Queens, New York natives continue to have a profound impact in their respective fields, and the tradition lives on with singer, songwriter, producer, jonxlewis.
Jonathan Lewis was born & raised in Queens, NY. He went to Springfield Gardens HS and has desired to be a singer/songwriter ever since he picked up his mother’s Boyz II Men “II” album when he was 5 years old. Right at around the age of 7, his cousin who lived with them began to give him singing lessons. “We would watch music videos all day, he would show me what music really was.” Slowly it progressed from a love to an obsession. Jon intensely studied hit music over the years and recalls when his mother would bring home the new albums that came out from any and everybody who held his interest. Jon describes himself as a, “quiet listener who takes in music wholly and soulfully.”
When Jon was about 14, a chance meeting and opportunity occurred and his life changed as a result. He was at a friend’s house, whose cousin was involved in music production. He introduced music production to Jon. “I grasped the concept that day, and from day one, I was hooked. I would make beats every single day. People would make fun of me for it. I would cut school for it, I wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t eat.”
One of the key things that was instrumental to Jon’s development was the fact that his dad allowed him to practice relentlessly, school the next day or not, and he would literally make music all night. His father would have to go to work the next day and it would keep him up, but he recognized his son’s gift and believed in him, even if it took him going to work tiredly; in spite of the situation, he always supported him. He always knew one day Jon would take it somewhere far.
Jon’s career was evolving and all was well until his family was stuck by poverty. It was then that the reality of his father’s alcoholism was no longer overcast by his indulgence in music. Eventually his family lost their Rosedale home and the family had to split up.
Despite this disruption, Jon never stopped making music. “I went through many situations that got me where I am today. Everyone called me crazy. They still do. But I knew my ultimate freedom was awaiting me.”
Jon has produced and written songs and has done some features for local artists hoping he would strike a hit. However, he wasn’t getting any closer; and times grew harder as he became older. Jon has had his share of fake friends, bad contracts, no money and the list goes on…
As time progressed, he gained respect on a local platform via social networks.
Though Jon was making progress, his life was still messed up. He bounced around from couch to couch until he met Emmanuel, SLE’s President. They met through social networks with connections thru a mutual friend, Emmanuel expressed a genuine likeness to Jon’s style, effort and musical capabilities and he invited him to join SLE.
Emmanuel and Jon quickly became good friends; Emmanuel introduced Jon to Jah, SLE’s CEO and that’s where this friendship, mentorship and brotherhood took root, at that point he was a member of SLE along with Chris, Rich, Jamal and B. Steels and the family became stronger. During the next year he grew as a person, mentally and spiritually and as an artist. Jon reiterates that because of his tie to SLE, “I was introduced to things I would have never known without this opportunity, and that puts me where I am today.”
Jon was inspired by Kanye West and admires his creativity. Kanye’s album, “Graduation” has had a big impact on his musical career. Jon has acquired a motto that is to always stay 5 steps ahead, to give listeners and fans true emotion, and make people feel and connect in a way they didn’t know possible. Jon has always loved music, fashion, film, architecture and art. He learned the technique and importance of uniqueness, that it’s ok to dream, and also to be the best and have confidence in your dreams and aspirations.
“My goal is to give listeners what they want and will appreciate. The music should have a long term effect, and have them yearning for more.”