Hey J.R.! So excited to be chatting with you! You just released your new single “Daydream”! How excited were you to get this song out into the world?
Gosh, I am gobsmacked to be totally honest. I’ve been working on this album for two years, and that was the very first song I recorded! I’ve been holding on to it and keeping it a secret… for literally years! So, to finally have it out in the world… it’s scary tbh! I have put so much pressure on it since I’ve kept it to myself so long, but I’m also very excited to hear what people think! So far there is nothing but positive reception, so it’s chill! Good vibes only!
Can you tell us the backstory of this song?
Daydream is a song about finally finding a place where you belong! For me, it was when I finally got away from my family and discovered other people in the alphabet mafia! When the LGBTQ community welcomed me with open arms, I wasn’t used to that kind of unconditional love… it was literally a daydream. After feeling that love, the lyrics wrote themselves! I was free of the haters, and nothing was ever going to get me down again! From now on I am living and loving!
You also have more projects coming out in 2021!! Can you spill any details on what your supporters can look forward to from you next year?!?
Well, nothing is set in stone right now so I don’t want to jinx anything, I have some big opportunities to grow with some amazing collaborators, I have been applying for Covid but Cute performance opportunities, I am also looking into making my next album. Right now, I am still keeping my options open until the right project presents itself. It’s just hard to make anything a legit plan with the pandemic. I’m very hopeful and excited though about the options I have.
In the meantime, I have just released a lyric video journey for the entire album! Every song has a video with a deeper message from my life packed inside. From body insecurity, social phobias, depression, estrangement from my family, a huge zilch in the love life department. Every song shows another shade of my color wheel, and I’m waiting for my fans to start painting!
Do you have a creative say in your music?
Did you help write all your new songs?
OH 100% I write all of my songs, I’ve been writing since I was six years old. All the lyrics and melodies are mine. I do have amazing producers on this album that were very supportive and nurturing. They let me sing what instruments were doing in my head, and they plucked it all out note for note. However Freddy Freeman, and Feathers Wise are both musical geniuses and could just play what was in my head while I was singing the song for the first time. They are wizards Harry! Wizards!
What’s it feel like to be releasing your own original music?
It’s amazing that we live in a time where it’s possible. Things are changing in the music business. Independent artists can get their music out to broader audiences unlike ever before. With social media, and streaming platforms, my music is being listened to all over the world… I have legit fans in Brazil… like how is this real? I’m really still waiting to wake up… like there’s no way I’m actually accomplishing one of my dreams, that would be crazy!
Will there be a music video for your new single? If so, can you tell us about the concept of the video?
Yes, my choreographer for my first single “Body Positive” Rebecca Frazier actually choreographed, directed, and edited a cute at home, quarantine dance video! It has some of my closest friends, from all backgrounds, body shapes, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds, genders, ages, politics, personalities, species! It celebrates being alive and finding your heart song! It’s a safe space video… to escape from all of the torture we have been going through in reality. I want all of my music to be a safe space for anyone listening or watching!
What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your music career?
Pros, I’m able to say I’m chasing my dreams. I will never have any regrets because I am trying my best to accomplish everything I have ever wanted. I am in control 100% of where I go, what I do, what I say, what I sing! I am empowering all of the other people who feel like I’ve felt my whole life! I make the outsiders feel like they are on the inside! I think the biggest pro is knowing that I have actually made someone feel better, or cheered someone up with one of my songs. People have told me that my songs have made them feel confident in their bodies, enough to wear a swimsuit for the first time in years, or loved, and that it’s ok to dance with their queer partner in front of their family, because love is love. I think people want to see people just like them succeed. That’s the best part. The connection to others, which is really all I ever wanted, to be able to have people connect with my music.
The cons are pretty realistic cons. Money! To get to the next level always takes a lot of coin, and with everything going on it’s been hrs to stay afloat. Let alone trying to strive for more. I have had to turn away some life changing opportunities because I can’t afford certain production work, or influencer support, or high budget videos… people don’t understand the difference between a major label artist and an independent artist is definitely that the label pays the bill. I wish I had the money to really get my music out there, could you imagine!?
Is there anyone you want to thank that’s helped you get to where you are today?
I have to say educators are everything. I never had someone believe in me until I started taking lessons. My voice teachers have been amazing, each of them giving me the parental guidance I never had growing up. To hear someone tell me I have talent, was like, a moment. I remember my first year of lessons was me crying every session because my teacher would give me a compliment and I wasn’t used to it. I would just sob for hours. Geez, Rachel Black, Nicole Sonbert, Mary Joy Nelson, Brittany Benningfield, Zackery Morris, Julian Bryson, Tedrin Blair Lindsay, and of course Russell Henderson, Peter Allen Stone, Susie Thiel, Lyndy Franklin Smith, & Jeromy Smith… and so much more! They are the real MVPs! Educators are everything! I have been so lucky! Amazing people! Eternally grateful!
What do you think makes your fan community/fandom different from others?
My fans are fun! We are all positive and accepting of everyone. My fans have the biggest hearts of anyone in the world. If someone is feeling insecure, or alienated from everyone around them, a JRP fan will be the first to invite them to join the dance circle! We don’t care how you look… we care how you feel!
How would you describe your fans? – what’s three words you would use to describe your fans?
Three descriptive words for my fans:
- Fearless – they are so brave and courageous! Never a wasted moment in fear!
- Authentic- real people, with real conversations! They aren’t superficial. They really listen to the lyrics and notice the subtle artsy things I hide. They are paying attention, they know!
- Unique – what makes my fans unlike other fans is they are all so different. I don’t have just gay fans, or just straight fans, or just curvy fans or just thin fans, I have big hearted fans all over all of the spectrums. I still get shocked when a straight boy in high school is bopping to Body Positive! Like no bars held… my ear Candy can infect anyone!
What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?
I hope that my music makes everyone feel less alone. I want there to be an emotional connection of, I hear you, I relate to you, I care about you… because I know what it’s like to not have someone that is listening. When I was alone growing up I would turn to pop music, and suddenly I belonged somewhere, I had friends, I had family… I want my fans to feel that way about me! I am here for you! I love you! You’re all beautiful! You got this!
Are you planning any IG Live shows to promote your new music?
I wish I could get the details worked out to do that. I have roommates, so it’s hard to perform at home, I think people just expect all performers to just be able to put on full hd quality rock concerts from home, when in reality independent performers can’t afford the technology that takes, the space that it takes, it all costs so much. I don’t want to do an at home concert if it looks and sounds like trash next to Miley’s backyard stage! I have to figure out something though, because I need to perform!
What is it like performing in front of your fans? Are you excited to start performing your own music live!?!
I mean when I have performed my songs live for my fans, it is unlike anything else in the world! I once performed and had someone I didn’t know from Adam, come up to me after and start kissing me… I was not prepared, I felt like such a rockstar! It’s just magical, and every moment is unexpected. I miss the energy feeding into my soul, I’m like a conductor… when I am in front of people and they are feeling what I am feeling, I come alive! It’s the only time I feel truly alive! I’ve performed in theatre, film, musicals, classical concerts… but when it’s my music, my words, my emotions… it’s my moment, and for the first time in my entire existence, I’m truly not alone.
What do you want your supporters to know that you think is important?
I think it’s important for them to know, they can do it! Whatever that thing is… that… the thing you just thought, just then… that… yeah, you got this! Stay strong, stay motivated, stay passionate, stay authentically and uniquely you, because you are way more powerful than you know! I believe in you!
What’s something your fans don’t know about you?
I don’t think they know I am terrified all the time! Every day brings a new disaster, and every day I decide to not let that be the thing that defeats me. I fight depression everyday. I fight loneliness everyday. I fight self sabotage and loathing everyday. The only thing that keeps me going is music, is my music. I know to everyone it may seem just like simple pop music, but it’s my soul, my bleeding heart, straight from my deepest and most secret diary. Without sharing that and giving all that pain meaning, I would have nothing.
What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?
Dignity. My fans have given me a feeling of self worth I have never had before. I can say I matter, I am important, I am loved. I never had that my whole life. When someone likes my song and shares it with their friends, it gives me purpose. They respect me, the real me! I have dignity, all because of them, I matter! The only true me is my music, if you don’t respect that, you don’t respect me… but my fans do!
What do your fans call themselves? And How did that fanbase name catch on?
So I am trying to get #Daydreamers happening. I don’t have an army of fans yet, so if they decide something on their own I would be totally for it! I believe consent is key! But, yes, I am calling them #daydreamers after my first album and the most powerful thing in the world… daydreams!
What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?
Please say something! I need the validation! I need the support! I need the love! Please! I like attention! Don’t be shy! Especially if you like my music, are you kidding!? I need to know you like my music! Tell me!!!!
Is there anyone in the music business you are dying to meet?
I mean how big can we go here? Britney Spears is forever my inspiration and everything! I know I will never meet her… but if I could, I would just die! Other contenders, Max Martin, my favorite producer of all time… and any manager looking for new gay and chubby talent!
What’s your current go-to song?
I am so about my song Vibe Check! Its a bop that doesn’t stop! I can’t get sick of it, I have listened to it a million times, I wrote it, I helped create every detail of it… and it still gets me lit… can I get a check please!?
But if we are talking about other artists, I am torn between five songs:
- Matches – Britney Spears & Backstreet Boys
- Rain on Me – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande
- WTF Do I Know – Miley Cyrus
- Mi Amor – Nova Miller
- React – PCD
Why do you think social media is so important for teen artists like yourself?
Well, I’m not a teen, but I do feel like social media is life or death like a teen would! I think that for so many, the socials are really the only connections we have to those around us. It’s validation for when you are feeling insecure. It’s power in a world where you are powerless. It’s being important, when you are just looking for a reason to matter. I think social media is a place to express who you are in totality, without restrictions from your parents, teachers, bosses, or leaders… it’s a place just for you and what you care most about. In a world where you don’t have that anywhere else!!!! How could that not be important? It’s your slice of the pie… you don’t have to work harder, be smarter, be prettier, be more talented, everyone can have social media and everyone can use it however they want. People just want that significance. A place they matter.
What would you say is your biggest dream/goal right now?
My biggest dream is to get my music out there, to break the algorithms, and have my songs go viral! For everyone to hear Daydream, and some major label hear something special in it. To be signed and taken seriously as an artist, and make the music videos I want to make and work with producers I idolize, with song writers I’m envious of, with directors and costume designers that want to reflect me in their work! I want to just make music and perform and not care about money anymore. I don’t want to stop creating. Ever. I want to be looked at a serious songwriter and talent.
Any last things you want to tell your supporters?
Please keep chasing your daydreams, but start with mine! Like, comment, share, download, stream, recommend, tweet, TikTok, post, reel, snap, love! Pretty please with sprinkles on top!? Daydream is available on all platforms! Check out jrprice.org for more info and links!
Phote Credit: Dave Deitz