If, like us, you appreciate good songs that actually carry meaningful messages which will resonate with people everywhere then you’re going to love, “London,” by RJ Thompson.
We first introduced you to the talented British singer and songwriter RJ Thompson when he released a cover of the iconic Bob Dylan song, “The Times Are A-Changin’,” back in February. Although RJ had always loved the song, he decided to record his own version and make it available for the public as a way of standing up against everything that was going on in the world at the time. But in contrast to the title of the song, the times are not a-changin’ and recent events would lead us to believe that the world we live in is currently more unstable than ever.
This is where RJ’s latest single, “London,” comes in… RJ penned this song as a nod to all of the events that have unfolded over the last year or so. In an attempt to rationalise what has been going on, he wrote, “London,” about how the events have affected both himself and everyone around him. He wrote it for anyone who has ever felt alienated or who has been discriminated against, and ultimately for anyone who just needs a little bit of hope to help them through these rough times.
After writing, “London,” RJ decided that he wanted to create a music video for it that was empowering yet brutally honest of the world we currently live in so he enlisted the help of director Ian West to bring his vision to life. The finished product is incredible and it is everything that the song needed and so much more. We really love it, but you can check it out for yourself below:
Following the release of his latest music video, we had the chance to interview RJ about, “London,” and everything else that he has coming up.
Your current single, “London,” is very relevant to everything that the UK is going through at the moment, but what was it that first inspired you to write this song?
“A couple of years ago I was in London with my family, and we took a sightseeing boat trip on the river. The tour guide explained to us the history behind the lions head statues that line the Thames, and he used an expression, “If the lions are drinking, London is sinking.” That always stuck with me. Then last summer, in an attempt to rationalise some of the aftermath from the Brexit vote, I started to write this song. The opening line, “They say that London would sink in a day, so put on a show. Well the lions are drinking today and I’m watching the river overflow,” is obviously a direct reference to that old saying, but then the rest of the song focuses on the story of an immigrant who feels alienated and how she found hope within the chaos.”
Why do you think it is so important for musicians like yourself to write about current affairs and the real issues that we are all facing in this world?
“I have strong views on various issues, but I don’t proclaim to know everything about everything. But this world needs people to engage. We need to talk about our problems, as well as the good things. This is my way of engaging.”
The music video for, “London,” is very powerful. Ultimately, what do you hope people will take away from it?
“Ideally people will agree with the overall message, that we need to stand up against things that we don’t agree with. I wanted, in amongst the darkness of the video, for there to be a sense of hope.”
We know that you are currently making plans to tour the UK later this year, but what can your fans expect from this tour?
“A strangely large amount of synthesizers, and way too much denim!”
You have covered some great songs in the past and we loved your rockabilly version of, “Hey Ya,” by OutKast but what song do you want to cover next?
“Well we’ve just done a cover of, “Come Together,” by The Beatles which is the B-Side to, “London,” but I haven’t really thought about what’s next. I’m sure we’ll be throwing some covers into the live sets though.”
You’re going to be supporting Jools Holland on tour this year and after performing with him a few times in the past too, you must have built up quite a good relationship with him. Would you say that he has influenced your music or your performance style in any way?
“We obviously sit in quite different musical genres but I’ve learned a lot about performing from spending time with him and his incredible band. We’ve played some big shows with him and he has really given me an understanding of how to engage with crowds of that size. It’s really different to a smaller show.”
Which other famous musicians do you think have influenced your music over the years?
“I’m a huge fan of Springsteen, Dylan, and newer songwriters like Ryan Adams. Although my music is perhaps “popper,” they have had a huge influence over the years.”
Aside from your upcoming tour, do you have any other big plans for 2017?
“Yeah, I’m just finishing up the new album so that will be getting released in the autumn. I’m really, really proud of it.”
We love your current single, “London,” and we definitely have it on repeat but what song do you have on repeat right now?
“I really love the new Ryan Adams album, so that gets a lot of play. Other than that, I have spent way too much time listening to comedy music recently… Flight Of The Conchords, people like that. Just for a laugh really.”
And finally, do you have a message for your fans?
“Just thank you really. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting what I do. And I hope you like what is coming.”
We want to give a massive shout-out to RJ for taking the time to answer our questions.
RJ Thompson’s latest single, “London,” is available to stream on Spotify right now!
What do you think of London by RJ Thompson? Did you like our interview with him? Let us know on Twitter at, @CelebMix.