Alternative R&B has become more and more popular over the last few years, with loads of artists having a spin at replicating what has made people like The Weeknd so successful. Few have managed to pull it off in an original and unique way but LA-hailing Johnny Rain seems to have the formula. The talented singer/songwriter/producer has been gradually garnering critical acclaim and tons of fans with a string of high quality projects and only at 19 years of age.
Hit the jump to read and hear more from the artist.
It would be lazy to make the typical The Weeknd/Frank Ocean comparisons, and even to use the alternative R&B label (Rain uses the term “Avant Electro” on his Soundcloud) because the crooner has his own fresh style and feels genres create limitations but you could group the singers in that vague category.
“I don’t consider myself to be an R&B artist. I don’t have a genre. I don’t believe in genres. They create artistic boundary, which I don’t agree with. My sound has no genre. It only has feeling. ‘Avant-electro’ is just the most veracious title I could think of to describe how my music feels.”
Johnny has been doing his thing officially for a while now with his first official mixtape, WOUNDEDdrug, silentHIGH, dropping late 2011. A free release, this was the first real taste fans got of the young genius’ music.
The 13-track debut project was mostly self-produced and Rain cites artists like Sade, Prince and Kanye West as inspirations. The high-grade production and vocals make WOUNDEDdrug a solid debut. Some of the best tracks include: The Gray Room, Mela’s Interlude, Nightmares, Inhale and Exhibition (which comes like an homage to Biggie & R. Kelly’s F*ck You Tonight).
The Gray Room (ft. Emerson Windy)
The LA crooner then spent much of 2012 teasing his next project Lullaby Of Machine (LOM), releasing LLWH (which is said to be influenced by Jai Paul’s BTSTU) and Mullholland Drive, My Abyss, before releasing Lullaby Of Machine in it’s entirety in February 2013.
This time entirely self-produced, mixed and mastered, not to mention the impressive vocals, LOM saw Johnny Rain begin to get more serious plaudits and made him one to look out for in the future. Have a look at the music video to LOM track Jericho.
Johnny Rain – Jericho [music video]
A relatively quiet summer saw Rain release guitar driven ballad Stellar to build anticipation for his next release. Now, he has just released his third project, free album Villain, an 11-track LP that showcases his talents once again and cements Johnny Rain as one to watch in 2014. Stream Villain below and be sure to download the album free at the artist’s SoundCloud.
Johnny Rain is most definitely one to look out for over the next couple of years. A young, budding artist with dope material and heaps of talent, it will be interesting to see what’s next for the promising LA singer.
Remember, all of Johnny Rain’s material is currently available to download for free on his SoundCloud so make sure you get those. You can subscribe to his page to keep up to date with the artist’s new releases, and follow his Twitter for all things Johnny Rain.