South Florida-based acoustic singer-songwriter SJ blends his own type of melodic folk alternative/acoustic rock with a chill vibe to create an acoustically soulful groove and sound. SJ’s music draws on similarities from artists such as Jack Johnson and Donovan Frankenreiter, and acoustic material from Dave Matthews, with other influences from Nick Drake and Counting Crows. SJ’s raspy vocal hooks, sincere vocal expression and acoustic chops have firmly planted him on the national music scene. He is an independent artist, releasing through his self-started label, Acoustic Soul Records.
SJ’s writing is a classic example of the rare singer-songwriter combination who artfully blends lyrically-driven music and deeper content with accessible melodies and progressions; where normally darker subjects appear light; where a simple but skillful groove flirts with the competing cousins of relaxation and stimulation. SJ did not officially plunge into a professional music career until he crossed that proverbial thirty- something threshold, and his writing, arrangements, production and guitar playing exemplify a growing maturity and acceptance of the varied frequencies of life, and arriving at a place of simplicity in love, life, loss and the ups and downs we all face. SJ’s fans have quickly tagged him as a “feel-good” artist whose music offers a “twist of hope” even when the subjects are heavier.
Over 2011-2013, SJ’s first commercial releases made a respectable indie splash in the U.S., spinning on over 100 AAA and Americana stations, charting top 10 on the ACQB national charts, and peaking in the top 40 on the Mediabase A/C and Hot A/C charts, just barely missing a Billboard position. Various songs on his Coffee album releases earned national acclaim, including his nomination by Sirius XM The Coffeehouse as a Discovery of the Year, and nearly 25 indie music awards/nominations. SJ’s 2012-13 “Coffee Tour” included multiple shows in over 35 U.S. cities, suiting enough for American Songwriter Magazine to name him a Finalist among thousands of contestants in its 2012 Coffeehouse Tour Contest. He has opened for major acts such as Ed Sheeran, Pentantonix, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Robin Zander (of Cheap Trick), and has had showcase performances at music festivals such as SunFest, MusikFest, RedGorilla during SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, Florida Music Festival, Millenium Music Conference, Florida Music Festival and others. Several of his songs have been licensed for use, including on the award-nominated series Travel Thru History on the WE TV Network.
Regardless of awards, radio and big stage performances, though, at heart, SJ just enjoys writing and sharing original music and playing smaller intimate settings, which all starts from his home studio he calls the AcoustiShak. It’s equally important to him to spend time with his family and friends, and to help other acoustic-centric musicians through the company he founded, Acoustic Soul Entertainment Group.
SJ is officially endorsed by Taylor Guitars, Sennheiser, Elixir Strings, Gator Cases, Hercules Stands, and Future Sonics.