RJ Thompson is an independent singer, songwriter and guitarist who graduated from open mic nights around the North East of England to sharing the bill with Jools Holland and Joss Stone at the Royal Albert Hall. RJ’s latest single is a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’. We caught up with him to find out more.
My inspiration for releasing the single was simply the hope that it resonates with other people like it resonates with me.
2016 - what will you look back on most fondly from the year?
Well it was certainly an interesting year… I don’t know if there’s much of it I’ll look back on fondly though! However, there have been a few great things happen in my personal life with me and my family so it wasn’t all bad!
Did you make any new year’s resolutions?
Just to be more focused and disciplined in everything I do, whether it be songwriting, practicing, or even mundane things like exercise.
What was the biggest lesson you learnt in 2016?
The biggest thing I learnt in 2016 was how important it is to try to understand the reasons why people have certain viewpoints, regardless of whether I agree with them or not. Try to delve deeper to the root of our differences.
What was the musical highlight of 2016?
From my point of view the highlight was finally getting back into the studio to start work on my new album. I’m really excited about the direction it has taken, and really proud of it so far. In terms of other artists, I loved the musical direction of the Bruno Mars and 1975 records.
Who are you excited to hear from in 2017?
I’m interested to hear this new John Mayer album… it looks like he’s releasing a few songs from it every month, which is an interesting way of doing things. And the new Ryan Adams record too.
Tell us about the record you have just released…
The current single is a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’. It’s obviously a very well known song, but I wanted to release it because I know it resonates with a lot of people and certainly means a lot to me.
If you had to pick three artists to be filed next to, who would they be and why?
Always such a difficult question. I guess my music would sit quite nicely in the James Bay, Ben Howard, Paolo Nutini isle!
What inspired the record?
With this current single being a cover of a classic protest song, it’s obviously quite apt that it’s coming out at a time when the world is so “eventful”. I can’t take credit for the inspiration behind the writing of it, but my inspiration for releasing it was simply the hope that it resonates with other people like it resonates with me.
If the record were an animal, what animal would it be?
I’ve never been asked that question before… hmmm, I don’t know… maybe a wolf. Wolves hunt in packs, which I guess could be a metaphor for the song in the 60s being used to influence people to come together and force change.
Define your sound in five words…
Songs with words and melodies… haha.
If you could jam with one artist alive or dead, who would it be?
Bruce Springsteen… one of the greatest songwriters the world has ever seen, in my opinion.
If you could have written one song by another artist, what would it be?
Probably Thunder Road, by Springsteen. Just perfection.
Someone is making a film of your life, who will play you?
I don’t know, maybe that guy who played Billy Elliot, Jamie Bell. At least we know he can do a Geordie accent, and he’s got some rhythm.
Lastly, tell us one thing you have never revealed in an interview…
I can dislocate my thumb. It is of absolutely no use for anything, other than freaking people out a bit.
Watch the video for ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ on YouTube below. For the lastest RJ Thompson news and tour dates go to rjthompsonmusic.com.