Jón Ragnar Jónsson

The music side of Jon Jonsson: Jon started to attend his local music school in Hafnarfjordur at the age of 6 and at the age of 8, he began to pursue classical guitar lessons in the same school. Being rich in energy when growing up, the guitar always filled Jon with ease. When Jon was 10 years old, his father taught him a few chords on the guitar, which was different from the focus on finger picking in the classical lessons. Jon started to combine those skills to write his own songs, at the age of 11. The first original Jon performed in public was his anti-smoking song, which he performed on a national TV station in Iceland, lead by an interview with the then 12 year old. Other memorable performances from his early years were Jon's appearances at the local talent competition for teens from 13-15 years of age. At 13 years old, Jon won the competition by playing an original song accompanied by his class mate. The following year, Jon had put together a band called Climax Hysteria. To choose a band name, the band members decided to open the English-Icelandic dictionary, and choose two random words. Together they performed Jon's rock ballad, called 'Frá manninum til konunar sem bjó á sömu hæð og hann þegar þau voru átta ára' (From the man to the woman that lived on the same floor he did when they were eight years old) which secured the top spot at the talent competition for Jon's second year in a row. Being competitive, Jon was disappointed his third year, when he ended up in the 2nd place with an original number and also in the 3rd place as a drummer in a rap number. At the age of 16, Jon started to attend the Commercial College of Iceland and during his first semester he obtained the leading role in the school's yearly musical. The college is know for its production of musicals, showing 15 public shows at minimum, and Jon's first show was performed 20 times in Reykjavík's theater, Borgarleikhúsið, which has a capacity of 500 people. To promote the shows, the college would create music videos for the musical's headline song. For three years in a row, Jon had one of the leading roles in the musical, performed the main song and starred in the music video, which was aired on the Icelandic MTV channel, called PoppTV. Jon sang world famous songs with Icelandic lyrics, songs such as Aretha Franklin's Think, James Brown's Living in America and Robbie Willams' Let Me Entertain You. During his college years, Jon kept writing songs, but didn't perform his originals in public because of his time commitment with the musicals. At the age of 18, Jon chose to end his classical guitar lessons, because he felt he no longer had the time to be fully committed to that task.However, in college, Jon became good friends with Kristjan Bjarnason, who introduced Jon to the art of song-recording. With Kristjan in charge of the audio engineering, Jon now had the opportunity to record some of his songs and at the age of 17, Jon would record his first original, mainly to try to impress a girl. By the age of 19, Jon's music aspirations were more targeted and Jon recorded four songs in Kristjan's garage. The following fall, Jon brought these four songs, as well as some of his other belongings, to Boston, where he spent his next three years. After earning a soccer scholarship, Jon became a student at Boston University. In Boston, Jon's original songs were well received by his friends and teammates. This warm reception inspired Jon to record 2 dozen additional original songs. On the other side of the Atlantic, Kristjan was Jon's main impetus, helping Jon arrange the song and recording demos every time Jon would come home for a winter or summer break. In January 2008, Jon started to perform his music at local bars and restaurants, including: La Luna Café with the famous opera singer, Simon Estes, sitting in the front row, Matt Murphy's Bar and twice Jon would raise money for the people in Darfur by playing music at BU Central. One of Jon's good friends from BU, Nikki Bernstein, played Jon's demos to Nancy Hirsch, a PR specialist, who instantly fell in love with the music. Ms. Hirsch has been managing an up and coming piano jazz genius, Eric Lewis, who recently played his unique rock-jazz for president Obama. Ms. Hirsch set up a small tour for Jon and Kristjan in October and November 2009 and together the two played several gigs in New York in places such as Pianos, Drom and Rockwood Music Hall. Jon also had an early comeback at BU in November, when he performed with his whole band at the TSAI Performance Center. The tour was a huge energy boost, which lead to Jon's first official single on the radio, released in Iceland in late February. The song, Lately, got a solid air time on all the main radio stations in Iceland and held its spot on Radio 2's top 10 list for 7 weeks in a row. His second single, Kiss in the Morning, also managed to earn a spot on that list for 7 weeks. On July 22nd, Kiss in the Morning was officially one of the 30 most played songs in Iceland after reaching "Lagalistinn," the official top 30 list in Iceland. The tune stayed on that list until October 6th, and it also made one short appearance on it the first week in November. Jon‘s most succesful song is without a doubt When You're Around. After being released in mid October, the song changed places with it's brother, Kiss in the Morning, on "Lagalistinn" on November 8th and stayed there til march 2011. The song managed to reach the 2nd place on the list on february 3rd. The week before Christmas 2010 the tune earned the top spot on the biggest radio station in Iceland, Bylgjan. That recognition was a great way to end Jon Jonsson's first year as an official singer/songwriter. At the beginning of march 2011, Jon wanted to show his soft side, so he released the slow song Sooner or Later. Soon it would earn a spot on the top10 list for Léttbylgjan, a radio station that only plays smooth songs, but the song also got a solid airplay on FM 957. Jon performed that song at Iceland‘s new concert hall, Harpan, at FM957 People‘s Choice Awards, where he also was rewarded as the best new artist with over 60% of the votes. In July 2011 Jon released his debut album, Wait for Fate. Around 4000 copies had been sold around christmas time 2011. In Iceland, artist must sell 5000 copies to get a gold record, so both Jon and the distributer, Sena, are pleased with the success of the first album. Articles on Jon: Icelandic Singer/Songwriter Best of U. .... 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