Jon Bryant
Jon Bryant
Jon Bryant has spent just a little more than the last year writing and recording his new album "What Takes You" released earlier last spring.  Expect a lot of inspiring words, beautiful singing and a vibrant guitar on this album.  Jon's got down to earth vibes and a pure vocal tone that can take you to that vulnerable place of melancoly and introspection.  Some of his music has been featured on the tv shows Rookie Blue and Degrassi.  Jon is heading out on the road across Canada before extending his music travels to the United States and hopefully Europe once again in the near future.  For more info on this artist and tour dates, visit:
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: Hello Jon!  Can you please introduce yourself and explain how has music in your life helped you define who you are today?

Greetings. My name is Jon Bryant. I guess music has always been helping define who I am. I come from a very musical family. Growing up with a gospel singing father and a mother who got us kids into piano very young, I began writing and developing a creative outlet. Today, music and songwriting is the window through which I describe and enjoy the world and my experiences of it. Its like a big sheepdog that follows me everywhere I go.
Valerie: You have recently released your new album “What Takes You”. Describe the natural progression between your recent work and previous album “Two Coasts for Comfort”.

Jon: The progression was quite seemless. I knew I wanted to stretch acoustic music to the limit, develop my sound within the confinements of folk and create a mood or experience that pulls the listener along. I wanted the album to have dynamic and sit between and on the fringes of folk and pop music. I didnt want something that easily plops itself in with a genre, but rather something that might stand out in a crowd. Where "Two Coasts for Comfort" I felt lacked some vunerability and dynamic,  I wanted "What Takes You" to expose the deepest and even weirdest longings on my soul while pushing the limits of what I can do with a voice and an acoustic guitar.

Valerie: You spent almost 13 months in the studio recording this album.  What makes you feel the proudest about your work?

Jon: It's exactly how I hoped it to turn out. The songs are unified to make a full album. The last album I spent 5 days total in the studio. This one was toiled over. I wrote 46 songs for it, Recorded 20 songs and only chose 10 (of my own, 2 are covers).
Valerie: Can you explain the title of the album “What Takes You”? What does it mean to you?

Jon: It's a title that brings the album together. Every song touches on some human longing to be taken away, taken to, to take or to have something taken from you. Thats where my mindspace has settled over the last few years.  Like the cover art (illustrated river overtop a watercolor moon) shows, life seems like a river and we're all on it together.

Valerie: Tell me about the first single on the album; what is it about?

Jon: Souls of Manhattan is about an old friend I grew up with. She had big dreams of moving to New York and making something of her life. She had a pretty sad homelife, like so many, and just needed to leave. But like so many who do leave, she experienced the same kind of loneliness but in a big city. She felt the same kind of rejection but from strangers and people she thought she knew. It's a sad song but yet offers hope in that, through all the difficulty and depression, there is something much better waiting for us if we put our trust in something greater than ourselves.

Valerie: What song represents who you are the best on the album?

Jon: Hmmm...  Evening Sun!

Valerie: You come across as a sensitive person which is a good quality in an artist of course!  What's more difficult to write; a happy song or a sad songs?  How come?

Jon: Hmm...  Happy songs are far more difficult for me to write.  Not to say, I'm not a happy person, but I guess I respond more to sad songs.  Happy songs don't stick with me like sad ones do.

Valerie: You have toured Canada extensively and Europe.  What is your best memory of your life on the road?

Oh boy, Absinthe in old city Prague, Tour stop in Ghent, Belguim, Queen Street, Toronto in the summer, Calgary sold out show on my Birthday... I think the very best memory was driving the tour bus from Boston to San Fran in sonthing like 52 hours with some of my 4 favorite buds. We had Tiger Woods pro golf on the xBox, Scummy old chips, sweaty leather couches and a mini basketball net we bought at safeway.  Incredible..

Valerie: What are your future touring plans?

Jon: I will be touring through the US and Europe again in the winter, and for the first time ever I'm going to tour through the Maritimes in November. Kinda weird since I'm from there that I haven't yet.  But I think its about time.

Valerie: What are you looking forward to the most on this new adventure?

Jon: I'm looking forward to making new music, perfecting my sound and meeting new and amazing people along the way.  Every tour has been incredible and I look forward to continuing the journey.

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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