Songwriter and producer Jon Calvin was just 7 years old when he got his first guitar. It was a birthday present he would never forget, one that he remembers as marking the official start of his journey as a musician. Since that time, he’s collaborated with artists as a songwriter across genres, but specializes in pop music.
“I’ve specialized in A&R (artists and repertoire, the person responsible for overseeing artistic development) connecting other artists together, and managing artists. I pretty much do everything, but produce my own beats and instruments. I even engineer and vocal produce.”
With music currently serving as his full-time gig, Calvin balances songwriting, managing, and editing for other artists, as well as his own creative development. “I’m self-taught at everything I do. Guitar, vocals, engineering…you name it,” he says.
A Different Kind of Sound
Calvin describes his own sound as hard to pin down — a mix of pop, EDM, and R&B, mixing unique vocal melodies that are “unexpected from the norm”. In his musically-formative years, he was inspired by Alexi Laiho, the late lead vocalist and guitarist of Finnish death metal band, Children of Bodom. Calvin recalls one particularly fond memory when he spent the day with him at just 14-years-old.
More recently, though, he’s been channeling personal experiences in his writing. “I’ve suffered a lot with mental health, depression, and a bad break-up,” he says. “When I write music, I also try to picture what other people go through, try to place myself in their shoes, and paint a picture of it.”
Upcoming Debut Single
After years of creating and getting to know his own creative identity better with his close inner circle, Calvin is now gearing up to introduce his first release this summer or autumn. “I’ve been progressing to make my way up and take my career to the next level,” he says. “My goal is to become successful in the music industry, whether it’s independent or signed to a label, and help other smaller artists get to the top.”
It’s no secret that working in the music industry, be it as an artist or on the more logistical side of things as an engineer or producer, takes a relentlessly positive outlook and the ability to withstand setbacks, something Calvin insists has been instrumental (no pun intended) in helping him grow. “I’ve always been super extroverted with a huge, broad personality and sense of humor that’s also helped me connect with artists literally, and emotionally, and be very personable,” he says. “And now, I’m finally releasing my own first single at the end of summer 2022.”
So, what can we expect from Calvin’s long-awaited debut? “It’s very different and out of the norm of anything I’ve done so far,” he says. “It has a dark, pop/R&B vibe, with a pop-influenced vocal melody. The song ‘Bad Half’ is about being with someone who you thought was everything you ever dreamed of, but then you slowly start to see the bad half of them. They continue to ‘fake’ their personality into tricking others that they’re an amazing person, but continue to give you the bad half of them.”
A debut release, though exciting, is also an intensely personal experience for an artist, laying their own lyrics and lives bare for the world to see. Still, Calvin hopes his music will have some impact on those who might resonate with his lyrics.
“My hope is that my music will inspire people, let them know that they aren’t alone with the struggles they face, and that they will still be able to get through it all in the end,” he says. “I hope that I can also help others grow and reach the top. I want to inspire and help other music artists, as well — not only my audience.”
Keep up with Jon and get a taste of who he is as an artist on his Instagram, @whoisjoncalvin.