AWARD-WINNING TORONTO SINGER-SONGWRITER J3M SHARES MOONLESS
"MOONLESS is about the anxiety that can take place when strong feelings come up," says J3M of the song, which he wrote on piano, and later co-produced with Mike Tompa. "In AFRONAUT’s case, the Alien he’s fallen in love with gets cold feet and disappears overnight. In a panicked whirlwind, the force and sudden speed of the Alien’s ship pulls the moon and stars right out of the sky. Alone and enveloped in the earth's darkness, AFRONAUT climbs up onto his roof each night. He sings to the sky, hoping the alien will hear, return the stars and moon and come back to earth."
To follow and sing along, check out the MOONLESS lyric video, created by Gabriel Altrows and Gergana Peeva, here.
AFRONAUT is a space-themed concept album that takes the listener through each stage of a failed relationship and the love for oneself that is found through the grieving process, as told through the perspective of its protagonist, AFRONAUT, and a bond with his lover, the Alien.
Toronto audiences can get an exclusive preview of AFRONAUT this Thursday, June 2 at Hail Mary Bar, where J3M will be hosting an album listening party and performing a set of songs. Find tickets and details here.
J3M describes AFRONAUT's creation happening by accident, as he started another project that had a completely different sound, but it didn’t feel right.
"Super disappointed and confused, I put that project on hold. I went to the UK on a songwriting mission just before the pandemic. That didn’t work out either. But in a way it did, because I ended up writing several songs with some very talented friends while out there," J3M expands.
Toronto audiences can get an exclusive preview of the album this Thursday, June 2 at Hail Mary Bar, where J3M will be hosting an AFRONAUT listening party and performing a set of songs. Find tickets and details here.
AFRONAUT marks an evolution from J3M's previous work with more intricate production and a clearer vision. The pop-driven EP is abundant with piano, synthesizers, guitar, bass and even live strings. On one occasion, J3M and producer, Mike Tompa, traveled to Chalet Studios in Uxbridge, ON to find the perfect piano (a Yamaha C3) to have on select tracks, which is the same piano J3M used for his 2019 standout single, Stuck To My Heart. Other tracks feature a vintage John Brinsmead piano from Miloco Studios in London, UK, The Roland Juno 106 synth and the Prophet Rev 2.
J3M's previous single, Show Me, was the catalyst for J3M to realize he had other songs and fragments of ideas that mirrored the same sound, theme and concept. Alas, space was made for AFRONAUT to fully soar.
Show Me, another retro-synth ballad in its own right (co-produced by Matthew Fudge), sees AFRONAUT getting into his ship and leaving earth, embarking on a mission to find the Alien. Upon finding them, a confession is given from the Alien to AFRONAUT. The Alien explains that they are having a hard time connecting and communicating, and this has nothing to do with AFRONAUT. Space and Time is a straight up disco-funk banger with dark pop elements ready for the dance floor. This track marks the story's chapter where AFRONAUT decides that he needs to take a step back from his relationship with the Alien, analyzing the root of conflict and reinforcing the importance of self love.
Tune in as the rest of the AFRONAUT EP story unfolds with more on the way in the coming months!
Get to know J3M (he/they):
Blending pop, disco, soul and R&B, J3M is ready to paint pictures, tell stories, and share melodies that will live in your head rent-free. The award-winning singer/songwriter/pianist has backed powerhouse artists such as Tanika Charles, TiKA, Zaki Ibrahim, Amaal, The OBGMs, James Baley and more, both locally and internationally. Sharing stages with Kehlani, Weezer, Brandy, July Talk and the Arkells (just to name a few), J3M is no stranger to the industry. He's played everywhere from POP Montreal, Toronto Pride, Afropunk Paris, Osheaga, SXSW and even on Carnival cruise lines.
Based in Toronto, but born in Ottawa with Guyanese roots, J3M has been playing and singing for as long as he can remember. So, whether it’s lighting up rooms with his sharp writing, production and arranging skills or bringing down the house with a vivacious live performance, the queer artist is aimed and ready to take the world by storm!
Connect with J3M below and on TikTok