The new faces of R&B in Denver: Jon Shockness, J. Carey, Devan Blake Jones, BMore and B.Blacc
Have you noticed the influx of male R&B singers these days, particularly in the Mile High City? Adam Duncan, who just joined the A&M/Octone Records roster, is just one of many cats putting it down in Denver these days. Jon Shockness (Air Dubai), J.Carey, Devan Blake Jones, BMore and B.Blacc are among the other emerging crooners that have captured our attention as of late. We chopped it up with these smooth operators on the components rhythm and blues, who inspired them to start singing, and we got their thoughts on Drake.
Kate Levy J. Carey is one smooth operator
Taking his influence from the likes of Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, and others, Jon Shockness is the perfect bridge between hip-hop and R&B. Having been featured on several rap joints (check for his appearance on A.V.I.U.S.'s album, For Better or Worse), Shockness shines brightest with his band, Air Dubai.
Westword: Who are the artists that inspired your singing?
Jon Shockness: I listened to Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Boyz II Men, all of that growing up. However, I contribute most of my singing to the Jackson 5's third album. My mom had these LPs, and I would play them everyday. It was just inspiring to me as a five-year-old that Michael, who was around my age at that time, could sing like that. It made me want to sing, too.
What are your favorite songs to sing?
My favorite songs to sing are anything. I just love to sing, so you'll probably catch me humming or singing anything I can.
What are your currently working on that captures your vocal talent?
Currently I'm working on becoming a better lyricist. I think it's important to be able to sing well, but it's also a gift to be able to sing with a purpose or to say something. That's where I want to be as a writer and a singer, and it makes my work more challenging and fun.
What do you think about Drake?
I personally think Drake is great. It's not 2004 anymore, where rappers have to be called pussies for singing on their own records. Plus why, as an artist, would you limit your sound to just rapping? I think Kanye said it best when he described singing as having the ability to reach emotion and places his raps couldn't reach. That's dope, and why I sing.