Words by: Liz Coffey
Hailing from Texas, Jon Pattie is about to be your new favorite singer-songwriter. From the second we decided to do this interview, his new single “Won’t Be Young” has been stuck in my head on a loop, and I’m not complaining! It’s catchy and light while at the same time being very vulnerable and real. I got to talk to him about the single as well as his upcoming EP series (plus his tour, which starts today!).
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you. (Bonus: What artist would be your dream collaboration?)
Hey y’all! I am Jon Pattie, a Texas-born, Nashville-based indie-pop singer-songwriter (that’s a mouthful)! I am a University of Texas at Austin graduate who finished with a degree in chemical engineering but chose to pursue a career in music where my true passion lies. My dream collaboration would be to write a song with Ed Sheeran or produce a song with Pharrell.
How did you first get into music, and how do you think your sound has evolved since then?
I first picked up the guitar in the 7th grade and began writing songs within the year. I played in bands all throughout high school and early college in a variety of genres. From pop punk to screamo to jazz rock, I was always the lead guitarist and one of the main songwriters. I began exploring the idea of becoming a solo musician and was drawn to artists like John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Bon Iver, City and Colour, and James Bay.
If you had to pick one lyric that you’re the most proud of writing, what would it be?
‘Happiness is a state of mind, but it’s not a state of mine’ from my track State of Mind. It’s a very simple idea and lyric but it’s also pretty clever. I love the lyric as well because it’s very personal for me. I wrote the song when I was struggling with the idea of happiness and understanding where it would blossom from for me.
How do you incorporate your influences into your own work in a unique way?
All of my songs have a touch of my influences in them. My songs are very rock-influenced, which you can hear by the driving drums and rhythm guitar lines, a bit of blues in the chord progressions, and soulful/pop vibes in the vocals. I love experimenting with different sounds in my playing and seeing what sounds my guitar can create. I was also heavily involved in an a cappella group in college which helped build my appreciation for vocal harmonies and vocal arrangements.
You’re about to embark on the Reflections of Love & War Tour with Sam Hale, which is awesome! What are you the most excited for with these shows?
I am extremely excited to be on the road with Sam! We will be playing in all of my favorite cities in Texas and will be able to see all of my old friends and family. I’m mainly excited to be able to showcase what I’ve been working on since moving to Nashville! I’ve been hard at work on my new music and a new set. This will also be my first professional tour so I’m really looking forward to the experience!
I’m impressed with how catchy and light your new single “Won’t Be Young” is, despite the lyrics actually being pretty honest and heavy. How did you strike that balance, and was it difficult to reach a point you were happy with?
I had a lot of help from my producer, Josh Hastick, with creating the sound. The song was originally written as a folk-rock song but we worked on it together and turned it into more of a blues-pop-rock song. All of my lyrics tend to be rather deep and personal. I’ve always used writing as a way to understand myself and my feelings. Sometimes it has been hard for me to connect with my own feelings but writing has always helped. (Learn more about the making of this song here!)
You’re releasing an EP, Reflections Vol. 1, on November 7 as a part of a four part series. How did you decide on this unique release, and what can we expect from each EP in turn?
I realized after releasing two EP’s that my sound was constantly evolving. I am in an important part of my life where I am building the foundations of my future and because of that I am constantly changing. I figured the best way to show that would be through a series of EP’s, each one correlating to the last. The entire project has an overarching theme of the difficulties of growing up into today’s society and discovering who I am meant to be in life. Each EP, though, will have a unique motif. This first one is based around the idea of flowers and me blossoming into the musician and man I am meant to be. (Pre-save it on Spotify here!)
This collection of EPs really focuses in on change for you, both personally and musically. How can fans expect your sound to change from your earlier releases?
I already have a general idea of how I want the rest of the releases to go. As I personally evolve and discover where my place in life is, my lyrics and sound will evolve too. My sound has already matured since my latest release and it will continue to do so as I learn more about myself. In my previous releases, I didn’t have a clear idea of where my career was meant to go but as I continue writing and performing, the path has become more clear.
What has been your biggest breakthrough since starting in music? On the flip side, what has been the biggest challenge to date?
My biggest breakthrough has been building my own self-confidence and self-respect through my pursuit of music. I felt like I never really knew where I was going or what I was doing with my life before pursuing music. I felt like I was just going down the path that someone else had set for me. But as I’ve been working towards my goals, I’ve learned more about myself and have had to face some buried problems. On the other hand, the biggest challenge has been finding the motivation to keep myself going when it gets rough. I am fortunate to have some amazing people on my team who help me get back up when I fall down. 🙂
Anything else you’d like to add?
My main goal with my music is to bring confidence and happiness to others. Music has always been a safe place for me and I want to create that same experience for others.
Follow Jon here: