Rising singer-songwriter J.S. Ondara is penning an irrefutably unique and rich tale of the American Dream. Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, and raised on a healthy dose American alternative rock, Ondara moved to the US in 2014 to pave forth a path for himself in Minneapolis' historic local music scene. Now, much like his role model and fellow Minnesotan, Bob Dylan, Ondara is weaving together a rich lyrical tapestry.
"Torch Song," the artist's latest single to date, which is taken from his highly-anticipated debut album, Tales of America, is a poignant ode to a lost love. The idea of a torch song, a sentimental note to unrequited love, is a musical staple that stretches back as far as music itself. However, when Ondara lends his emotionally-laden vocal prowess to the subject matter, the deeply sentimental tale as old as time takes on a newfound life. "Torch Song" is rife with the wisdom and pain of an old soul. This is timeless songwriting at its finest.
Chronicling the active ongoings of a broken heart, Ondara pierces the heavens, singing, "My heart is never on time/ Always a little behind/ Oh when it's about to break/ I close my eyes and count to ten." The heartbreak is palpable in every second of the four minutes that make up "Torch Song."
Yet, even for the most brilliant of songwriters or the most talented of voices, translating that level of emotional depth to a live setting can prove to be an often-insurmountable endeavor. Well, we are happy to be the first to tell you that even in a studio session, "Torch Song" retain all its wondrously beautiful melancholy.
Take your exclusive first look at the studio session for "Torch Song" below, and keep an eye out for Tales Of America: