RJ Thompson: London
Geordie singer-songwriter RJ Thompson was raised on a diet of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan - a music feast which has impacted every step of his career to date. As he works towards the release of his long-awaited studio album, his latest single, London, picks up where his poignant cover of Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin' left off. And we're bringing you the video before anyone else - check it out below.
Having enjoyed a serious rise in profile over the last 18 months, the Tyneside talent may now be as comfortable sharing the stage with Jools Holland and Joss Stone as he is at a local open mic night, but that has not altered his ambition or creative vision.
"As a songwriter, the events of the last 12 months have certainly given me plenty of reason to write music - to try to rationalise everything that happened, and how it affects me and everyone around me," he tells Headliner. "London is one of the the songs that came out of that process. It is a song about an immigrant, or truth be told, a song about any person that feels alienated. The overall message being, 'there's chaos in the world outside, but there's hope in the ones you love.'"
The video, directed by Ian West, is as full of provocative meaning as the songs lyrical content. The imagery is rich with metaphor, and illustrates a songwriter's view of the events of the last 12 months. Although clearly written with London in mind, the video has a much wider, altruistic message, as RJ explains below:
"I wanted to make a video that was bold; something that you'd want to watch again; something that you'd uncover new meaning each time you watched it. It's obviously political in it's nature, but more than anything, I really believe that by the end of the video we have left the viewer with a feeling of hope or empowerment."
Nicely said. And with ongoing support from BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6Music, as well as The Times, The Guardian, Acoustic, and Guitarist, who's to say RJ can't go all the way?