Soul fused indie pop artist Johnny Stimson just released his highly anticipated new EP Butterflies. The eight-track EP is a collection of songs detailing the personal metamorphosis Johnny Stimson experienced during the trying times of the pandemic. Even though there were fierce obstacles to overcome, Butterflies simultaneously details hope for a better tomorrow. The singer-songwriter further highlights the need for human connection when navigating change.
Sonically, Butterflies highlights Stimson’s signature warm cascading vocals, erupting into catchy choruses over electro-infused landscapes dripping with soul flavor. Johnny Stimson burst into the scene when he was discovered and signed by Elton John. Since then, the celebrated artist has garnered an international fanbase, gaining attention all over the world with his silky mix of pop, soul, R&B and electronic for a heartfelt and emotional musical experience.
We talked to Johnny Stimson about his new EP Butterflies, how his life has changed over the pandemic, his typical day, and more.
-Tell me a little bit about your EP Butterflies. What inspired the EP, where did you write it, and what are you hoping that listeners will take away from listening to it?
Thank you for asking! I wrote this as a way to mentally process everything I’ve been feeling during this strange turn of events the past couple years. The song “Butterflies” and the underlying theme of this project, are meant to help remind myself that some things are really worth the wait. It’s about looking for what’s truly meaningful in life and celebrating the “chrysalis” phase of growing into the most beautiful version of me I can be 🙂 I hope that people will be encouraged when they listen to it and that it will remind them to hold on to hope. It’s been a tough couple of trips around the sun, but I think we’re all in for some beautiful things as we all transition into this new life.
-As an artist, what are some of the struggles and insights you’ve experienced over the pandemic?
It was strange. I have been so blessed to see more and more people listening to my music outside of the US during this time, and that is so exciting for me! Unfortunately, it’s been the weirdest timing where I can’t actually go to those places to perform. So, for me it was a mental exercise in pushing myself to dig deeper into my own heart and relationships, while at the same time working on tons of new music. I learned a ton about production because I was working on so much music by myself. It’s been a struggle in some ways, but in other ways I’m really thankful for the focused time. I’m really hopeful that I’ll get to go play all these songs for people around the world soon though!!
I also really benefited from going outside my comfort zone and doing some Instagram lives. I usually do them once a week now and it’s been such a joy for me. I was afraid to do it at first, but it’s really challenged me to make sure I can play all these songs easily on lots of instruments. It’s been an incredible way to connect with people all over the world. I’m so thankful for those times!!
-How would you describe your sound using three words?
Lava butter pop
-What is your favorite thing about being a musician? The hardest part?
Lately I am just loving the creation phase. I can’t think of anything more fun than having a big idea in my head and then whittling it down into an actual song that I can share with others. I also love the next part, which is talking with people all over the place about the music. I finally have learned to embrace social media and it’s been incredible to have great conversations about music with people around the world.
One of the hardest parts is navigating the business of music. I enjoy being an entrepreneur on that level very much, but this industry has some tricky ins and outs and that’s been a wild ride this last year. I’m super thankful for the awesome people I have supporting me though. This part is more fun every day!
-You have a fervent fanbase. What is a favorite fan story of yours?
Wow, that is an awesome question. Even seeing the word “fans” is wild to me. I have so many stories I could share, but this one just popped into my head.
At the end of 2019, before the pandemic, I played a really fun festival in Semarang, Indonesia. It was one of the bigger crowds I’ve ever played to and I was loving the feeling of everyone singing along to my songs with me. I noticed some people had this phone app that would have a message scroll really big so I could actually read what it said from stage. A bunch of kids had that and I hadn’t seen it before. And then this one young girl in the front held up her phone and it said “your music saved my life.” I felt like time froze right there and I really had an emotional response. Sometimes people send me these beautiful messages on social media and I’ve gotten to have some incredible conversations about mental health through that medium. But just getting to sing my songs and actually see this young girl in front of me was an incredible feeling. I think that moment helped remind me that there is purpose in what I do and the things I write about. I hope I can meet her someday, but I never could find her after the show. I’m thankful for a million little moments like that.
-If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
I would pass out immediately if I could write a song with Paul McCartney. I learned so much from studying the music he helped create so that’s a dream of mine. I also would LOVE to work with V from BTS. He’s recommended my music before and I think we are both into similar music. I also looove his falsetto and I bet we could make something fun together.
-What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, I wake up and go for a run first thing every day. I love running 🙂 Then I get home and my wife and I eat breakfast together. Then it’s usually straight to the piano for a little while. I answer some emails, and sometimes have a little business call with my manager, Sean. Then the afternoons are usually reserved for songwriting or working on production. Haha it’s 1:25pm right now as I write this and I just wrapped one session and am about to open up another one. Then, it’s dinner time with babs and our puppy and watching Squid Games haha.
-Top 3 artists on your playlist.
-What’s next for Johnny Stimson?
Next up is a new video next week, then some more music coming out next month!! Never gonna stop!!!! But my main mental focus right now is writing for an album to release next year. I’m about halfway through it and feeling GREAT about it!! We are making plans to tour on all this new music so I’ll be firming everything up for that too. Stay tuned!!