PJ Morton Band
Gig Seeker Pro

PJ Morton Band

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
09
PJ Morton Band @ Temple bar

Santa Monica, California, USA

Santa Monica, California, USA

Oct
22
PJ Morton Band @ Shrine World Center

New York City, New York, USA

New York City, New York, USA

Oct
12
PJ Morton Band @ Fan Appreciation Concert

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Soul goes POP

Atlanta's PJ Morton serves up something for everyone

By Grant Britt

Published 04.11.2007

In the beginning, there was soul. It got the message across and then some. Over time, it got pushed to the background, called "old school," beat on with programmed rhythms and called "neo." But thank God there are still some practitioners who understand and respect the genre.

"Soul music is a feeling," says Atlanta-based soul man PJ Morton. Though not around when the big dogs like Otis and Pickett were serving up steaming platters of the stuff, the minister's son nevertheless understands the basic principle involved. "It's how it makes you feel, it's not necessarily having certain instruments involved."

Morton, who is the son of prominent televangelist Bishop Paul Morton, decided not to follow in his father's footsteps. "He wasn't upset about it. He took the stance that any cool father would ­-- to support me in whatever I was doing. He's always been really my biggest fan."

Although he admits there's a gospel as well as a soul element in what he does, he doesn't cling to either label. "I've made a term for my music, and it's called soulful pop music," Morton says. "It's soulful always because I write from my heart, and usually when people relate to my music, they can feel it right there where it came from -- a pure place. The pop in soulful pop, because I try to write music that all types of people can relate to: all ages, all races, genders."

There's a spiritual element as well, attributable to how Morton says he lives his life. Though he doesn't perform gospel, he's still active in the genre, writing and producing for gospel artists including Dewane Woods, who had one of the biggest records in gospel this year.

A lot of Morton's secular music comes across Stevie Wonder style. On his latest release, Perfect Song, the Wonder spirit floats though on piano and vocals. "Blah Blah Blah" sounds like it could be an outtake from Talking Book. "Here For You" is a mix of Wonder and another influence, James Taylor.

He credits Wonder as being a part of his development -- writing as well as singing. Although he thinks Taylor is soulful, it was his storytelling abilities, not his voice that got Morton interested in him. "His writing is unmatched," Morton says. "I think James on the folk side just lyrically is how I was so deeply influenced."

Morton was able to channel those influences into his own easygoing style and by the age of 14, he was a working pro, playing at the House Of Blues gospel brunch. "I couldn't get on gigs just because I was good for a 14-year old," the singer/pianist says. "I had to be as good as those older guys I was singing with." But it was in his 20s, while attending Atlanta's Morehouse College, that he made his most important connection. "I was playing on the piano in the lobby in my apartment complex and she came down and started singing," he says of his first meeting with India.Arie. "I didn't know who she was at that time. Her first record hadn't even come out yet ­-- she wasn't India yet." Morton met India.Arie his second year in college. By his third year, he had written a song on her second album. By the time he was a senior at Morehouse, he had won a Grammy.

Since then, he's written more for her, toured with Erykah Badu and written and produced for Kierra Kiki Sheard and L.L. Cool J, and continues to do production work for Atlanta's Jermaine Dupri, founder of the So So Def label.

Morton has kept busy this year with the release of Perfect Song and the formation of The PJ Morton Band. He's appearing on MTV's Beach Blast, then gets busy recording another record for U.K./Japan release, and, in his spare time, works with a slew of artists in the Dupri stable. "It's packed this year," Morton says, "but it's a good thing."
- Grant Britt - Charlotte Creative Loafing


Morton's sophomore release, Perfect Song, demonstrates his attempt to distance himself from the acoustic troubadoor of 2005. Now redubbed The PJ Morton Band, PJ and company consciously frontload Perfect Song with uptempo cuts. Morton appears to have found inspiration in early 70's rock and pop. Morton's songs stick in your head and are memorable radio-worthy gems. - April 2007


