ARTIST NAME: John Thacker
SONG TITLE: Don’t Know (Why)
ALBUM TITLE: John Joseph – EP
RELEASE DATE: 18/06/21
GENRE: Pop, RnB
John Thacker is a singer/songwriter from Manchester. His debut EP ‘The Recall’ was praised by bloggers and received a play on BBC Introducing, alongside a live performance for UNILAD sound as an artist to watch performing lead single ‘Control’. He has worked as a vocalist and songwriter for various artists, notable ‘Identity’ that peaked at #12 on the Italian iTunes chart. And most recently ‘Into The Night’ with 150,000 streams on Spotify… ‘Don’t Know (Why)’ is the lead single from John’s upcoming EP ‘John Joseph’ set for a release on the 18th of June 2021. He is particularly passionate about the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in music. John also performs as the vocalist and songwriter for his band ‘China Moon’, their EP ‘Sleep Talking’ has been praised by critics…
Find myself on the train track, why
I don’t know where I’m going
Every time I hear the air I fly
I wish I could find where I long
So many true calls that pass by
Tell me that I’m not good enough for mine
Hate my figure sometimes I go down
I wish I knew better
I know that I’m made of gold
I try; oh I try to be a good man
But still, I can’t seem to find my hope
I wish I knew why
I don’t know how I don’t why (4 X)
But it all comes down
Find myself in my own thought
The outside feels so alone
There’s times I find a hero in my eyes
But I can’t follow on my own
Seven days then we go again
All them lies that you tell a friend
Say you’re good and not going back
Trigger back as I fall back
On socials, I’m all figured out
I am better I undid my mind
Got my man, he’s my one and all
Got my life and fucking gold and I…
I don’t know how I don’t why (8 X)
But it all comes down
I don’t know-how
But I’ve figured it out
Got my mind, got my loves
Got my time and it’s grand
I love my fears
I love my doubts
I love my thoughts
I love my life
I know my life’s so good
And I’m good
And we’re good
But things are
Things are so good
Discuss your music life.
Music has always been a big part of my life; my parents are from a musical background, which bled into my own influence. I didn’t set out one day to make music; it was just something that was always a part of me. Throughout my teenage years, I’d create songs in my bedroom with GarageBand, not with a particular purpose of releasing anything, just because it felt like something that needed to come out of me. I’m still just as excited by music as ever, both as a consumer and a maker. I’m in awe of the music being created right now and the boundaries that are being pushed, which has inspired me more than ever to create my most honest work to date.
Discuss the recording of this song.
The song was created with producer duo ‘Pet Planes’ whom I’ve previously worked with on the single ‘Second Sight’ back in 2018 and couldn’t wait to work with again. When I heard the piano chords, something just clicked with me that this is the song I’ve been searching for to tell this story. I recorded the vocals from my home studio, I later re-recorded the vocals in the studio, but the vocals felt so raw and honest from that first home recording that it felt like they should be used as the vocals on the master – which are the final vocals used on the track. The vocals on this EP are some of the proudest vocals I’ve done to date.
Discuss the lyrics of this song.
The lyrical content of ‘Don’t Know (Why)’ formed whilst I was in lockdown last year. It’s the most personal song I’ve written. Through the last few years, I’ve been on quite a personal journey that has at times been challenging mentally, but I’ve somehow through the noise landed at the happiest place I’ve ever been in. The song felt therapeutic to put pen to paper, it explores toxic masculinity and the struggle I have with uncertainty, which concludes with an outro that settles at a place where I am at my life now. I hope that the song resonates with listeners and they can find something that brings that comfort of shared experience.
Discuss the melody of the song.
The EP feels like a slight departure from my releases for the past couple of years, which have been more chill pop with dance influences, but the EP is a little pensive and reflective. The weight feels landed on the lyrics and the vocals.
Explain your songwriting process.
