Every once in awhile, an artist comes along that defies convention and standards. Here to add some substance and depth to the R&B landscape is Paris Jones, artistically known as PJ.
The North Carolina/Atlanta singer is not the typical songbird generally associated with mainstream R&B. By traditional industry norms, PJ lacks the glam of Beyonce, the sex appeal of Rihanna, and the choreography of Ciara. Her style is not packaged like the vixen or soulstress the music industry routinely manufactures. Instead, PJ exudes the familiarity of the girl content with being herself, even if that means she won’t be designated “most popular.” But PJ’s maverick spirit is exactly what makes her so enchanting in an industry full of replicas mimicking trends rather than creatives seeking artistic expression.
PJ readily accepts her differences, stating “It’s okay to be normal and it’s okay to be strange.“ While fame is the goal a lot of artists tend to strive for, PJ has a different purpose. “I’m not trying to be a star. I’m just a person who has something to say, and I feel like a lot of people are willing to listen,” she says. “Even though there are serious tones in my music, I don’t want to be taken too seriously. I just want to represent the regular guys. The ones who are still trying to figure it out.”
Managed by SBGL Ent. and signed to Atlantic Records in 2014 by A&R Shawn Barron, PJ has made an immediate impact as a songwriter, penning popular tunes for fellow labelmates Meek Mill (“I Don’t Know”), Wiz Khalifa (“True Colors” featuring Nicki Minaj), and B.O.B. (“Not for Long” featuring Trey Songz). Most recently, PJ found herself featured as a singer on Lupe Fiasco’s “Mazinger.”
Having paid her dues behind the scenes for a full-year, PJ is now stepping out of the shadows of her peers to share her voice with the world. The first single, “Make Believe” (video below), off her Atlantic Records debut EP, Walking Around Pools (scheduled for release in March), is PJ’s testimonial of her perseverance in overcoming the challenges she faced while pursuing her dreams.
PJ has the voice, the pen, and the narrative to capture the attention of a new generation of music fans trying to figure our their purpose in life, and is poised to provide them with songs that will assist in their search for the answers.
DISCOVER is a column featuring signed artists and bands on the rise.