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, RJ released his first full-length studio album ‘Echo Chamber’ to a rapturous critical appraisal. While politically poignant, the project drew on nostalgic production elements, taking fans back to a time when Brexit was a far flung concept & Trump was still just a business tycoon..
“I wanted the album to feature elements of my favourite music from my childhood, so you can certainly hear synth and percussion sounds throughout the album that wouldn’t be out of place on Thriller or Bad. Even the length of the album is a nod to some of my favourite records.”
This summer, RJ is releasing a stellar, deluxe version of the album featuring six new tracks and four live recordings. RJ reinvigorates his connection between politics and music with two covers of Bob Dylan and The Beatles. He also shares fresh approaches to album tracks such as “Think About You” and “Speakeasy”, while also featuring four tracks from his live recordings at Simpson Street Studios. It’s a showcase of RJ’s prolific, songwriting depth. It’s a selection of thought-provoking musical ideas, with a subtle nod to simpler times.