On this week's episode of Switched on Pop, Charlie Harding discusses the career of one of the hardest-working musicians on the scene today, PJ Morton, with the man himself.
Talking to PJ about what it’s like “to work with his heroes” and what he thinks about “overlooked modern classics from Stevie Wonder and Nas,” who joined him as sources of inspiration on his new album Watch The Sun.
Starting off by talking about the work and his process, Morton noted he’s “never been the type of person who needed to be sad to write a sad song, or be happy to write a happy song.” Adding for him it’s much deeper than that, before walking us through a step by step journey of how he composed his hypnotizing track "Be Like Water,” the track that features both aforementioned superstars.
First to join on the track was Stevie, “just hearing him do those melodies I thought in my head that are already so Stevie… was crazy,” Morton shared. “What comes to mind is actually me producing his vocals because I was a little bashful initially,” he recalled, noting Stevie would ask “that’s cool?,” with him being shy to respond. But after Stevie assured him “I’m not Stevie right now, I want the best for the record,” the two eventually got in a groove and Morton walked away with a lesson. That “the greats are the most open, no wonder your great, your ego is not in the way of this, you just want the greatness like I do.”
After noting the track had a “weird kind of beat,” PJ said he knew only “Nas could slice this up,” that he needed “a master.”
“I mean his references to water — you know aquatic, you know he’s going through it,” PJ declared, “it’s like really a masterclass in rhyming, and to be rhyming about being like water.”
NGL Charlie and PJ get into so much more. So if you like what you've read so far, then you definitely want to press play on the full episode of Switched on Pop above. And of course, also check out "Be Like Water" below.