Jonathan Lobo may still be starting out on his musical journey but he’s already made an impact – and even more excitingly, has released his debut song The Cost!
Creativity Undefined spoke with Jonathan about finding the courage to explore your artistic side, his dream collaboration, and supporting indie musical artists.
Was there a specific moment in your life that triggered your musical journey? If yes, what was it? If no, then how did it begin?
I’ve been writing songs since the age of 11 without ever really doing anything with them. There is no single moment that triggered my musical journey, however the global lockdown due to the pandemic gave me the opportunity to reflect and gain some courage to release songs I’ve written.
What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve faced so far and how did you overcome it?
I work full-time as a lawyer so balancing out time and energy for my music has been a challenge. I’ve got a great group of people around me and had some solid mentors like Raghav Meattle and Carla Saad (of As Per Casper) that encouraged me the whole way. At the end of the day, I love music and would always find a way to make time for it.
Is there a stereotype or misconception that frustrates you the most? What is it/are they? Why?
No stereotype that’s frustrating per se. As an Indian expatriate based in Dubai, I think expressing my individuality over preconceived cultural association has been challenging but enjoyable, nonetheless.
What’s your favourite work that you’ve created so far?
I’m just starting my musical journey so my favourite work is always the next piece of work. I fall in love more with each new song I’m working on as new layers and intricacies are built into it. Maybe ask me again in a few years when I’ve had a chance to look back.
How would you describe your style?
Mellow, lo-fi, artistic storytelling.
Simple chords and piano melodies.
Soft and clear vocals.
Did it evolve over time or was it a deliberate choice from the beginning?
It has evolved over time due to different musical influences.
I listen to rap, folk, dance, jazz, r&b, rock, indie, classical and even metal.
Is there any specific artist or anyone from the music industry that you’d love to work with? Who? Why?
I think her voice and control [are] phenomenal.
Have you had to adjust anything since the pandemic began? What? Why?
The pandemic resulted in a cancellation of live entertainment for a period of time. There was no opportunity to test my songs out before a live audience. I had to adjust to going online on Instagram live, discord etc to seek out open mics and other opportunities.
Has the pandemic affected you creatively? How? Why?
Yes, I would say it had a positive effect on me creatively as it allowed me to do some internal reflection. Working from home also gave me the opportunity to practice and play music more. The more I did it, the more I enjoyed it and the more courage I got to start putting stuff out.
What advice do you have for indie musicians or musical artists who are using social media to build awareness about themselves and their work?
Take chances, be brave and stay true to who you are as a person and musician.
How do you think indie musical artists have had to adjust since the pandemic hit?
Definitely! Indie musical artists rely on the community they build around them. The pandemic has taken away human lives and the opportunity to connect with others like times before. Adjusting to online shows, concerts and even working with producers remotely may have been common for indie musical artists.
Do you think these pivots/changes will last after the pandemic is over? Why?
Some things will stick around but perhaps not be used as greatly as before. At the end of the day, real life human connection cannot be replaced.
Do you think there’s enough support for the indie music community? What can be done to support artists further once the pandemic’s over?
I think creating opportunities for indie music to showcase itself to the world is key. Concerts and festivals that focus on or incorporate indie artists all have a role to play. I believe if radio-stations see the potential for an indie audience then airplay is a not-too-distant reality.
What’s a big goal that you’d hope to achieve in the next few years?
To have my music playing on rotation on the radio.