Photo by Ricky Tompkins
Spring is here and the season has started off in high spirits with John West’s inspiring new track, “Smalltime,” co-written by Mike Wise. Aged with an organic and soulful sound, the song’s production is accompanied by John’s melodious voice that carries itself across the horizon like a slow flowing silk sheet; gently caressing your heart. “The track delivers a stripped-down promise between lovers wanting to choose each other in lieu of the spotlight, ” West expresses.
John isn’t new to the game at all. If anything, he is the epitome of grind and hustle, selling over twenty thousand CDs independently as a street performer on the Santa Monica Promenade. Ultimately, the hard work had paid off when he signed to Mercury Records in 2010 collaborating with Pusha T & Big Sean on a few songs. John parted with the label almost two years ago, staying out of the limelight, reworking his sound, and exploring new influences.
“During my time with Mercury, I think I was chasing sounds instead of leaning in closer on what I was really about.”
West explains that the promo single, “Don’t Wake Me Up” was released last year under the moniker Public School, a bass-and-vocals ballad co-written with fellow indie artist, Allie X. The record garnered acclaim from DJs at the influential KCRW and praises from dozens of tastemakers in the blogosphere.
In early 2015, John decided to reclaim his real name, and with it, a lot of his original, authentic style. The singer-songwriter states that he uses his emotive, soulful voice to create songs that speak honestly about love, life, and the struggles of all dreamers. He is currently releasing songs every week online, including “Smalltime,” which can be found on his Soundcloud profile.