NYCS Swag Spotlight: Ron Pope
This week we shine our spotlight on a talented singer-songwriter who writes from his heart, Ron Pope. Although a talented singer and an incredible songwriter Pope is first and foremost a doting father and husband. His life experiences and journey has led him to be able to share his stories with a wider audience, but he still remains humble and true to his soul.
The country-rock, soul singer, was born in the Northeast in Newark, New Jersey, but moved to Georgia after his parents divorced. Despite an avid interest in music from a young age, Pope never focused on music as a career or even knew any ‘real’ musicians. “I was always making music,” he tells us, “but it was something I did for fun.” That hobby turned into a way to hang out with his friends, during his teenage years.
He ended up starting his very first band ‘Longfellow,’ while in high school. Together, they played at a dive bar where having fun was the first priority. “We were embarrassingly bad, but it was a laugh,” he shared, “We’d get rip-roaring drunk in the parking lot and then get up on stage and let it ride.” Despite the nature of performing, Pope and his friends were on to something in their younger days.
The singer ended up taking music more seriously, during his third year of college, when he joined a songwriting circle. Although he had been writing music for several years prior, with the encouragement from the older kids in the group, he began to take it more seriously. “That was when I started to consider the idea that I might be a songwriter. Being a songwriter felt different than just being someone who wrote songs.”
Flash forward to today, Pope creates music with a songwriter first mentality. Taking inspiration from various musical influences from the classic rock genre like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, and R&B artists like Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, and Eric Clapton, the singer has truly created his own unique cocktail of music. He also draws inspiration from other greats like Elvis and Johnny Cash. Interestingly enough, Pope also credits famed rapper Tupac as an integral influence. “The way he used pieces of words to keep his phrasing incredibly rhythmic was pretty revelatory to me when I was starting out as a writer,” he shares.
Pope’s unique and eclectic influences have surely manifested in his own music. Most recently, he released a personal record entitled Bone Structure. Even after just one listen it is evident how honest, gritty, emotive, and talented he truly is as a singer and as a songwriter. After a traumatic event occurred in his life, where his driver was attacked by masked men just minutes after he walked inside his house to his baby girl and wife, the singer decided to scrap his original finished project.
The terrifying event shifted his focus and perspective in such a profound way. “I couldn’t shake the terror for a long time afterwards. There’s nothing like fearing for your child,” he vulnerably shares, “I couldn’t get away from the idea that if I were to die, I wouldn’t be there to talk to my daughter when she needed advice as she grew up.” From that point on, he focused on writing and recording a record for what he called, “an audience of one.” The entire Bone Structure project was directed towards his daughter, as he recounts past experiences and lessons learned in each of the fifteen songs, leaving no stone unturned and nothing off limits. Despite his checkered past and various challenges, Pope lays it all out in an honest and pure way for his daughter.
Even though Bone Structure is receiving accolades and media attention, Pope remains humble. Regardless of the praise or admiration his songs receive, he remains unequivocally true to himself and yearns to create music that embraces human connection. “Music has always helped me feel less alone in the world and more connected to those around me,” he says, “If my music can do that for other people, then maybe I’m helping in my tiny way and that feels like something worth doing.” We are sure his music is accomplishing that feat.
As we head into the second half of 2020, Pope, like most of us, does not have a plan. Though the future may be uncertain, the singer how vowed to appreciate the joy in every day and try to quiet the darker moments that can sometimes cloud our heads. When the time is right, Pope would love to be back on the road playing music with friends, but until then, he remains exactly where he should be, with his biggest inspirations, his wife and daughter.
To keep up with Ron Pope follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Bone Structure is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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