SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- It usually takes years before an aspiring singer achieves any degree of success, but Jon B made climbing to the top of the notoriously difficult music industry look easy.
In his early 20s, the R&B singer had a double platinum album, a Grammy-nominated single and collaborations with acclaimed artists such as Babyface and Tupac Shakur. His biggest hit, 1997’s “They Don’t Know,” is still beloved by his fans.
Jon B will perform a special Valentine’s Day concert at the South Orange Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the public cost $30, $40 and $50, while member tickets are priced at $25, $35 and $45.
Considering Jon’s past success with romantic music, it seems fitting that he will be celebrating Feb. 14 with songs from throughout his career.
“This Valentine’s Day is going to be appropriate to bring the music with the love vibe and the good vibrations,” Jon said. “It’s really all about the music. It’s celebrating this music and all the years we’ve had together, the fans and me. It’s been a beautiful 20-year relationship.”
Jon said music is a vital part of his life because it lets him express the emotions that drive him. It also allows him to connect with his listeners.
“My music is my heart,” he said. “My music is what’s going on inside of me. It’s the beat that my heart beats to… Without actually getting to meet me, you can actually know me very well through just listening to my music.”
His future work might just be his best yet.
“Definitely my music is improving,” Jon said. “I’m technically more advanced. Every year I’m getting better and more seasoned as a vocalist and as a performer. And the music is limitless for me.”
Jon even said his proudest accomplishment so far is not his beginning triumphs but his latest album, “B Sides Collection,” which he said is the fruition of 10 years of work. Another recent achievement is the founding of his own record label, Vibezelect Inc. Now that he produces his own music, Jon said, he plans to more consistently release albums, and he is working on a new one.
Of his SOPAC performance, Jon said: “I would recommend people to come to the show to just be a part of a good energy. Just come with the intention of enjoying yourself… I look forward to rocking with everyone.”
The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.