Acoustic hip-hop soul artist Johnny Gillespie puts everything on the table with his upcoming album, How You Like Me Now?, out now. This collection of sixteen striking tracks, each delivering its own unique and powerful message, provides listeners with a record meant to be left on repeat. With every listen, fans can pick up on new details, demonstrating the high caliber of complexity and depth that Gillespie’s all encompassing artistry is known to convey. Influences from his favorite artists – Sublime, Everlast, and Beck – shine through, though this project embodies Gillespie’s unique personality and artistry at its core. Achieving a masterful display of cross-genre fusion, How You Like Me Now? opens the door for fans to take a trip through Gillespie’s heart and mind while delivering banger after banger for sixteen tracks.
Sonically, the album’s production does more than bring the songs to life. Gillespie completely shatters any expectations for indie artists with this masterfully crafted, better-than-the-pro’s production. Creatively layering sounds, presenting a variety of tones and textures, and composing striking arrangements, the artist has irrefutably put every ounce of himself into this record. Whether listeners relish in the delicate intermingling of warm keys and silky lead guitar (“Note 2 Self”), or get lost jamming to fiery percussion (“Burn You Down”), Gillespie uses each track as a chance to showcase the full scope of his musical capabilities. While the artist led the production and recording process, he collaborated with significant talent on a few tracks; be on the lookout for appearances from Ronnie King, Steve Farraro, and Joe Bakhos (‘Seedless’). The LP was mixed and mastered by renowned engineers Bradley Denniston and Kevin Beggs.
Gillespie effortlessly breathes significant personality into each track, yielding a clear artistic identity throughout the record; vulnerability, intentional artistry, and swagger are definite hallmarks of this LP. Songs on How You Like Me Now? delve into a wide range of themes from dark to light, yielding an emotional arc over the course of the album. Many songs on the first half of the album focus on recounts of self hatred, hardship, and growth. “Catch Me If You Can” explores the tumultuous back and forth between inner demons, an ultimately empowering track that taunts negativity from a place of self-encouragement. Gillespie also pushes himself to open up about his struggles with mental illness in the pointed, smokey title track of the album, “How You Like Me Now?” The album encounters an upswing on “Electricity” with passionate, tender lyricism expressing overwhelming romance. He finishes the album on a high note with the rowdy anthem, “Ready For The Weekend,” a necessary track to get hyped and energized before any night out.
This timeless record is not only a manifestation of Gillespie’s lived experience, but an opportunity for listeners to find themselves in his story. Through unapologetic vulnerability, How You Like Me Now? invites fans to understand Gillespie on a more intimate level, while reflecting on their own lives. For Gillespie, he hopes this album serves as a life jacket for those struggling through hardship. When we are at our lowest, sometimes hearing the right song can be the comfort or inspiration we did not know we needed.
Johnny Gillespie is a cross genre alternative artist and songwriter based in Orange County, California. His sound blurs the lines between the warmth of old-school rap and the flexibility of the modern alternative scene, finding the sweet spot somewhere in between. His music is particularly distinctive due to the striking attention to detail and the quality production aesthetics you can expect from this talented artist. Johnny’s influences are extremely diverse, echoing the work of artists such as Sublime, Everlast, and Beck. He is not necessarily a rap artist, but rather someone who simply wants to make great music, regardless of genre aesthetics, rules and definitions.
He loves challenging himself with many different sonic ideas. Throughout the span of his career, Johnny has worked with his mentor, Ronnie King, a record producer known for his work with legends like Tupac, Mariah Carey and more. He also had the opportunity to work with artists like Casey Sullivan from Seedless, as well as collaborating with producers like Bradley Denniston (G-Eazy, Gotye…). Johnny is highly appreciated for his energetic live performances, and has also played with artists like Mickey Avalon and Yelawolf, just to mention a couple!
Connect with Johnny Gillespie on social media for updates on new music, videos, and more; @johnnygmusic