Alternative artist John Alone has just released his new track Come Off My Phone, which is almost at 1000 streams on Spotify.

John Alone presents a psychedelic, eccentric sound which doesn’t conform to a genre and goes against the grain. We were able to talk to him about the track, his inspirations, and the effects of lockdown on musicians. 

The track is centred around the idea of loneliness and being better off alone – has being on your own helped you get to where you are today?

Being alone has definitely helped a lot in my career in the sense that it has helped me build a lot of resilience and self reliance. A lot of the skills I have now are things that I was forced to learn due to lack of help or support, whether it be mixing, mastering, production or marketing. I’m a big believer in not being dependent on anyone for anything. I’m very grateful for all the help I’ve received so far, but the idea of being crippled without assistance from someone else is a very frightening one for me, so if I can do it by myself, I probably will. Besides, I can’t stunt on myself, no one else has to help me, but I definitely do, and that’s the mentality I take into most things in my life, music included. 

Right now we’re all forced into being alone with the lack of socialising from lockdown, have you found this time useful for your artistic direction?

It’s been useful and also counterproductive ironically. I find a lot of inspiration from just living life and having different experiences, and this period of being stuck at home and not being able to experience new things on a daily basis has been very limiting. In the early weeks, the lockdown definitely had an effect on my mental state, which was slightly crippling to begin with. However I’ve also been able to improve on a lot of musical skills and spend time formulating, planning and asking myself some very tough questions about why I do what I do. I think in terms of growth, this has been a very useful period of time. Growth is hard though. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find a lot of my inspiration from just living day to day. I write music to be understood a lot of the time. I’m not an overly open person in my everyday life, so I find music to be a way of letting people know me on my own terms. I write a lot when I’m sad, or frustrated, or when I’m in love and happy. It’s a way to help me process what I’m feeling at the time for the most part. 

Photo: Naomi Adams-Osagiede

You don’t really conform to a genre or style and we love your eccentricity. Is it harder as an up and coming artist to go against boundaries and promote an individuality to your work and do you feel a pressure to try and conform to boundaries within music?

Thank you! That’s quite intentional on my part. I find genres really limiting in my opinion. I’m a fan of a lot of different types of music, and I’m capable of doing a lot of different stuff, so I never really understood why people expected me to just want to do one thing. Some days I wanna rap, some days I wanna sing. Even within those forms of expression I don’t want to do the same thing every single time. However it definitely does create a challenge when it comes to marketing myself, because I never really know how to describe the kind of music I make. Not fitting into a clean box means it’s hard to pitch yourself as an artist because it’s like... if you like me doing R&B, you might be disappointed if I decide to switch genres on a whim (which I often do), so I guess maybe just wait till I decide to switch back? There is a pressure to fit in, going against the grain is never the easiest, but I seem to find myself choosing the hardest routes often. I only ever wanted to do this on my terms though, so that’s what I’m going to continue to do. 

Your discography is made up of single releases, is an album in the pipeline or do you prefer the adaptability of releasing singles relevant to your life at the time of producing? 

I love making singles because they’re a one-and-done form of expression, you can kind of do whatever you want within that song and leave it at that. Albums or projects have to be more cohesive, and regardless of the genre, songs have to sound well together. Ironically, I used to be more of an album guy before my career relaunch, I’ve always loved being able to tell a complete story or narrative throughout a project. I’m slowly working my way back to that, and I actually am working on a 6-8 track project at the moment (haven’t quite decided on the name yet), which should be releasing at some point later in the year. I’ve been working on it for a while. It features some of my own production for the first time on a project, and it’s something I’m quite passionate about and excited for people to listen to. Also have a compilation summer tape in the works as well, which should be releasing at some point within the next few months. 

Words by Phoebe Patrick

Listen to Come Off My Phone below


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