JJ McGuigan caught the attention of radio programmers and music journalists with the first two singles from his EP, Dissociative. “Letter” and “Home” received both critical praise and airplay chart success, reaching the New Music Weekly country chart Top 80, as well as the Top 40 Roots Music Report Americana chart. “Letter” earned McGuigan an Akademia Award for Best Alternative Song in January 2017. Indie-Spoonful.com said, “The lyrics to this song (“Letter), and every song on the EP, are dripping with insight. This song is like a prayer and McGuigan sounds like an angel.”
JJ McGuigan is a VH1 Save The Music Songwriting Contest Finalist, award-winning singer-songwriter, guitarist, and mental health advocate. A drummer since age 13, McGuigan later picked up the guitar and began writing songs at age 20. He attended Newman University and renowned recording school, Full Sail University. Songwriting has now become JJ’s main focus and passion, with an emphasis on lyrical creation. McGuigan has appeared on countless radio shows and his music has been heard on hundreds of stations around the world. After a brief stint in Austin, Texas, he has returned to his hometown of Wichita. He is currently working on a follow up EP for 2019 release. JJ took time out from his writing and recording to answer some questions, in this exclusive interview…
Indie Pulse Music: Congrats on your EP, Dissociative. Tell us about the concept behind the songs:
JJ McGuigan: Each song has its own introspection and self reflection to it I think. Dissociative is the concept and reality of a person feeling detached from themselves in almost a dream like state of mind. Not being connected and trying to find where one belongs are key themes behind the EP.
IPM: Is Rock Dead? Why, or why not?
JJ: I don’t believe Rock is dead but it is going through a type of transformation, if not for the artists but definitely for the listeners. I think the straight up Rock bands today are heavier and less mainstream because of that. Your Pop Rock bands are more Pop than Rock and try real hard to be mainstream, whether that’s by the artists design or the machine backing them, I think it just is that way.
IPM: What is the single biggest challenge facing music artists today?
JJ: Staying true to the music you feel in your heart you were meant to make. Artists grow and evolve and the music changes, but as an artist or songwriter you know when you’re being real and only you can decide if you’ve really jeopardized your music or not and to what extent.
IPM: Tell us about a JJ McGuigan live show. What should fans expect?
JJ: Pretty laid back and reflective type of atmosphere.
IPM: What was the first album or single that you bought with your own money?
JJ: Live and their album was Throwing Copper
IPM: Where in the world would you love to play, that you haven’t and why?
JJ: London. Reason being I have friends there and I have a lot of online fans from that area so it’d be nice to play for them
IPM: Should musicians get involved in politics, including posting about their political beliefs? Why or why not?
JJ: I think if a musician does get involved in politics they should expect to lose some fans and possibly gain others. It’s up to that artist to decide if they want to or not, but they should at least expect that to some extent. It’s a tricky area.
IPM: Thanks for the fantastic conversation! Where can our readers find out more info about you?
JJ: Jjmcguiganmusic.com is the best place to do so. Thank you !!
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