Getting To Know... Middle Name John

After making his mark on the scene with his stunning debut single 'Different' earlier this year, emerging artist Middle Name John has now delivered his eagerly-awaited debut album 'Obviously Confidential'.

Exploring more of that riveting and experimental nature he has been honing lately, this new eight-track collection makes for an incredibly immersive listen. With such a broad and passionate approach to his sound at every turn, 'Obviously Confidential' cements him as one of the more innovative names doing the rounds right now.

So with the new album available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and what has been inspiring him most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

Drum kit. Still yet to play the damn thing.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

When I was very young, whatever was on. Lot’s of R&B. I wish I still had my cassettes from when I was a child. Then the early teens came and it was grunge / heavy rock / hip hop all the time.

What was the first album you remember owning?

MC Hammer ‘Too Legit to Quit’ on cassette.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Lover You Should Have Come Over by Jeff Buckley.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

Journaling. When it comes to writing songs there is nothing better (for me) than to free write in a journal, then re-visit that page as a starting point. This obviously isn’t the only way or best way but it is the most enjoyable for me.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

Little Simz. Her last 2 full length albums are just brilliant top to bottom. Shabaka Hutchings new record (released last friday) is getting a heavy spin mainly because I was such a fan of his early work. Idles. I absolutely rinsed ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ during lockdown and am enjoying their new release. I try to avoid just listening to the stuff that I did when I discovered how much I love music. It’s tempting but dangerous. I have to be careful to not just be in nostalgic catharsis all the time… it’s an easy thing to do.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Saul Williams

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

The act of writing and playing music can connect you to a shared humanity. When in the act of creating music you are disengaging with the superficial and exercising your genuine intuition.

And what is the most frustrating part?

Music as a whole has been devalued in society. The arts in general have. It’s difficult to witness something you love so much be equated to meaningless digital commodities.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

Never stop listening. Remember, theory explains something that already happened. Explore and create.


Middle Name John's new album 'Obviously Confidential' is out now. Check it out in the player below.