John Alone has a moniker worthy of graphic novels, so imagine a lone troubadour, cleric-like in his posture, coming to a wild, unruly town to bring peace and order to a place long forgotten for those qualities. The son of a preacher, an artist already so self-aware he writes a song about ego checking in his most nascent career state, John Alone is the proverbial artist-hero, man venturing against the odds, armed only with his distinct voice and delicately crafted songs.
Born and raised in London, much of "Ego" is a product of that city, its pressures and "pedestal" culture, where artists are often pitted against each other in an unhealthy manner, leveling and slighting each other as they go. Determined to do it differently, John wrote "Ego" as both a reminder of who he is, his roots as a person of principle, but also an admission that a healthy ego is a requisite for success, a driver of belief in oneself. True to all artists, but especially those still formulating their career, that balance between self-belief, being aware and supportive of your peers, and simultaneously avoiding unhealthy noise and clutter is the equilibrium of success. Navigating it with a positive mindset, allowing for empathy and reflection is clearly the path John has chosen, and "Ego" is a testament to casting less harm, to be "better at being who I am."
"Ego" is a response to the stush nature of London, but it also has the early hallmarks of John's sound: a gravely sing-songy verse over a clave-backed rhythm, mixing blends of Afro-Caribbean sounds with the grit of rap, both haunting beautiful and brooding. John crafts a sound that bears evidence of his many prior projects, an expansiveness of influences that is both familiar in references and unique in its deployment. Clearly, much of John's future stylings will evolve, but what is most meritorious of "Ego" is his statement on mindset, a cool calm demeanor, aware of obstacles but unperturbed, true to his roots but willing to evolve and preserve as he bests his way through the unruly place he inhabits.
Listen to "Ego" below: