Although nearly eight long years have passed since the release of Jon B, née Jonathan David Buck’s, last solo release, Comfortable Swagg, fret no more because the wait is finally over! The multi-platinum singer-songwriter-producer, known for a string of, now classic, hit singles; the Babyface assisted “Someone to Love,” “Pretty Girl,” “Don’t Say,” “Are U Still Down,” featuring the late, great 2Pac and “They Don’t Know” to name some, has returned with the second selection from his upcoming, not to mention eagerly awaited, eighth album, Understand.
The Providence, Rhode Island born, California raised singer made his album debut in 1995 and now almost 25 years later he is still putting out great music.
We caught up with Jon B to talk about the new music, what he’s been up to and much more. Check out the full interview below.
Parlé Mag: You just unleashed a brand new song, with stunning accompanying visuals, entitled “Priceless,” which also dropped on November 11th making it a 45th birthday present to yourself — What actually prompted this decision?
Jon B: It’s really more of a gift to my wife; her b-day (was) November 17th. It’s a complimentary song to women in general; to the women holding it down.
Watch the visual for “Priceless” below, an ode for the 40th birthday of Jon’s wife, Danette Buck.
Parlé Mag: The last time we, the masses, last heard from you was back in April with your Donell Jones duet, “Understand” — Tell me about this particular composition?
Jon B: The collab came from 2018 Soul Train Awards performance. It was such a good vibe, we decided to collab. I compare the feeling of “Understand” to a song like “They Don’t Know,” for the simple fact I’m being honest as to what it feels like at 45 to still want to woo the listener/lover with the same energy. This song is about wanting to have a high expectation of yourself, in and out of a relationship, and being held to that standard for yourself.
Parlé Mag: Both singles come courtesy of your upcoming – not to mention exceedingly overdue – eighth studio collection of the same name — Why did you also opt to title the project Understand?
Jon B: Understand represents a man looking back on his life, and seeing how much he has accomplished and how far he still has to go.
Parlé Mag: It’s been more than six long years since your last solo outing, 2013’s B-Side Collection, why such a lengthy delay between records? And what all exactly had/have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, during this lengthy musical hiatus?
Jon B: Constant touring and spending time with the family. The most important thing for me right now is to make the best decisions in business and personally, and that’s what this time has allowed me.
Parlé Mag: How then would you say you’ve either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?
Jon B: I’ve learned to adapt with the music and with the business, and be in more control of my career.
Parlé Mag: What all exactly has been the key to your long-standing success?
Jon B: Staying true to myself.
Parlé Mag: Are you content with the current state of R&B music?
Jon B: I like things about the current state of R&B, but not everything. I will always fit in because love is a constant that you can’t live without. Women need to be celebrated and not sexualized, and that’s where I’ve always come in. Chivalry isn’t dead.
Parlé Mag: Outside of music, what all else interests you?
Jon B: I’ve always wanted to get into yachting, and painting has always been a love of mine.
Parlé Mag: To date, what has been your biggest career moment?
Jon B: Working with Babyface is still one of my top achievements… Tupac sits right up top with him.
Parlé Mag: As for the immediate future, what’s next for you, Mr. Buck?
Jon B: Tour dates to follow!
Parlé Mag: Lastly, is there anything in particular you’d like to leave our readers with?
Jon B: Thank You for riding with me all these years, (and) can’t wait to share the new music with you top of 2020. Thank you for the support of the single ”Understand,” featuring Donell Jones. The new album is called Understand, coming January 2020.
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