2016 has already been a stellar year for PJ Morton. Earlier this year, Morton released his most recent love letter to Nola, “Bounce & Soul Vol 1” mixtape, which in my mind has become an instant classic. The New Orleans East native & Maroon 5 keyboardist, has been all over the world, and has decided to make a move back to New Orleans, and back to where it all started.
I spent some time with PJ a few weeks ago, right before the annually huge Essence Fest, and we talked about not only Bounce & Soul, but his new maxi-single EP release, “Sticking To My Guns”. We talked and reminisced about our Catholic league experiences, legacy, and how New Orleans is such a special indescribable place.
I gotta say, I know so many folks from back in the day who left New Orleans and experienced life outside of the boot, only to return and see Nola through a different lens. Having hitting nearly every continent via Maroon 5, PJ described his recent trips back home as seeing the city “with different eyes.” I totally get that. Having lived on both coasts and going to college in Atlanta (Morehouse College), PJ couldn’t shake the polarizing pull of our city.
Through those “fresh eyes”, Morton experienced an epiphany and began to think about what is legacy would be and what he would be remembered for.
“It (New Orleans) quickly became a passion and make sure people know how special it is, and also shape some of the talent here and get it out to the world so people know. To do my part. I want my legacy to be that I help helped my home and my people.”
His aim is true, and that shows in his latest, and aptly titled “Sticking To My Guns” EP, as well as his outline and plans for his own label, Morton Records. Speaking of fresh eyes, Morton lights up when referring to the breadth of talent here in New Orleans — “Exciting to see so much opportunity and talent. Talent has always been here.”