Tim Johnson Jr
MAYBE I have put this up a day or two late...
but I have been busy so this is the earliest I could present the Tim Johnson Jr interview. He has been telling me about his E.P., Christmas with U, and why he decided to record it; his musical past and where he is heading now – he reveals a few new artists we should follow.
I ask whether there are tour dates coming up and which albums matter most to him; how he got into music and whether there is more material coming next year – he selects a cool song to end the interview with.
Hi, Tim. How are you? How has your week been?
It’s great. I just released my music video for my original Christmas single, Snow Day, and I’m gearing up for the New Year.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Hi! My name is Tim Johnson Jr; an entertainer originally from Philadelphia, PA. When I was younger, I was a theater kid and, when I was ten, I was blessed with the opportunity to be in Disney’s The Lion King in Las Vegas. Since then, I’ve been blessed to be a part of many different projects on the acting and music side. I was a semi-finalist on Fox’s competition music program, The Four: Battle of Stardom this year. I have also recently guest starred on the CBS show, FBI. I will be a recurring character on Hulu’s series, Future Man - and I have two movies coming in 2019.
Your E.P. Christmas with U, is out. What was the reason for putting together the songs you did?
My dad screamed down from the studio: “Tim, we got to do a Christmas project”. This is literally how it started! My dad, as well as producing partner, and I looked through many Christmas classics, trying to find songs that I can put a fresh twist on. We chose Silver Bells and Silent Night. I then started writing an original Christmas song called Snow Day, which was birthed from the idea of being snowed in during the winter; getting the chance to chill and be with the one you love.
Sometimes it’s just good to slow down and be present without other things on your mind.
Do you think we might see more material coming next year?
Yes. Music is coming next year. Very excited for you all to hear (that rhymed). After putting out my E.P., Hey U, and now my Christmas E.P., Christmas with U, I’ve learned a lot. Now, I’m in a space of reinvention; trying new things, growing as an artist and an overall person. I just want to create and make people feel good when there listening to my music.
Which artists inspired you to get into music? Did you grow up around a lot of music?
My dad had this C.D. of all the Motown classics that he would play all the time. I remember singing I Wanna Be Where You Are and I’ll Be There by The Jackson 5. I also listened to a lot of Gospel. My dad was in a Gospel group called Christlike and I was at church all the time. All you need is a little Motown and Jesus (laughs).
How do you think your time on Fox’s The Four: Battle for Stardom affect your ambition and music?
The Four gave me confidence to create music that is authentic to me. On the show, I got to sing songs that embody the music that I wanted to make.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
2019! This year, I plan to do what I have but on another level. I just want to be in places that allow me to grow in every area. I plan to direct my first short film this year and discover new arenas of creativity that I have not stepped in. I’m nineteen-years-old, getting to do what I love. I thank God for that each day and don’t take it for granted.
Have you got a favorite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
A twelve-year-old kid came up to me recently saying that I inspired him and then he sung for me; he was amazing. Then, he continued to speak to me with such conviction about the things he’s working on and the dreams he has for the future. I then talked with his parents and, when I looked in their eyes, I saw my parents. Then, I looked at the kid and saw me from when I was younger; how my dad would put me on the spot singing for people.
This moment touched me because, knowing where I came from and where I am now, I can give another person hope. That’s the goal of this whole thing: to bring others along with me along this journey, to inspire and bring joy.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
This question is so hard because it always changes but I think, right now, my list would be (not in order): PJ Morton’s Gumbo; “Awaken, My Love” by Childish Gambino and Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. These albums are classics.
Which one present would you want now that you didn’t get for Christmas?
One present I think would be books. See, I don’t read as much as I like but I’m trying to do something different this year coming up. The plan is to get books. I’m going to stay up in my room and read then, in three-four weeks, become like Einstein. Will it work? I don’t know. But it doesn’t hurt to try!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
My advice to other artist is to have fun but understand the impact that you will hold. Be prepared before you go into the ring because the moments you don’t even plan for are the one that can change your life.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
In 2019, I will have some shows but, as of right now, catch me on Instagram (@cityboyjr).
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
When I have downtime, I spend time with the fam and friends. I enjoy watching movies, playing instruments (anything I can get my hands on) and trying things I’ve never done before.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that)
Mac Aryes - Easy
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