PJ Morton announces the August 9th release of new studio album PAUL. Out via his own New Orleans-grown Morton Records, PAUL follows his 2017, modern soul manifesto Gumbo and last year’s Grammy-winning Gumbo Unplugged with what he declares “the most honest expression of myself and my art that I’ve ever made.”
Check out the music video for the track Ready below.
While “Ready” finds Morton bearing retro workout garb and keytars, listing farcical ambitions and physical regimen on the path to cross-cultural domination, the opening sentiment is genuine – “many people thought I was done.” With Gumbo originally set to be his final record, Morton planned to retire his solo career: “I was struggling to figure out who I wanted to be and where I could fit in as a solo artist, and it honestly left me feeling pretty defeated. Coming back to New Orleans inspired a lot of new growth and perspective, though, and it helped me realize that the best thing I could be was myself.”
The 10 songs of PAUL capture the dichotomy between the joyous light of PJ’s music and the darkness and struggle of our current era. Alongside the carefree spontaneity of “Ready,” PJ (born Paul Morton Jr.) delivers songs like “MAGA?,” asking when, if ever, was America truly great with the help of CNN commentator Angela Rye. He tributes Nipsey Hussle in “Buy Back The Block,” an anthem for protecting and investing in one’s neighborhood. He sings out against suicide on the a cappella “Don’t Let Go,” celebrates childhood with the voices of his children on “Kid Again,” and duets with JoJo, Tobe Nwigwe, Rapsody, and Jazmine Sullivan.
Morton acknowledges, “Everybody calls me PJ, but I came into this world as Paul. That struck me as the perfect title for this album because Paul is the purest form of who I am.” With that includes the pop songwriting and production prowess that have landed him performances on the Super Bowl Half Time, Tonight Show, and TNT Inside the NBA stages, 10 Grammy nominations, a full-time job playing keys in Maroon 5, and work with Solange, Stevie Wonder, Lil Wayne, and others. But it can’t come without his fearless confrontation against injustice and oppression, as seen during appearances on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, CNN, NPR’s Tiny Desk and beyond.
Morton recorded PAUL at his New Orleans studio earlier this year, in between a sold-out tour, shows at the Kennedy Center, New York City’s The Shed, ESSENCE Festival, and more. He’ll be on the road for the rest of 2019, playing Outside Lands the weekend of PAUL’s release and announcing additional dates soon.