Just as certain chameleons have the ability to change colors at the drop of a hat, so too can J.J. Crowne aka “The Eclectic One.” J.J.’s array of colors comes in the form of musical notes, and this artist has a deep and interesting history. Originally from Jersey and later moving to South Florida at 15, Crowne started writing songs at 11, picked up piano/keyboards at 16 and learned how to play guitar at just 9 years old. The music bug had taken hold of J.J. at a very young age and this self-taught musician hasn’t looked back since!
J.J. later attended Oberlin Music Conservatory, where he learned about formal musical composition and arranging for the first time, and the musical chameleon was definitely taking shape. Besides playing in nightclub cover bands for five years and then signing his first record deal at 22, radio enters the picture in a BIG way. In the late ‘70s J.J. turned his sights to commercial jingles for various stations and ad agencies in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. He actually became quite well-known for it, which led him down the road of writing and recording music for films, TV shows and theatrical productions throughout the late ‘70s into the ‘80s &‘90s. Crowne even landed a deal with Fox TV back in 1992 where he came up with the background music behind an episode of “America’s Most Wanted.” J.J. also got involved with PBS TV as well as Univision’s “Yo Quiero Ser Estrella” show, along with doing many voice-overs for television, radio programs and even a few documentary films. Having won “Addy Awards” for two of his commercials and then becoming an ASCAP Full Writer Member, J.J. seemed to be on top or maybe not? Just as a crown is worn by a king, this Crowne wasn’t fully satisfied and a little frustrated with the “lack of real success in the music biz” so he became an attorney for the indigent. I mean, why not? This guy’s a chameleon after all with no desire to stay the same, and all the while laughing in the face of that stale, same-old, same-old fellow from around the way. Constant change and ever evolving is what J.J. Crowne is all about. In the realm of being a perfectionist, a Crowne is to be worn properly and so J.J. must wear it right.
Jack of all trades and master of many is all fine and dandy, but the fact of the matter is that J.J.’s true gift in this life is to make quality music for all to hear. Can’t fight what talents are given to you, and so what can you do but just roll with it? Let me also mention that this singer/songwriter has had the opportunity, with his former bands, to open for many acts including: The Mavericks, Johnny Depp’s old band The Kidz (yes, I’m talking about that Scissor-handed pirate that we all love) and even Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids before Mr. Trent Reznor discovered him. This guy is already a rock star in my book! However, the term rock star doesn’t seem to fit J.J. Crowne’s peaceful & laid-back persona, as he performs more like Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and Bob Dylan. These legendary artists are all singing poets who made substance-heavy music with a message and a true purpose. Crowne is attempting to do just that through his own original music, so just give him an acoustic guitar and watch what he can do! It’s no surprise that his songwriting ability has been recognized by Billboard Magazine and The Miami Herald among others. The real magic happens in J.J.’s small studio at his Florida home where he has even produced albums for several local Miami artists; and this is the birth place of his 2011 debut release ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ and his current EP ‘Another Day of Love’. Handling all the vocal parts, instrumentation, arrangements and production on ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’, J.J. decided to call in some big hitters to really help push the new EP into different directions.[youtube i5SkUmEDUrw]
World-renowned producer Stephen Wrench of Musik and Film Records, who has worked with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rick Springfield, Missing Persons & Tommy Tutone and many others, joins forces with the Eclectic One on the new EP along with the highly-regarded Nashville engineer Jeff Silverman, who has also worked with Rick Springfield, Richard Marx, Barbara Streisand and Stephen Bishop, just to name a few.
Stephen Wrench was kind enough to supply an informative and thoughtful description for each track on J.J.’s latest release as follows: “The EP’s title song, ‘Another Day Of Love, ‘depicts the real world we live in and says, in an ironic way, that all we really need is another day of love. I suggested to JJ that he almost talk the lyrics rather than sing them, and then came up with an idea to strategically place old radio news clips of some of the world’s most famous messengers of peace whose lives ended tragically. Music has the power to deliver a message, and ‘Another Day of Love’ definitely delivers a message to the world with a flair reminiscent of the Beatles, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne. Every song on the EP we worked on would turn out uniquely different
‘Only Time’ was influenced by an idealistic view of a one-night stand and how we all wish those moments can last beyond the next morning. Musically, it’s very Beatles/Byrds- influenced with a touch of country.
‘Best Of intentions’ turned out with a Jim Croce feel. Best of Intentions – how a jilted lover is haunted by the early promises made in a relationship, and how he’s the last to know the best of his lover’s intentions have gone wrong.
The poignant ‘Toy Soldiers’- influenced by our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the soldiers who leave their kids behind to dream of becoming soldiers themselves. Musically influenced by Simon and Garfunkel, with Crosby, Stills, Nash-style harmonies.
And the EP ends with ‘She And He’ – a modern love story of opposites who attract and stay together despite their differences. Musically – it’s a tribute to the old style romantic ballads of the 40’s and 50’s, but done in a uniquely J.J. Crowne way.”
J.J.’s songs from both his first album and this new EP are now being played on hundreds of radio stations all around the globe and his music is receiving rave reviews from various publications & critics from all walks of life. Artistically, creatively, musically and just from a basic human standpoint, J.J. Crowne is as genuine as they come with music & lyrics that truly speak. Pure talent and pure heart is what J.J. has and this is what he has to offer for all to enjoy now. So…do you think we can finally Crowne J.J. as King in his own right or…at least for a day? May the legacy of the Musical Chameleon live on forever!
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)