A song for me forms one of two ways. Either I fiddle around with some melodies and lyrics and from that initial concept, something bigger emerges around it, or I hear an instrumental and fill in the gaps and work to develop that sound.
Tell us what makes this song unique.
Something I admire in my favorite artist Regina Spektor is that she doesn’t sound like anyone else. She’s completely and utterly herself, and I aspire that in my music. I shy away from phrases like ‘let’s make a song that sounds like…’. ‘Don’t Know (Why)’ I don’t think fits into a mold I’ve heard before and the reception I’ve had from the track has only amplified that.
Tell us how you develop your sound.
I feel my sound is constantly evolving and developing. A breakthrough song for my sound was ‘Identify’ in collaboration with Junerule and Fugue released in 2018, something about the song just felt like a eureka moment for where I should be as an artist and my sound. I’d say the signifying factor of my music is my vocal, I like to play with layering and vocal harmonies. It’s important to me that my vocals come across honest and raw, rather than technical and polished. There’s beauty in imperfection.
Explain your music style.
I’d say my music is emotive stories over pop beats that you can sometimes dance along to.
Discuss your music background.
My parents are hugely influenced by music, which fed into my childhood. Growing up as a 00’s kid I listened to a lot of pop, R&B, alternative, which has formed my influences as an artist. I can’t imagine music not being part of my life. Something that I’ve missed hugely this past year is going to watch live music. The experience doesn’t feel complete of an album without a gig to complement it. I’ve already got a spreadsheet of gigs I want to see later in the year so I’m sending all the energy…
Tell us the factors you consider in a good song.
A good song needs nothing more than to make me feel something. Whether it is sad, inspired, reflective, hyped, sexy, whatever that may be. If I felt something, it’s a good song.
Elaborate on your fan base.
I’m a huge believer in music not being a spring but a marathon. I think over the years I’ve slowly built up my followers, my Spotify streams, my dedicated listeners, and some have come and gone, some remained. I’m really happy with the fan network I have right now and so grateful and humbled that anyone has listened to my song and had a feeling.
Discuss your future goals.
‘John Joseph’ is certainly just the beginning of a new music chapter. I am already working on a sequel on tracks and some collaboration. I’d love to work up to a national tour whether that by myself or with my band. A big goal for me is to have a song in a TV series or film, so that’s something I’m manifesting or a Grammy if we’re wishing for stuff.
Mention those that have supported you so far.
I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing support network in Manchester and through the magic of the Internet, across the globe. It’s a powerful thing for fellow music makers to stand together and not against each other in an already exhausting industry.
Tell us your opinion on categorizing songs into genres.
This is a tricky one! I don’t really like the categorization of anything at all, especially music. As a general rule, I never write a song to fit a particular genre or mold. I can’t sit down to write a song; it has to be an energy that forms. Of course, there’s a reason genre does exist and a reason we gravitate towards different ones depending on what music we want to listen to, and that time, it’s just not allowing any limitations within that as the creator, being bold to morph an expectation of your music or what the “genre” is.
Tell us if you are interested in collaborating with other musical artists.
Yes! Over recent years some of my favorite music creation experiences have been collaborating with writers and producers, and I don’t think I would have found my sound as an artist without those collaborations. Even for this project, no song of the EP was formed without the hard work of at least one other music maker – it really does (and should) take a farm!
Elaborate on the song.
The lead single ‘Don’t Know (Why)’ is from the EP John Joseph, the other tracks ‘Light’ and ‘Me/You’ carry the journey of my experiences from the past year.
Elaborate on your artist’s name and the title of the album.
I’ve been wanting for some time to change my artist’s name, and through the past year, I looked at changing my artist’s name from John Thacker to John Joseph. After falling down a rabbit hole on Google I figured it’s far more hassle than I thought to change my previous releases, so I decided to stick to John Thacker but that the EP would in fact be called John Joseph – my name is John Joseph Stephen Thacker, which felt as though a re-introduction to my music.