Discography

@ This evening - Johnta Austin - Ocean Ave. -Virgin
Getaway - Monica - Pieces Of Me - J Records
@ So Amazing - Jagged Edge - Jagged Edge -Columbia
*Let Go - Dewayne Woods - Zomba
Don't lose your candlestick - Men Of Standard - Feels Like Rain -Muscle Shoals
*Interested - India.Arie - Voyage To India - Motown/Universal
I Resign -Bishop Paul S. Morton - Crescent City Fire - Gospocentric
Let Him In - Greater St. Stephen Mass Choir - Blackberry Records
As For Me and My House - Greater St Stephen Mass Choir - Blackberry Records
A Forgiving God - Greater St. Stephen Mass Choir -Blackberry Records
*Fight On - Men Of Standard - New Day - Muscle Shoals
*Peace That Calms - Men Of Standard - New Day - Muscle Shoals
^I Don't Know Why- William Murphy - All Day - Sony
^Changes - William Murphy - All Day - Sony
*How Much You Mean to Me - Ted and Sheri - Celebrate - Warner Bros.
^Turn It Around - Ted and Sheri- Celebrate - Warner Bros.
Fall In The Midst - Compilation - Gospel Heritage 2002
*Why Do I Do - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Rain - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
#How We Were - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
#Emotions In Disguise - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Forever - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Real Love - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Grass Just Looks Greener - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Why Can't I Talk About Love - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Keep Movin On - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Free - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
*Back In Time - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation
^Common Ground - Freestyle Nation - Freeversation

No Indication: written only
*written and produced
^produced only
#co-written and produced
@ co-written

Photos

Bio

The PJ Morton Band is a contemporary blend of Pop, Rock and Soul music all embodied into several perfected songs. Started by the group’s leader PJ Morton, a Grammy award winning writer/producer (India Arie, Jermaine Dupri, Fred Hammond, Jagged Edge), the band encompasses a very diverse montage of musical minds that bring a distinctly unique flavor to live and recorded music.

PJ Morton was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. Growing up listening to the Beatles, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor, PJ began to play the piano at the age of 8 and by age 12 he was singing, writing and producing his own songs. PJ started his first band when he was only 12 years old and brought in lifelong friend Ed Clark, age 14 at the time, to play the drums. Upon entering high school, PJ’s dreams of being an artist began to take shape continuing to sing, write and produce original songs. During a visit to his uncle’s church, PJ met a bassist named Brian Cockerham, which would be the precursor to a predestined meeting in time.

While PJ and Ed were continuing to cultivate their creative crafts in New Orleans, LA, Brian roomed with a lead guitar player named Jesse Bond at Berklee College School of Music. As destiny’s plot thickens, during a visit to Atlanta, GA in 2001, PJ met Jesse and asked him to play lead guitar for a group he was starting called Freestyle Nation. Congregating at a club in Atlanta, PJ again crossed paths with Brian and decided to keep in touch with the future possibility of working together.

After several performances with Freestyle Nation, PJ decided to do a solo record while the others added production and performance credits to their personal resumes: Ed-Mary Mary, Ted and Sheri, Donald Lawrence; Jesse-Toni Braxton, Rubben Studdard, Faith Evans; and Brian- Bad Boy, G-Unit, Missy Elliot and Fantasia. PJ’s debut solo release entitled Emotions, was highly acclaimed by both music lovers and industry critics generating a performance buzz as he brought in Ed, Jesse and Brian to record and tour with him.

“Dreams are to destiny as pieces are to a puzzle; only revered once the pieces are all put into place…”(dh) This theme seems to be fate’s tell card as the band’s personal performance and production experiences, along with their individual music tastes, have been the structural keys to success for the band’s savory and signature sound. Having toured successfully throughout the US and UK, The PJ Morton Band has recently completed works on a new record entitled: Perfect Song.. This collective collage of spirit inspired songs, speaks to the soul of every listener awaking the lover, the musician, the writer and the dreamer in us all.