Jon B YouKnowIGotSoul 2024

Jon B. is an artist we’ve been anticipating a new album from for many years. So we are excited that he’s finally on the verge of dropping the new album “Waiting On You” later this year. It’s no secret that he’s been one of our favorite artists to support over the past decade. So we were excited to once again catch up with him for an interview ahead of the project’s release. During our conversation, we touched on how he’s been inspiring the younger generation, what to expect on the new album, working on music with Tank once again, his creative process, and much more.

YouKnowIGotSoul: Talk about what it means to keep inspiring the new generation. For example Brent Faiyez recently said you were one of his biggest inspirations.

Jon B.: It’s incredible when someone like Brent Faiyez recognizes me, or a Drake, or any of these guys who’ve sampled my music in any way. However you’ve related to my music and you’ve had your own relationship with it. It’s a beautiful thing. I feel so proud to be still a part of this in the way that I am a part of it. It’s more than just the musical styles, it’s the whole culture that goes with this music, it’s a whole lifestyle that goes with the music. We are living and breathing the music, it’s not just for show. It’s like I’m representing R&B to the fullest.

YouKnowIGotSoul: What inspired you to put this new album out now, since it’s been 10 years since your last album?

Jon B.: First of all it’s been far too long for the interval between albums. But because of unforeseen circumstances, which was Covid, we had put the first two singles out, we just managed to do that right before the whole pandemic situation, which really shut us down for 2 years. Then we really got back into the groove of things. But the live shows started flooding everything, so it gave me no time to be at home and perfect my album. Hence the reason there are only eleven songs on the album, it’s short and sweet and very precise. I gave you exactly what I wanted to give you this time. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m excited about all of the features we have on there as well. We have Alex Isley, Tank is on the new single “Waiting On You”, we’ve got Donell Jones on the single “Understand” which is the first single we released from the album, and Rick Ross is on the album. I’m excited to have done a collaboration with him. Everyone who is on the album is an absolute legend so it’s an honor to collaborate and bring fresh new music to people.

YouKnowIGotSoul: Sounds like it’s going to be an outstanding album!

Jon B.: Yeah, I produced and wrote the majority of the album, it’s 90% me as far as the production. Brady Watt features on the first single “Waiting on You”, he produced the track for that. I want to big up Tank as well for being on the song, he’s an amazing part of what makes that song great, and he took it over the top for me. It surpassed all of my expectations. It’s nice to be back with some new music, and somebody who you earned your flowers together, you can share the spotlight with. It took a lot of years of dedication, a lot of years of performing. Tank reminds me a lot of myself in terms of the way that how involved in his music he is. For him to compliment me in this way by really loving what I did and wrote, and not wanting to change it, but add to it and just go in, he killed it.

YouKnowIGotSoul: Do you find it more challenging at this stage in your career to innovate and create?

Jon B.: I feel more comfortable now because I feel like the times are more eclectic as far as the audience. We have much more of an eclectic audience open to so many different genres who are open to collaborate with R&B. There is far more of an open geared audience in this day and age in the 90’s. I love the fact that we were innovating back then, collaborating R&B with Hip-Hop for the first time. R&B stations didn’t want to play Rap, and Rap stations didn’t want to play R&B. It was an interesting time to be a part of something where you were kind of new and fresh and no one else was following in those same footsteps. When 2Pac and I put out “R U Still Down?”, that was a very trail blazer record. No one told us it was ok to collaborate and we just sort of did it. This is before any sort of collaborating between…you saw interracial collaborations of black and white people working together, but at the time there wasn’t a whole lot of that. Especially a rapper like 2Pac collaborating with an R&B guy. He had did stuff with Danny Boy, but nobody of my persuasion. So it was really dope for him to take me under his wing and collaborate and trust I would bring something dope. I think he knew before we got into the studio that we would make something classic. It’s situations like that which I live for. Just innovating and collaborating and taking risks.

YouKnowIGotSoul: Let’s talk more about the album “Waiting on You”. Is it similar to the vibes of the singles you’ve released already?

Jon B.: On this album I’m paying homage to a lot of the sounds I’m listening to currently at the house. A lot of 70’s and 80’s music. At the same time, the 90’s is sort of the era that won’t go away for me. Those chords, that sensibility, but with updating, the rhythms and the tracks, as far as my sonics and the sound selection and programming of the drums. You can always update and find new ways of updating things. So it’s fresh and new and doesn’t sound dated.