Courtney John is exploring new musical terrain. The stylish, lovers' rock crooner is dipping his toes into a new music genre dubbed 'rootstronic', guided by long-time producer The Wizard and Grammy-winning musician Steven 'Lenky' Marsden.
The trio's collaborative effort, The Courtney John Project, due for release next year, is summed up by the lanky, dreadlocked singer as "one-part Kingston mash-up, one part Euro-electronica and 100 per cent provocative".
"Our music is a place where musicians can be brave and not have to worry about their expressions. It's totally outside of the comfort zone," John told SO in an interview last week.
Reminiscent of such artistic envelope-pushers as Janelle Monae and Danger Mouse, the group aims to create experimental soundscapes that push musical boundaries.
John found crossover success with his last album, From Letters to Words, and 2009's Made In Jamaica, with his infectious single Lucky Man finding its way into Axe/Lynx's advertising campaign in the United Kingdom.
The singer's musical partners are equally accomplished.
The Wizard, the super-talented daughter of Beres Hammond, has already worked with Nelly Furtado and Michael Franti as a producer and remixer. Her music has been featured on MTV's Jersey Shore and she had a production credit on Hispanic sensation Paulina Rubio's Brava album that peaked at number one on the Billboard Latin Charts.
Meanwhile, Marsden was awarded the 2004 ASCAP songwriter of the year and was acknowledged by the Grammy Award committee for his renowned Diwali dancehall rhythm that was used by Sean Paul for his chart-topping hit song Get Busy.
The Courtney John Project's breakout single Soul Of A Man, an electro-heavy bit of audio delight, gives listeners a sample of what to expect. SO is intrigued about the music possibilities.