Floating gracefully between a dreamy bedroom-pop sound and a warm layer of soulful R&B, comes “butterflies”, the newly-released EP by the innovative Johnny Stimson. The EP is an 8-song compilation that relates a journey of transformation, growth, and learning through struggle.
With over 200 million combined global streams, the young singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist signed on to Sir Elton John’s own Rocket Records in 2015, quickly positioning himself as a potentially massive star on the rise.
We have an interview for you fans and newcomers alike today that I think will illuminate some things while also making you crave more of what this amazing young artist has to offer. Hang on he’s just getting started!
Tell us a little bit about Butterflies, it’s my understanding that the name comes from a place of transformations and metamorphoses for you?
Thanks for asking!! Yes, this song and really the underlying theme of the whole project was just to celebrate seasons of change. It’s been such a strange time around the world and I wrote this to remind myself that things will be even better on the other side. Sometimes that metamorphoses phase can be tough to wait through, but the part where you turn into the most colorful version of yourself and fly away always makes me happy.
In that regard, would you consider this EP your most profoundly personal work yet?
I’d say so, yeah! I try to always just write the soundtrack of my life and so every song feels intensely personal to me. I spent a lot of time reflecting and getting to know myself better this year though, and I think it really comes out in the music.
Did you feel changed after it was done and released?
yes! I listened to it for the millionth time the day it came out and I felt a giant exhale. and Then I started writing more 🙂
What’s the most special song on this EP to you?
i think “blueberry” is the most special song to me. My younger sister told our family that they were having a baby and that right then it was the size of a blueberry. I started writing this song for them as soon as we got home to the piano. it’s one of those songs that will stick with me forever since it’s so close to my heart. i remember i did an instagram live the day it came out and when i sang it, everyone started putting the blue hearts in the comments. It was honestly such an emotional moment for me to get to share something so personal with so many people around the world. I love that song!
Between “Princess Peach” and your “Material Things” music video, I think it’s pretty safe to say you dig video games. What are your favorites? Any genre, in particular, you like above the rest?
haha you’re right!! You know what’s funny though? I’m soooo bad at video games. during the pandemic, i wanted to play some more though and i bought a Nintendo switch. We love playing Mario kart and I just love any of the Mario games. I think it’s because if I open up Fortnite or something I just immediately die. haha everyone in the world is so good at games! I still just like the easy fun ones like Mario! probably my fave of all time though is the OG halo. I played that allllll the time with my friends growing up and I can still probably win at rocket launchers on wizard.
Will you be taking your EP on stage any time soon?
YESSS and I can’t wait. We are making plans for a tour next year and I can’t wait. I’ve had a few shows this year and I am loving playing all these new jams with the band. I can’t wait to get back out there again!
Getting a call from Sir. Elton John himself and then signing on Rocket Records is certainly a watershed moment for your career. Do you feel like you’ve evolved artistically since then?
i think so! that was a really formative time in my career. Of course, just talking with Elton and getting such great encouragement from him was life-changing. There were a lot of business choices to make around then too and I really learned a ton about the industry. I also felt really low there for a minute when some major opportunities fell through. but i think working on my resilience around that time has really helped me to stay in the game. I am so thankful for that time and I still can hardly believe it happened.
Finally, what is next for Johnny Stimson?
we’ve got quite a bit lined up over the next year. I’m already fully into the next album and having an absolute blast with the new music. I just got home from LA yesterday working on new songs. Then there’s a tour, and new videos, and I’m hoping for some awesome collaborations too. I definitely plan to keep doing life over social media too. I really enjoy connecting with people directly that way so i’m going to keep it up! Thanks so much for the great questions!
CONNECT WITH JOHNNY STIMSON
photos / B Stimson
story / Samuel Aponte