Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Jon Dearing to find out more...
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am originally from Dorset in the UK. Now I basically play all round the country where I can. I started getting into music from a pretty early age. I remember starting singing as a choirboy when I was 8 which probably helped me a lot in learning about music and harmonies and looking after your voice. It wasn’t until I was around 13 when I heard Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” for the first time that I wanted to pick up the guitar and become a songwriter.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Aside from folk and blues music my parents used to play, Pop/Rock was my first major influence growing up. After hearing Bon Jovi’s new music I was obsessed with albums like “Crush” and “Have A Nice Day”. I remember my friend lending me Coldplay’s “A Rush Of Blood To The Head” album and thinking this is just brilliant! Other artists like Tom Petty, The Goo Goo Dolls and Train really defined my musical stance growing up.
These days I am still influenced by those artists, particularly as their own music has grown and evolved, but I now have a much more diverse range of genres that I listen to. Country music has become heavily influential with acts like Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line and Blake Shelton inspiring a more Nashville influenced style in my writing. Am also loving a lot of the UK songwriters like Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and James Bay and have been listening to more of the mainstream pop scene such as The Chainsmokers and Taylor Swift. A lot of these styles have tended to blend in to my songwriting one way or another.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say currently my music has a very Americana/Country influence blended with a more modern Pop/Rock style. It still shares a lot of qualities from the music I loved growing up but feel it now incorporates more of the modern Pop styles with a Nashville twang to it.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
My latest single is called “Matter To Me”. It’s very much an acoustic/country ballad all about saying how lucky you are to be with the one you love and that you’ll never take any of it for granted. Through the ups and downs as long as you have them then nothing else will matter.
It’s a very intimate and innocent song and highlights the more happy and naïve side to a ballad which I’d never quite done before. I knew from writing it early on it needed to be much more personal and raw, similar to some acoustic singer/songwriter ballads like Ed Sheeran’s “Small Bump” or Jamie Lawson’s “I Wasn’t Expecting That”. Once I had it finished I knew I had something special here and was very excited to record it and see how it would go down live. It’s a track that constantly develops as it goes along and is one of my favourite songs that I have written to date.
What’s your local music scene like?
Back in the West Country it’s very much bars and pubs which was a great place to start when playing in front of people early on and honing your craft. I moved to Southampton when I was 19 and there are some really renowned venues who have hosted some top acts of many genres and where I have been lucky enough to play such as The Joiners and The Talking Heads. These days I have just come off some shows in London and have gotten to play with some acts of different genres which have been really fun. The Half Moon, Putney was a great place to play!
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I have just finished an event with the Busk in London organisation which was a lot of fun. After the promotion on ‘Matter To Me’ there will be a few more singles to come, with an EP to follow soon after that.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Too many to name. Would obviously love to sit down with some of those heroes I mentioned before but would find collaborating with artists like Sheeran or Ezra a lot of fun. One thing I would love to do is take part in some writing sessions over in Nashville as they have some of the best writers in the world and just to learn and absorb from them would be amazing.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
One show I did back in Southampton, there was this guy who was very into the performance, but may have had a bit too much to drink beforehand. He gets his phone out and starts taking pictures of us from the side of the stage. Being so focused in his photography he doesn’t realise he is edging closer and closer to the stage and the audience have started catching on. In the end, I stop the show, look at him, and say “If we’re going to do this, we’re gonna do it right” to which I then bring him up on stage. I finish the song whilst he takes his selfies and then he sheepishly walks off. After the show he comes up to me apologetically and shows me his pics. To be fair, they were pretty good. Better than the photographers!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
My latest single “Matter To Me” is out now across all platforms including iTunes and Apple Music. Would love people to check it out and see what they think!