London, UK | Music is all I've got
British-born, Jonathan Milanes spent his early childhood in the Philippines, and the country’s music-admiring culture ultimately had a big influence on his decision to be in music. He picked up the acoustic guitar at age 13 after seeing his cousin play a live gig, ‘seeing my cousin play on stage, opened a new world of excitement for me’. His sound is predominantly in the indie-pop realm, with wide influences that range from rock, blues, jazz, and all the way to hip-hop and classical. ‘I like having as many influences as I can, whether that be in music or in people. As I get to know more about these forces, I also get to better express my music’.
He returned to the UK as a teenager, where he formed a couple of bands as a frontman/rhythm-guitarist, ultimately deciding to go on a solo career. He’s an alumnus of the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London, where he honed his guitar and songwriting skills. He is a multi-talented artist as he not only writes and performs his own music but produces them as well. ‘It took me a while to get the hang of producing, but once it clicked, it was such a big factor in how I was able to develop and find my sound’. He is very influenced by Prince in this manner, and says he is his main musical hero.
Jonathan Milanes’s mother is of Filipino-Chinese-Spanish descent, and his father is Turkish. “I believe being mixed has given me a unique perspective on culture and identity. When I talk to people in a city as diverse as London, there’s a sense of openness to how I interact with them, as I don’t see myself as one specific ethnic background“. This can also be heard in his music, it delves in and out of different perspectives, but there is a uniting after thought, his sense of rebellion, and need to be honest.
He started songwriting at age 16 which was a big turning point in his career. That’s why he underlines the importance of melodies and lyrics in his creative process. The songs he’s put together are a manifestation of how he feels about the world around him and his own current life experiences. “As you get older, you discover more about life and yourself, and when those two things clash, you discover who you are – that’s what I do. I try to figure things out as I go along,” he says about his musical coming-of-age that every song brings to him.
He’s currently releasing several singles and EPs as well as collaborating with other artists to build his outreach and fan base. He also runs his own independent record label, and music production studio called Soundprise, based in London.
Follow him on:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JonathanMilanes
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jonathanmilanes/