Originally from Hare Bay, Newfoundland, Jonny Starkes lives in Toronto, Ontario and writes music based on his rise and falls in life as well as the world surrounding him. With soulful grit and peacefulness, Jonny leaves everything in the open and lays it all on the line. Heart and balls is his motto!
What a way to start off this album! The album’s title song “Father’s Boy” really hits the sweet spot with such a pleasurable guitar rhythm mixed with Jonny’s gruff voice and a crisp drum line. A boy and how he looks up to his father, aspires to be everything his father wished him to be and you can tell that Jonny holds this very dear to his heart through the sentiment in his voice. I love the emotions that are running through this song and the fact that you can actually feel their importance while listening to it.
“Belly of the Beast” was a complete 360 turn to a fierce jam. Jonny has a rougher tone to his voice in this song, giving this the right amount of power. His guitar riffs are balanced with the tone of his voice and the drums add in extra fury making this an intense delivery of the meaning behind the lyrics. Jonny has written a story of a man going through something tough who just wants to be heard and helped. It’s a tremendously impressive song.
Grab your hunny and pull them close for this beautiful ballad. “Insane Love” is a heart melting song that reminds me of that picture perfect love that we all dream of. The harmonies between the two voices in the chorus tug at the heart strings as you can feel that there is passion between them. The lyrics create a scene in your head of him really pouring out his love to her. Really take a moment to listen to the guitar – it’s telling a story of its own that helps solidify the lust embedded in this song.
Let’s jump right into this masterpiece of a song. “Best of You” starts of slowly then takes you entirely by surprise as the rhythm picks up speed. Jonny’s voice is a bit more refined at the beginning and gets some more rasp as he starts getting into the meat of this jam. The guitar and drums complement each other seamlessly. I feel like this is the perfect road trip song because this is definitely song you are going to want to jam out to repeatedly while taking in all the sights.
“Mother” is a beautiful rendition about such an important figure in life. Another song packed full with emotion and love pouring out of Jonny’s voice, and he does such a great job embossing himself into each lyric. I absolutely love the harmonies in this song, the female vocalist has a gorgeous tonality to her voice that’s very soft and comforting that accompanies Jonny’s voice fantastically. Did you hear the violin added into this song? The subtle character that it gives this meaningful piece of music is just breath taking.
Gather around the campfire, roast some marshmallows and take in “Run Run” because this is another passionate one. This song has a very country feel to it and descriptive lyrics that are sure to make you feel like you are out enjoying nature with your love. I love the tone of Jonny’s voice, and continues to show that he has real talent. The feel of this song flows well with the rest of the album.
“Muskoka” is another classic, down to earth song that makes you feel good. Jonny is exceptionally good at telling the listener a story and he describes Muskoka perfectly making you feel like you are right there with him. I love that there is a little more vulnerability in Jonny’s voice in this song as he grazes the higher notes with such style but then comes back to this raspy, rock voice that is relaxing to listen to. This song was the perfect end to an amazing album and Jonny Starkes is an artist to watch for!
Listen to "Fathers Boy" here and get to know more about Jonny Starkes below!
Hey Jonny! Absolutely loved your debut album! Can you give us a little background on yourself and how you started to write music?
Thank you very much. A little about myself ? Well I’m 33 years old and was raised in a small town (1000 people) called Hare Bay on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. In my later years my family moved to Toronto, Ontario for a chance at a better life and more opportunity. Now in regards of writing? Writing was something I noticed at an early age when having to write poems in school. That first moment of arranging words so that they have weight and power was an intriguing moment for me in grade 2 lol it gave me a small glimpse of the power in creation. Later down the road my parents bought me a guitar for Christmas at the age of 17 where I started to play and strumming to my own beat. The beginning of my craft pretty much all started at that point where I fell for the love of words and music as one.
“Father’s Boy” sounds like it has special meaning behind it, how did you come about choosing the name for this amazing album?
The title “Father’s Boy” was chosen when I pretty much already had all my songs for the album picked and my father was the diagnosed with stage 4c skin cancer. In his 1 year battle my album was put on hold. Then Before my father passed he gave me funding to start recording my album told me “life’s too short son” and to follow my heart and dreams. My father then later passed away and I wrote the song “Father’s Boy” which I chose to name my album in memory of him and what our family faced.
You can feel the emotion in a lot of your songs, what types of things inspire you to write music?
Yes there is a lot of emotion lol the things that inspire me are things that I am moved by from the world around me wether it be negatively, positively, indirect or directly. I try and take these emotions/feelings and portray them through my songs. Also a lot of times I find for myself that it’s hard to get things across with just words or expressing how I’m feeling, so writing is a way for me to pour my heart out. When people ask me what kind of music is that your playing ? I like to tell them it’s “heart and balls bud” it takes the balls to show your heart and it takes heart to have the balls lol
Out of the seven songs on this album, which did you find you had the most challenges when it came writing both the lyrics and the music?
Which song was the trickiest ? I found my song “Mother” gave me the most trouble because it was my letter to my mother letting her know how special she is and how special any mother really is. As a man you tend to keep that inside for some odd boyish reason lol When writing this song I wanted to capture the beauty in our bond, the journey from a boy to a man under her hand and letting go of being afraid to be affectionate towards her. The lyrics were crucial in painting the picture of how she should never be taken for granted and it’s the most realest thing you’ll get. No body loves you more than your mother and we only get them once.
What would be your biggest dream performance?
My biggest dream performance ? I’d have to say walking my mom down the red carpet and performing at the Juno’s or grammy’s! aaanndddddddd possibly one day sharing the stage with kings of Leon ahaha (yea buddy) tbh tho any chance to perform is a dream performance and I am thankful for every time I get an opportunity grace a stage and share my work.
What new and exciting things can we expect from you in 2019?
I’m super pumped for 2019! I’ll be releasing some more videos so be sure to keep an eye out for that and ..... ready ? I’ll be preparing to enter the studio to record my second album this year and hopefully release it by late this 2019 or early 2020.
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