New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
While struggling to recover from shattered illusions after his first love faded out, singer-songwriter Jonny Zywiciel (pronounced "Zuh-witch-ul") wrote an album of intimate and soulful pop/rock tunes that he describes as a "mixtape outlining the last three years of my life." Instead of wallowing in despair, the 23-year-old troubadour channeled his energy in a positive, musical direction with the aim of inspiring and uplifting others. The aptly-named collection, "Onward & Upward," which will be released by the San Francisco-based artist on November 4, is led by the first single, "Time To Heal," written as a message of hope in response to crises that several close friends had been battling: overcoming drug addiction, fighting cancer and confronting other seemingly insurmountable hardships. Zywiciel will donate all the proceeds from the single's sales to the Amy Winehouse
Foundation whose mission is to support and empower disadvantaged and at-risk children and young adults through music therapy and music education. The accompanying "Time To Heal" video (https://jonnyzmusic.com/time-to-heal) has already generated over 25,000 views on YouTube and Facebook.
Along with singing lead and playing his endorsed HP Guitars France electric guitars, Zywiciel added acoustic guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes, synth and percussion to "Onward & Upward," and produced the session with bassist Connor Newkirk and Aaron
Hellam. They were joined in the studio by drummer-backing vocalist Gaitan Gonzales. A multicity concert trek throughout California is planned to kick off later this month tied to the album's promotion.
Zywiciel's story - the breakup of an important relationship, the process of moving on and standing on his own, and the obstacles he encountered while gaining traction in the music world - is told through his hands, instruments, vocals and melodies that range from joyous and rousing to tense and moody.
"I experienced many great times as well as multiple hardships while writing this record, but these songs became necessary outlets for both my pains and my pleasures. I remember the first four months after moving to Berkeley
- where the majority of the record was written - and having to sell a bunch of music gear and play my guitar on the street to make enough money for rent. I fell into heavy debt for a while after quitting my steady serving job to pursue music full time, but I eventually booked enough regular gigs to pay it off and start saving again. The struggle made me extremely thankful for music and for my relationships with the people I love. I want listeners to feel that moving on, healing, and finding love again are all possible, even in one's darkest times," said Zywiciel, who plays weekly residences in San Francisco and Sausalito.
Strumming an acoustic guitar fingerstyle, Zywiciel opens the album with "Magnets," a track about the undeniable allure of a former lover, which steadily turns up the intensity as a strong rhythm section kicks in, building to a powerful finish. An electric guitar powers "Everything
" over a syncopated beat as Zywiciel describes a steamy encounter with his lover. Perplexed by the reasons for leaving his relationship, the protagonist asks for another chance on "Faith," which bursts into a danceable chorus driven by a funky guitar riff. An edgy number highlighted by a bluesy electric guitar, "Take You Out
" is a plea for change and the communication of a partner's emotional needs along with a boldly reassuring pledge of loyalty. Zywiciel's lyrics on the acoustic-driven "Time To Heal" offer compassion along with empowering sentiments of strength and encouragement. Bouncy beats and a rocky R&B guitar bolster the elevating "Melodies & Memories," a catchy song about facing one's troubles, taking action and proactively overcoming. The tension-filled "Wait" is rifled with mixed messages, perfectly capturing the confusion one feels when encountering a former flame and the emerging desire to try again in spite of the past disconnect. "Onward & Upward" concludes with "Boomerang," a downtempo jazzy guitar lick over a smooth R&B groove with lyrics about the lingering haunt of an ex-lover.
The itinerary for Zywiciel's "Onward & Upward" California concert tour consists of the following shows (dates will be added):
October 15 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Tap It Brewing Company
October 28 - Santa
Cruz, CA - Rosie McCann's
October 29 - Monterey, CA - Cannery Row Brewing Company
November 2 - Anaheim, CA - The Fifth
November 4 - San Diego, CA - Hard Rock Café
November 6 - Los Angeles, CA - Hotel Café
December 3 - San Francisco, CA - Boom Boom Room
For more information, please visit www.JonnyZMusic.com