Jonah Cohen
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Jonah Cohen

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Discovering Artists - Featured Artist"

Jonah Cohen is a heartfelt songwriter with snazzy vocals. He's got a fond appreciation for analyzing the past ala John Mayer, and doesn't sound far off from Mr. Mayer either. We caught up with him to learn a little more about the singerJonah Cohen is a self-described "nostalgiaholic", who admits that he dwells on the past.

So it was only fitting to title his first album, Flashback.

The New York native grew up as a typical child, who daydreams about the time in his life when it was simple.

"I guess I focus on the past and especially my childhood because I don't want to forget those feelings of being carefree and living without super high expectations," says the singer. "I think we all had the Zen-thing going on much more as children and by recalling those experiences, we can help to introduce that enjoyment into our current lives."

He graduated from Brown University in May with a degree in Visual Arts, a passion for painting, and a completed course load in the pre-medical sciences. At Brown, Jonah began playing shows, traveling to different colleges on the weekends.

"I love the fact that even after a song is written, you can re-discover it over and over again every time it is played or performed," says Cohen. "Once you finish a sculpture, it is pretty static and much less dynamic - that stability has its own merits but I just love the feeling of the guitar too much right now to commit my heart to much else musically speaking that is."

His latest album, Flashback, was mixed at Boston's prestigious Q Division Studios (James Taylor, Guster, Howie Day) and mastered with Jonathan Wyner (Aerosmith, David Bowie, Phish) at M-Works. Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne referred him to Mike Denneen at Q Division and the rest was history.

And although he's used to getting the Josh Kelley comparison, Cohen developed his own style and stature. His strongest musical influences are James Taylor, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Eric Clapton.

On his new album, he harmonizes in the track, "Just Thrilled." Cohen says the song puts him in a very peaceful place, and is about reconciliation and acceptance. The song starts out with "Just when you thought you were safe, tangled emotions from the past and present/Images of old somehow looking different".

"I know that it has a sarcastic title but it isn't really a bitter song. It's more like, 'You know, there's really not anything left to say – It's just time that I say goodbye to her apparition.' I hope that this is a song people can really vibe out to, cruising with the windows down and bobbing your head."

As far as his songwriting, Cohen says he tries to base the songs off of some initial powerful feeling. Once that foundation is there, the rest is pretty easy. Without it, the song never really takes off, he adds.

"Then it is all about editing and revising until the song says exactly what I think it should say both musically and lyrically," he says. "Songs are kind of like children. Really...stay with me on this one for a sec...you have a baby and you're greatest hope is that he or she can actualize his or her fullest potential as a human being. It is the same with a song except you don't have to change the diapers as much. For me, I think the music usually comes first because I was playing guitar long before I began writing songs. I only started writing a few years ago and think that I have learned a lot over the past few years through trial and error."

With an array of other delightful "soulful, honest and hopeful" acoustic rock gems, Cohen is eager to face the future as a musician.

"I think it is always hard to know what lies ahead when so much can change day to day. I guess at this point I really can't wait for people to hear Flashback and would love to be on the road as much as possible playing shows and getting the music out there," Cohen says. " I love meeting new people and rediscovering the songs night after night."

"On a different note," Cohen adds, "I think that if Michael J. Fox ever decided to recall Marty McFly and get his old high school band together which played Huey Lewis and the News covers, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to share that stage." - Discovering Artists


"THREE TO WATCH - November 2004"

Jonah Cohen: Shagerific!
In the summer after graduating from Brown University, I imagine many new alumni are picking a corner office in Dad's company or a new car from the Mercedez dealership. Jonah Cohen broke the mold by picking up and moving to Cambridge to start working his dream of becoming a successful singer-songwriter. He has the winning looks and persona to garner the attention his songs deserve.

Of course, the coeds swoon for the handsome twenty-something, but the heartthrob's songs are heartfelt. If you want to set a romantic, introspective mood, put down the Green Day, cool guy. Think of Jonah Cohen as a Barry White of a different color. His music will get you some action. Alright, well, maybe not, but it will get you thinking romantic thoughts that don't involve the words "pizza" or "touchdown."

Take it from a fat, lonely guy who just wants someone to hold him until kick-off - you need to see a Jonah Cohen show. I'll be the one in a turtle neck and hoping you'll bring your sister. Tour dates and pics of Jonah that could turn a straight man gay are on WWW.JONAHCOHENMUSIC.com

by: Pat Keating - INsite Magzine


"Move Over John Mayer, Jonah Cohen Is Here"

Fans of young gun singer/songwriters like John Mayer and Howie Day take note: Jonah Cohen has arrived. Using influences from all types of music as ingredients, Cohen bakes his own unique "musical cake."

Fresh out of college, the upstate New York native is currently dedicating all his time to doing what he loves: composing and performing music. While it is always difficult for young artists to get their names out, Cohen is trying to counteract that barrier with his own grassroots movement (via his "Street Rep Program" on his website: www.JonahCohenMusic.com) and a relentless touring schedule of New England. Recently he paid Bentley College a visit, and was gracious enough to lend us some time before the show.

You started predominantly as a lead guitarist. Who were your influences?

Guitar-wise, my earliest influence was Eric Clapton - and all that sort of stuff. Then I got into a lot more blues; listening to B.B. King and more recently Stevie Ray Vaughan, who is just amazing. Then I started to listen to stuff like Dave Matthews and kind of made the transition there, largely from playing his songs.

Was the transition from guitarist to singer/songwriter natural?

That's a good question actually, I'm not too sure (laughs). I was definitely more interested in lead guitar than writing songs. Then I had a relationship that inspired me to write a song and once I did that, I became much more focused on writing songs. It's sort of a whole different realm really.

How would you describe your style that has emerged?

It's really like a fusion of rock, jazz and pop. I also like to think I incorporate a lot of elements of soul into my music. I kind of like to think of it as a musical cake. The first three layers are rock, jazz, and pop. On top of everything is the layer that keeps it all together; the element of soul.

Which current musicians do you admire?

John Mayer is really an inspiration; so is Gavin Degraw and Jason Mraz. Those guys really have it together and serve as an inspiration.

Where do you see your career going?

Well I just have to see how it goes. There is a point of transition and I am really just trying to figure out where it may lead, and if there is any interest from any major labels. We just recorded a three-song demo that we are trying to shop around to different labels. Right now I am just trying to get out as much as I can and play and grow as a musician. I want to try and not forget about having fun too. Whenever you try and climb somewhere it is easy to forget why you are doing it in the first place. I try not to let that happen. - The Vanguard - A&E, Issue: 2/24/05


Discography

"600 Nights to Dream" (EP) - April 12, 2005
"Flashback" (LP) - September 9, 2004

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Excluding a short stint of founding 'FROZENANA: An Apeeling Treat'', a mobile concession stand which sells gourmet chocolate-covered frozen bananas, Jonah Cohen's primary obsession has been music. Picking up the guitar at a young age, Cohen quickly began delving into the subtler principles of jazz theory. He is, first and foremost, a dazzling lead guitarist. Soon thereafter, however, a romance inspired him to write his first song, and the rest is history. Bright, irreverent, and charismatic, Jonah is truly the consummate performer: blending narratives, anecdotes, and beautiful melodies – connecting intimately with his audience. Following the release of his stunning debut album “Flashback”, Jonah threw his guitar in his Blue Plymouth Voyager and decided to hit the road. With Jonah's record already sparking major-label interest, big things seem just around the corner. FOR MORE, PLEASE VISIT: WWW.JONAHCOHENMUSIC.com