RJ Thompson has built a name for himself in recent months as one of the countries strongest up and coming singer-songwriters. His poignant lyrics perfectly capture the silent voice of a nation, with songs that won’t fail to resonate, and all are set against a colourful (and at times nostalgic) soundscape that goes far beyond modern-day singer-songwriter stereotypes.
RJ is an artist who’s had to graft for every great opportunity that’s come his way, getting his big break through consistently playing grass-roots music venues, pubs and clubs in his native North-East. His hard work eventually lead to more than 30 shows touring the UK and Europe. Support shows with Gabrielle Aplin, Deacon Blue and Jools Holland (including a performance at the Royal Albert Hall) soon followed as well as several EPs and a live album.
“Up here in the North East there is a saying… “shy bairns get nowt”. You’ve got to put yourself out there, asking and doing, if you want to make any progress. So that’s what I did throughout my early years. I got out and posted my demos to all the local promoters, played at the grassroots venues, the local festivals, and any community event going – even those that had absolutely nothing to do with music!. Every single show has taught me something.”
It’s a work ethic he’s applied to all aspects of his music. RJ recently launched an online fan club, and in the last three months has already managed to build up an active user base of over 5,000 people. He’s seen a massive 2,514% increase in engagement on Facebook (likes and comments on posts), a 215% increase in YouTube Subscribers, a 201% increase in Instagram subscribers and a 275% increase in Spotify followers.
Last year saw RJ take the leap and release his first solo studio album ‘Echo Chamber’. A contemporary take on nostalgic music and wider culture, the album was received to critical appreciation for it’s unique blend of modern lyrical context and distinctly retro production technique. Taking a stance on modern society is a theme throughout RJ’s music and so is the case with his latest release. Taking on the work of two of the greatest songwriters of our time, RJ puts his own unique style on Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin and Come Together by The Beatles. The Dylan cover is an emotive, piano led, rousing affair with an insurgent undertone. An anthem for revolutionaries, that pays due respect to the power of the original. The Beatles cover, is a truly unique take on the classic piece. RJ employs syncopated synth elements to curate a gloriously fragmented, distinctive interpretation of the already very special track.