MEAWW's Basement Tapes: Johnny Stimson drops melancholic, vibey R&B-pop track 'Hard To Say Goodbye'
Stimson gained some recognition after Taehyung from K-Pop group BTS was seen singing along to his songs, but he also boasts Elton John as a fan
R&B vocalist and songwriter Johnny Stimson has premiered his latest single 'Hard to Say Goodbye' via Billboard.
'Hard to Say Goodbye' is a beautifully melancholic track, and Stimson's R&B vocals perfectly harmonize with the chilled out beats. The track itself encompasses the feeling of homesickness one feels even before they've left home. It's a feeling that can often prompt one to be more appreciative of the little moments that didn't seem to matter before.
While Stimson's sound, especially on this single, is distinctively R&B-pop, he does draw on a diverse range of influences including The Beatles, Tom Misch, Sam Cooke, and Frank Ocean. But what is unique to Stimson's work is the combination of soul and pop that gives off a very soft, ethereal feel. This sound owes both to his smooth vocals as well as the fact that as a multi-instrumentalist who boasts of piano, guitar, and bass skills, Stimson is able to craft musical landscapes that reflect exactly what he wants to convey. And in doing so, he is able to tell a coherent story through his each of his songs. He states, "I want to continue to have sonic variety in my music, but to have common thematic and musical ideas that help the songs work together to tell a complete story."
On his latest single, Stimson draws on all these influences and more but still manages to create something that flows like silk. In addition to his vibey music, however, there's another reason Stimson seems to be gaining popularity so quickly — he counts Elton John and South Korean group BTS as his fans!
Life is all about taking risks. But Stimson worked out a long time ago that it's more than just that — it's about choosing the right risks to take. He had already landed high-profile syncs on 'The Vampire Diaries' and 'Trophy Wife', but the Dallas native knew there was more for him out there. He had a gut feeling that something amazing would happen if he only took a step forward, so he urged a European booking agent to get him a gig in London.
And as it turned out, his hunch was right because just one day after his performance, Stimson got a call from none other than Elton John himself. Turns out, someone at the gig knew the rock legend and told him about a certain singer he happened to see the previous night. "In the following months, we built this incredible partnership," Stimson was quoted as saying in a press release. "I recognized the importance of taking risks because it was the only way I would’ve been able to do this," he added.
Stimson also found an overwhelming number of new listeners flooding his Twitter with messages after BTS' Taehyung was heard singing along to the song 'Flower' earlier this year. This isn't the first interaction Stimson has had with the South Korean idol, however. He also shared a clip of himself singing along to Stimson's 'So Good' in December last year, and since then the love between BTS' fandom ARMY and Stimson has only continued to grow. Stimson himself was moved by the unexpected feature and he made a request for a future collaboration with Taehyung, and the request has been echoed by ARMYs worldwide.
And while many patiently await a duet between the two, Stimson continues to put out some stunning R&B-pop music that really speaks to your soul.
'MEAWW's Basement Tapes' is a weekly column that shines a spotlight on undiscovered/underrated musical gems.