New Music: Jon Waltz – “Riot” [Audio]

New Music: Jon Waltz - "Riot" [Audio]

Jon Waltz

By Jack Barnes

Singer/rapper Jon Waltz is an artist who exists outside of the hype cycle, avoiding the industry pressure to release as much music as possible, only dropping new music when it meets his high standards. Blessed with equally impressive ability as a singer and a rapper, Jon Waltz’ distinctive style won him a legion of devoted fans all over the country. Premiered today by Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio show and the FADER, Waltz returns with “Riot,” his first new release in seven months. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.

An inventive track with a unique song structure, “Riot” features a brilliant chorus, several infectious bridges, and poignant lyrics. As Jon describes, “It’s about who I was five years go versus who I am today. The main message is in the hook, where I say, ‘Hope someone sees and puts me out /  instead they start a riot,’  describes how people can act out because they want help and don’t know how to ask for it. It’s misinterpreted as a call for more people to act out instead of lend a helping hand.” Produced with impressive warmth by Eric Lynch, Jack Dine, and RNDYSVGE, their soft keys, thumping drums, loping bass, and organ flourishes provide a compelling backdrop for 21-year-old artist’s homespun and relatable storytelling. “Riot” is Jon Waltz’ second single of 2016 following February’s “Justified,” which racked up 1.23 million plays on SoundCloud.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Jon Waltz first demonstrated his talent in 2014, when he released Alyss, his debut EP. Documenting a 19-year-old mind fighting back against depression and disloyalty, Alyss received critical acclaim from publications such as Pigeons & Planes and Complex, who compared the artist to both Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and prompted LA Weekly’s Jeff Weiss to claim that “if [Jon] keeps it up, he could be one of the few artists that actually figure it all out.” With these accolades and cosigns from Jaden Smith and Lyor Cohen under his belt, “Riot” marks the first step towards Waltz’ next career move: his first full-length, due Spring of 2017.

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