attention throughout the UK and seeping its way into America.
John Newman grew up in Yorkshire with a mother obsessed with Motown and Northern Soul music, whose influence is notably heard in his upcoming album. He attended College of Music in Leeds, where his career really began to take off–not only musically but lyrically as well. His time in college was, in his words, “both brilliant and horrible,” and his songs clearly reflect some intense times of his over the past few years from suffering heartbreak to losing two close friends in a car accident to having a brain tumor removed. Newman is something different in today’s batch of rising artists–his down to earth character and hard work ethic, believe it or not, is heard in his music.
It seems many of the rising artists today fit into the chillwave, electropop genre, and although these are some of my favourite types of music, it is incredibly refreshing to hear a song without the synthesizer. John Newman delivers. His singles so far usually feature some type of orchestra, a wonderful use of brass instruments and the drum set, and of course his ever distinctive soulful Yorkshire voice. His voice is hard-hitting, velvety, powerfully passionate, and sounds even better in a live performance than in recordings. Newman has struck the perfect balance between rich vocals and rich music which together, instead of overpowering the other, augment one another. His music is impossibly upbeat yet thoughtful, hip-swinging, foot-tapping, and will make you want to don some retro 70s and 80s gear and twirl around on the dance floor like they do in his Love Me Again music video.
John Newman is the freshest artist I’ve heard in a long time, and I’m positive he won’t disappoint with his upcoming album, Tribute.
Sounds like: Alex Clare, Plan B, James Arthur, 70’s funk and R&B artists
His most famous MV, Love Me Again:
And…Love Me Again live performance from VEVO Lift (so you can hear once again just how amazing his voice is):