PJ Morton Talks Signing to YMCMB, His New Orleans Roots, and New EP
PJ Morton is a New Orleans bred, Southern charmer. After writing and producing for household names like Grammy award winning pop group Maroon 5, PJ Morton made headlines again after signing a major recording contract with Young Money Cash Money Records.
Recently, PJ Morton released his new EP titled Following My First Mind, which is his first project released since joining forces with Young Money. VIBE recently caught up with PJ for a Q & A session and discussed how he landed the deal with YMCMB, winning a Grammy while still in college, how he handles negative criticism, his relationship with Mack Maine and Lil Wayne and being referred to as a “Old Soul.” The crooner also chatted about his deep appreciation for Stevie Wonder, possible collaborations with label-mate Drake and Kanye West plus what he wants fans to take away from the new project. --Talim Adderly
The new EP, Following My Mind First is now available for download on PJ Morton’s website.
VIBE: Your tour has you playing in some major cities. Are you enjoying life on the road as a new artist?
This is your show, the spotlight is all on you.
I’m excited. Prior to Maroon 5, I was still always doing my solo thing and touring on the road. A lot of these venues we’ve done before but it’s just exciting because now there are new eyes on me. So it’s sort of a re-introduction but we have been doing this for years.
Of the new material, is there a specific record your looking forward to performing?
Well live, I think “never get over you” is gonna really translate. It’s finalized and we added some things to it and I think it’s going to go over well. Yeah, Never Get Over You is probably my favorite record. Heavy is a staple. We started to play that last year. It’s a “bluesy” thing so that definitely feels good live but we never played Never Get Over You before so I think people will really dig that.
Do you feel that the news about you signing a deal with Young Money was over-looked due to the other big names that were allegedly being signed to the label as well?
Not really man. I think online they hype it up a bit more. The truth of the matter is it’s just Busta, Mystikal, Limp and Christina Milian. People start adding names and start saying Young Money is signing everybody. I don’t think it’s quite that much. It’s definitely not more than any other label that signs anybody. But I didn’t feel like I was overlooked because I think I’m kind of the only signing of my kind so that separated me a little bit. There’s no adult male singers, I’m the only one on Young Money that’s doing that. There’s nobody in my lane, they’re rappers, they’re female singers, Torion is a younger singer but there is no adult pop/R&B males that are on the label. So I feel like I have my own lane and my own space over there and even with the EP, creatively--which is why I signed from the beginning, those guys are open to you just being yourself.
What would you say are some misconceptions in the media of Young Money?
I think there are a few misconceptions. One is that Young Money just signs everybody. (Laughs) There are probably 20 artists signed to Young Money in total, and you look at a Universal or Columbia or any of these other labels, there are hundreds/thousands of artists. I think the second misconception from me, coming from the R&B side people didn’t understand how I was signing to Young Money. Like were they going to change me because they were primarily hip-hop but I think what people don’t understand about Young Money is that they are a creative force. When Drake came out, no one was doing what Drake was doing. Wayne changed up a lot of stuff that he was doing and them signing me was for that purpose.They still had that same mind set of not trying to follow trends. think Young Money represents the old school type of record business more than any other label. Labels used to sign people because they believed in them and but now new labels are like, If somebody's hot right now, they say' oh we have to get our version of that and make them hot.' Money doesn’t chase that, they chase creating something new.
Is it true that you and Mack Maine grew up together, both being from New Orleans?