The newest release from Preacher indulges in R&B dream pop and seamlessly intertwines ambient and awe inspiring storytelling and a synth-pop world to create something all it's won.
Songs are beautifully built and sang with passion and soul while production shines and each song has it's own unique life even when at times, the record sounds like it's a concept album.
I'm No Saint is the title of this release and there is plenty to soak in during its 5 track life.
Preacher has a way of taking you into his world and when this record is over you feel like you've been floating in the atmosphere of someone else's dream.
Gorgeous soundscapes and smooth vocals fill the air and wash over you giving you a warm feeling as the songs play on.
With such a colorful and bright release, we had to sit down with Preacher to talk shop.
Let's Start with I'm No Saint. This is a very pop record with some insane production and heavy R&B touches. Where did this come from?
Preacher: I came up listening to singer/songwriter and R&B stuff: John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Mindy Smith, Onerepublic, Ed Sheeran, Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, and even more eclectic stuff like Sondre Lerche. So, my musical taste was all over the place. It wasn’t until college that I really discovered and fell in love with hip hop, but I knew immediately that it would change the way I write songs. I went from writing everything on an acoustic guitar or piano to thinking about how every lyric and melody would be translated in the heavily programmed, alt rhythm soundscape of hip hop.
I like to think my writing style now reflects the melody-focused, lyrically stimulating environment of the singer/songwriter and pop worlds right along with the bob-your-head, dance-inducing rhythms from hip hop music. I was never interested in pigeonholing myself into genre expectations, and I’m No Saint was trying to get at that.
How long have you been doing this? How did it all start for you?
Preacher: Like a lot of artists who grew up in the south (I’m from Texas originally), music started for me at church. I was singing gospel music on stage when I was 11 years old and wrote my first song at 12. My grandpa taught me to play instruments, and my entire family sings. My mom was a songwriter. I know it’s a cliche, but I feel like I was literally “born for this,” haha, or at least born into it. Music’s in my blood, and I’ve been working on it for over 14 years.
Did this EP take a long time to complete?
Preacher: I wrote the first track, Aliens in 2017. This record is three years in the making. So, yes, it took a long time haha. My producer/best friend, Zach, is still back in Texas, so we pass everything back and forth and work on these songs in between our daily lives, relationships, and day-jobs.
I hear so much heart in the record. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Preacher: Thanks so much. Yeah, I listed some of them up top, but for me, John Mayer and Ryan Tedder are songwriting inspirations. Those guys can’t seem to write a bad song. They’re deep, existential thinkers too, and I think my music certainly attempts to follow that path. I also love Kendrick, Cole, Drake, Big Sean, Eminem, Kanye and all the rap giants those dudes were inspired by. Hip hop is raw and honest and sometimes, really damn angry. I love that, and I want my music to stay as real as possible.
Have you played live shows before? Do you think you'll be performing live when the time comes?
Preacher: Yeah, back before I took on the Preacher persona, I was just J.P. with an acoustic guitar, and I did coffee shop/bar mini tours all over Texas. COVID obviously complicates things now, but I’m definitely gonna start performing this record and its sequel when the world opens up again.
What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Preacher: I’m a psychology student, and I work in the medical industry. I’ve got a girl that is the best thing to happen to the universe, and so I spend as much time as possible with her. She and I love to travel together. I read a lot; I dabble in martial arts; I play Call of Duty with my friends. Super profound, I know. Haha
What's next for you as an artist? Preacher: I’m moving to England next year, which I couldn’t be more excited about. The music scene is totally different out there, and I want to bring a fresh face to that scene. To me, creativity is finding a way to blend things that nobody ever thought could work together (that idea might also be helpful in our politics haha). Making music in Europe will certainly bring new ideas to my mind and hopefully infuse their music scene with something different and exciting as well. Also, the next stop in terms of production is a full-length record. We’ve got plenty of songs in the can; it’s only a matter of time. Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music? Preacher: Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. Artists pour our heart and soul into our music, and it can be terrifying to put it out in the world and wonder if it will resonate with people. It’s like asking a girl out in middle school in the throes of my most awkward stage and wondering if she’s going to laugh in my face (not that I have any experience with that or anything...). But I tackle topics that are real for me: relationships, rejection, and even my struggles with mental illness all in hopes that listeners will feel known and seen and find hope in solidarity. If you’re listening, just know you’re not alone in all the messy, complicated, sometimes gut wrenching reality of being human. I hope the music speaks to your soul and gives you that reminder...and also that you just dance your heart out to it. Thanks so much.