Originally from Sundridge, ON and now calling Alliston, ON home is Canadian singer-songwriter & recording artist Jonny Lee. “Jonny comes from a proud family history of farming complemented by a rich music background – audio production credits on the Monty Python series in addition to overseas disc-jockeying success can be traced thru his lineage.” (Lee). His small-town experience, true country lifestyle and musical upbringing translate into the honest and relatable stories he shares through his songs-akin to traditional country. With a unique sound that blends the best of country and rock, Jonny earned himself a #33 Sirius XM’s CBC Country charting single, with his debut release “Half The Bottle”. The song also went on to rank the top 100 on the iTunes Top 200 Country Songs Chart. In 2021 he released his latest single, “Come Back”– which speaks to someone who is missing the one they love while they are away, and can’t wait to be reunited with them. A song that many can relate to given the current circumstances of the global COVID-19 pandemic this past year, that meant many were separated from our friends and family. In addition, the song recently surpassed 50K Spotify streams, a clear indication of the future success in store for this artist.
Recently I spoke with Jonny about his latest single, his path to pursuing country music and his goals for this year.
Kyla Pearson: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, can you tell us a bit about your path to pursuing music? What made you want to become an artist?
Jonny Lee: It’s been quite the journey so far but I really wish I had found this road sooner. I was involved with several local band projects for a few years before I realized that I wanted to dive in and take a run at a solo career as an artist with my own sound and vision. I was posting some cover song videos on social media when I got connected with songwriter & current CMAO Producer of the Year nominee Shawn Moore – it’s been a crazy ride ever since.
KP: Your latest single, “Come Back” was written by you and Shawn Moore. The song is about someone who is away from those they love, much like many of us during this pandemic. What inspired you to write this song?
Jonny Lee: Travel, love and the experiences of life on the road. Being away from home, there is a certain type of sacrifice made with your loved ones – it’s an unfortunate but unavoidable part of the
deal. When Shawn and I wrote “Come Back”, I don’t think we could’ve predicted the magnitude of relevancy the song’s message continues to hold as the pandemic carries on well into 2021.
KP: Can you tell us a bit about the songwriting/recording process that went into making the song? How did you come up with the hook for the song?
Jonny Lee: It all came together pretty quickly after we settled on the song’s storyline. Shawn and I have both had similar experiences of living life on the road away from loved ones back home – we
felt that there would be many people out there that could relate and so far the feedback has been great.
KP: The song also recently surpassed 50K+ streams on Spotify and is your first single release to reach such a milestone. How does that achievement feel?
Jonny Lee: The amount of support for “Come Back” has been absolutely amazing. The song itself has a very different feel from my previous single “Half The Bottle” so I wasn’t really sure what to expect in terms of reaction and reception but from Day 1 my team and I believed in the song and trusted the process. Glacier Bay Entertainment played an integral role from start to finish and reaching the 50K milestone is a testament to our collective effort as a team. To everyone who’s streamed any of my songs, I cannot thank you enough for giving my music a listen.
KP: What is one thing you miss about pre-covid times and are looking forward to once life goes back to some form of normalcy?
Jonny Lee: I really miss live music. The atmosphere is irreplaceable. Not just as a performing artist but as a fan as well. Music is my strongest source of inspiration and I don’t think I’m alone in that boat. The day that I’m able to perform in front of everyone who has been with me from the start is what I’m looking forward to the most.
KP: You also co-write often. How has co-writing with fellow artists and songwriters impacted your own music? What is one thing you’ve learnt from co-writing?
Jonny Lee: I’m lucky to have worked with some very experienced songwriters. I’m the type that tries to learn something from everyone I work with. If I had to narrow it down to one thing – I’d say lose your ego but not your vision. Discussing a topic objectively with emotional interference is key to writing a strong song.
KP: If you could collaborate with one of your musical inspirations in a write, who would it be and why? What kind of song would you write?
Jonny Lee: Very tough question but right now I would have to say, Hardy. I’ve been a huge supporter for years now and I really dig his writing style and attitude. His collaborations with Ernest and Morgan Wallen have also been monumental in the industry this past year. I feel like we could write a great country song together about beers and golf (Hardy if you’re reading this, the round and drinks are on me!)
KP: Moving forward in 2021, what is one goal you hope to achieve with your music by the end of the year? Do you plan on releasing new music other than “Come Back”?
Jonny Lee: I was definitely hoping to perform and play some shows in Ontario but I have a new song coming out this summer that I’m really excited to release. I don’t want to give too much away just yet but it’s a really fun song that I hope everyone is going to enjoy as much as I do! I’m headed into the studio at the end of June to record some new material for next year as well so suffice to say there’s a lot more Jonny Lee music in the works!
Listen to Come Back now:
Stay up to Date With Jonny Lee:
iTunes/Apple Music: https://www.tiktok.com/@jonny_lee_music
Lee, Jonny. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, May 22 2021.
Lee, Jonny. “Featured: Canadian singer-songwriter & recording artist Jonny Lee. Photo courtesy of Jonny Lee. Accessed May 22 2021.
Lee, Jonny. “Official cover art for Jonny Lee’s latest single, ‘Come Back’ ”. Photo courtesy of Jonny Lee. Accessed May 22 2021.