Artist Spotlight: J.R. Wyatt
Our last Artist Spotlight feature of the year is none other than the one and only J.R. Wyatt! We had the opportunity to learn a little bit more about J.R., one of the few artists in our community that has been with Songfinch for a few years! Join us as we learn how he got his start in music, musical accomplishments and a whole lot more. Let’s dive in!
Thank you for taking some time to chat with us! Let’s start things off with a little background. Tell us a bit about yourself and how music became a part of your life.
I’m J.R. Wyatt, and I’m a musician based out of Nashville, TN, but I hail from the great state of Maine. Music has been a huge part of my life from the get-go. My whole family loves it and many of us play something or sing. I started out on drums as soon as I could hold the sticks, and from there I picked up whatever I could get my hands on. I played in a ton of bands, played in the school band, wrote a ton of songs, and did all the musical theater. I even wrote a full-length musical my senior year. Then, I ultimately moved to Nashville to pursue the dream of making music in a more professional sense.
Believe it or not, we’ll be celebrating your 3 year Songfinch-versary as an artist in our community come February. What a ride it has been! During your tenure with us, what has been your favorite part about writing for Songfinch?
Woah! Time flies. I have a lot of favorite parts. In terms of being with you as a company, you’re transparent, easy to contact, understanding, and honestly trying to do something unique that benefits customers and artists. Artistically, it keeps me writing and producing so that I’m keeping the machine well-oiled. There’s also nothing like getting feedback from a customer who loves what you’ve done. Creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art, and telling somebody’s story in song-form is very rewarding.
With all that has happened over the course of the year, how have you adapted, and continue to adapt, to the music industry? What kind of things are you doing to stay connected with your fans and win over new ones?
It’s been quite a year for everyone. Playing out has totally halted, so I’ve done several live streams to keep myself going and let audiences stay connected. I made a music video for “This is an Emergency” in my home. I self-produced a single that I released in September called “Summer Sun”. I’m also going to begin utilizing my YouTube channel more, so stay tuned for some good stuff there! I’m just trying to keep busy and keep moving forward creatively.
Earlier this year, you released your latest album, “I’m Still Here”, and it sounds amazing. Congratulations with everything! How have fans responded to the record?
Thank you! That’s very kind. I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t have a giant fanbase, but those who are fans seem to have liked it a lot. It got a little bit of critical praise as well, which was really nice. For me, being an independent artist is really great. I can put out any kind of record I want, whenever I want. I’m so grateful for the people who follow along and listen to what I put out. Anytime I hear from fans about their connection to my music, I know it’s authentic and true, and that they likely had to do some digging to get to me. It’s incredibly rewarding and greatly appreciated.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any songwriter, producer or artist, who would it be and why?
What a question! I’ll skip the usual legendary behemoths and head for the ones that I’m loving right this second. I’m not much of a co-writer, but for a producer, Blake Mills or Jonathan Wilson would be really awesome. Phoebe Bridgers would be another artist/producer who I’d love to work with. There are lots of people I’d like to work with in the future, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with my friends on my records. It’s a special feeling to create things with people you love. Collaboration can be a really great aspect of making music. It stimulates a lot of growth, which I think is really important for longevity and maintaining a love of what you do.
Did you have a favorite artist or album of the year? Who should we be adding to our end of the year playlists?
Well, let’s stick with what I just said and go for Phoebe Bridgers’ album ‘Punisher’. It’s sad and beautiful, and I could listen to her all day long. I’m a sucker for sad. Pinegrove’s ‘Marigold’ is another favorite of the year. As for fellow Nashvillians, Ruston Kelly’s ‘Shape and Destroy’, and Katie Pruitt’s ‘Expectations’ are amazing.
What are some key pieces of advice you would give to aspiring musicians?
Well, I’m still trying to figure it out, but I think the most important thing to always remember is why you started doing it. It’s really easy to get lost in the business, and money, and trying to be famous or whatever. Some of that matters in terms of making a living, but none of it pertains to making art. Make it because you love it and want to share it. Also, don’t be a copycat. You’ll wind up being a worse version of the original, and people can smell it a mile away.
Anything else that you’d want to let the readers know?
I’m always up to something new, so keep following me! I’m most active on Instagram, and soon to be YouTube, so go to my youtube page (www.youtube.com/jrwyattmusic) and subscribe! Also, Songfinch is a great company, so if you were on the fence about purchasing, here’s your sign.
Interested in having J.R. create you a personalized song?
We hope you’ve learned a bit more about J.R. Wyatt. If you’re interested in getting a personalized song created by J.R., feel free to click the link below and let us know in your submission. We’ll be sure to pass it to him to work on.