MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – Jonny Ong
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonny Ong blends jazz, folk and rock in his latest single Fools, an emotional track about lost love that also pays homage to The Beatles. We caught up with Jonny to find out more about the track and accompanying video, including the writing process, themes and behind the scenes stories.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you?
Fools stands out because of all the emotion it holds. It was a lot to write! I think the arrangement of this song is really interesting as well – all the elements of rock and jazz and folk are balanced nicely and I’m really proud of it! I’ve paid homage to The Beatles in some of the lyrics in here too – see if you can spot it…
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
I tracked and recorded this song with my bandmate Callum in my home studio in London and brought in some other musicians from Holy Roller and the Smoking Guns to play on the track as well. What was really lovely was that piano and drums were both recorded in my home country of Singapore, I’m really glad to have some of my own heritage in this track directly.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
I write a lot about love and how difficult it can be. I think we can all relate to the anxieties surrounding what other people think about us and about who we’re with. I like looking at universal themes from an observer’s point of view – not that I’m entirely separate from them! It just makes for an interesting songwriting angle.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
I think the themes of uncertainty are well reflected. It’s hard to capture a concept like that on film, but we just used this idea of constantly searching and never being satisfied and translated it into the video – hopefully you think we pulled it off!
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
I remember whilst we were filming a guy stepped into a shot with ten dogs on leads, all continuously barking. He was totally oblivious to the fact we had a film crew there. Thank goodness for editing!
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
Stay safe! And if you wanted a painfully appropriate song for these times, you can check out my other track, Isolation (I swear I didn’t know about the virus when writing it!) – I also have more awesome tunes coming soon so keep an eye out.