Prior to Grammy-winning musician PJ Morton‘s release of his latest album, Watch the Sun, he alerted the music world about two important aspects of its creation process: the legendary special guests like Jill Scott, El DeBarge and Alex Isley who contributed to the collection of original songs; and the challenge he imposed upon himself to create an unapologetic and vulnerable body of work.
“I’m being more honest, more authentic, more open than I’ve been in the past,” Morton said in a statement ahead of the album’s release last Friday. “As much as people know about me, I’m pretty private about specifics, but these were some real things going on in my life. So it manifested with lyrics that pushed myself.”
To make the 11-track album and its songs, including “Biggest Mistake” and “Still Believe,” the Maroon 5 keyboardist ventured away from his New Orleans home to Bogalusa, Louisiana’s historic Studio in the Country, where music greats such as Betty Davis and Stevie Wonder have recorded in the past.
In conversation with ABC Audio about his experience working alongside Stevie Wonder as well as Nas on the album’s third single, “Be Like Water,” Morton says the collaboration was a “dream come true.”
“It’s a huge honor, obviously, to have two GOATs,” he said. Having previously collaborated on Stevie Wonder’s 2013 single, “Only One,” Morton said they’ve “developed a great relationship” over the years. And after hearing the song and expressing that he loved Stevie Wonder, “like we all do,” said Morton, Nas joining the track was a no-brainer.
Watch the Sun has been two years in the making and now that it’s out, Morton hopes listeners can “connect in a deep way” and experience the same vulnerability he did in creating it.
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