Jonah Roy is a 20 year old music artist living in Los Angeles. Jonah, who is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, creates music that can be best described as a melodic combination of indie, indie pop, synth pop, and a variety of other influences. Jonah released Floating Head, his second album, in 2021, and plans to kick off 2022 with FUCK THAT!, a highly anticipated single that garnered attention on TikTok. Now, we talk to Jonah about his past, how 2021 has gone, and what to expect for 2022.

Teddy: Who are you? Describe yourself.

Jonah: I’m Jonah Roy. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri and I’m 20 years old. My entire life is devoted simply to sound and vibrations through music. Every conversation, everything I think about, everything that pops up on my social media, everything I do, it’s all focused on music. I’m just a dude that makes music and has a healthy obsession with it.

Teddy: What age did you first find an interest in music? Where did that interest take you?

Jonah: I started when I was like six years old and I was playing Guitar Hero for a minute. I remember I beat Through the Fire and the Flames on hard, and I told my mom that I wanted to do the real thing because it didn’t seem too difficult, playing it on the guitar hero controller or whatever. Then I got a guitar and had lessons for like a year. Once I turned eight, I went to this camp and found this band. We called ourselves Million Hits, and we played around St. Louis for around six years. As a 10-year-old kid, it was super sick seeing these older people in the crowd, vibing with the rock songs that you wrote in your bedroom. That was a super surreal moment at the time.

Then I went to a private school. An all-boys private school. If you don't know already, all-boys private schools are pretty judgemental towards creativeness, being different, and being yourself. It made me not want to make music anymore. I was just in a weird place in life because I loved music, but I knew if I were to express that, people would make fun of me. They’d call me different names, which we probably both know, but that I'm not going to say.

That was a good four years where I was just not really doing music. And then came sophomore year, I left the private school that I went to and went to public school. Once I got to public school, I realized nobody gave a shit about anything. Everyone was just chilling. Nobody made fun of you if you were different because everybody else was different. Everybody was on their own wave at a public school. Going to Kirkwood, the high school that I graduated from, was a huge step for me in making music.

We got laptops, and then I got Garageband, and just started messing around on it. And then I got Logic, and that's when everything changed when it came to my sound and how much more I produced my stuff. I put a ton of stuff out on SoundCloud and then me and my homie Woods, Jack Woods, who's like the greatest producer to come out of St. Louis in my opinion, made my first album together. It came out in 2018, 2019, my senior year of high school. That was a super cool moment in life. Everyone was loving the album. People resonated with it. People said it gave them a weird, certain feeling of nostalgia, which is super sick. That's like the coolest thing to have as an artist.

Teddy: Before the interview, you mentioned you had moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles. How has living in LA been, and how has it helped your music career?

Jonah: Dude, living in Los Angeles, it's a big example of yin and yang. There are so many upsides to it. And there are so many amazing things that happen. The first week I got out here, I went to this Jean Dawson show and I literally saw Mac DeMarco outside smoking a cigarette. That was probably one of the coolest moments of my life. Seeing one of my biggest idols doing the thing that he does most iconically, which is smoking cigarettes.

There's the aspect of collaboration and meeting up with people. Going to music video sets, going to random studio sessions and having sessions with people, producing for people, that sort of thing. That didn't happen where I'm from in St. Louis, so it's been super dope.

It’s like, this is the greatest city ever, but then you have to pay rent, food is expensive, and gas is almost $6 a gallon. In LA, it takes time to find people that you know are your friends, and aren’t just friends with you because you’re this certain way. Or you have this many followers, or any of that.

It's a lot of ups and downs, but it's been a dope time and it's a great learning experience. If you move to LA, you'll learn more about humans and how people work more than anywhere else besides New York.

Teddy: So recently, you’ve started to gain some traction on TikTok. How did that go about, and how has that changed your process in promoting your music?

Jonah: It was just one of those videos you see on TikTok. Someone makes a beat and they’re just playing guitar, playing drums, playing the keyboard, and playing bass. It’s just like different angles of me playing the song. It’s pinned on my account, if anyone wants to go check it out.

https://www.tiktok.com/@jonahdotroy?lang=en

After that video, everyone was like, this sounds like a hit, yo, this is crazy, all that sort of stuff. And then I just kept posting it. People were constantly asking me to drop it. It felt like there was a need for the song because it’s very catchy and I feel like it’s addicting. It’s like ear candy. And, um, yeah, I’ve had that song for like two years now and I never thought I was going to drop it.

After I made that video, I was just like, fuck it, I’m literally just gonna drop this and if it does well, it does. If it doesn’t do well, so what. I feel like releasing this song right now is kind of a trial period for me to see where I can do better in the next single. I’m gonna keep going with this TikTok stuff because it’s so easy. It’s so simple. I’m in a grocery store and I’m like “nobody in here knows I made this song,” and now I have record labels in my DMs asking me what my plans are for the future.

Teddy: How would you describe your music to someone that’s never listened before?

Jonah: I would describe it as all over the place, but it molds together. It’s not like I’m jumping from one completely different genre to the next. I feel you can hear my sound in all of my songs, but all of my songs don’t sound the same. They all have different influences and different aspects to them, but I would say genre wise, the most sound you’ll hear is like indie, indie rock, indie pop, and synth pop. Um, I mean with my one song, psycho, like hyper indie, that sort of thing. I try to stick to the indie side, but I never want to sound generic. I always want to spice it up and make it different.

Teddy: What should we expect from you in 2022?

Jonah: You’re going to see music videos. You’re going to see more singles. You’re going to hear new sounds from what you’ve heard in the past. And, um, hopefully more live shows. I’m trying to at least open up for somebody on some sort of small tour, big tour, any sort of tour. I simply just want to play live all the time. That’s just my dream with this music stuff. I feel like when I come back to LA, and after this song drops, a lot of things are gonna slowly, slowly, come together like I’ve always kind of wanted them too because I finally dropped a song with the backing.