Jon Waltz’s “Riot” Is A Gutsy Song About Growing Up

The Memphis singer says it “sounds like the song I needed to hear when I was younger.”

October 18, 2016
Jon Waltz’s “Riot” Is A Gutsy Song About Growing Up Briana Wade

Jon Waltz, an exciting R&B singer slash rapper from Memphis, makes magic with his warm voice, crafting songs that glow but also bump with a distinct flavor (I recommend diving into his Soundcloud). "Riot," Waltz's fantastic new single, was just premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1, and The FADER is psyched to share the exclusive stream for this complex and vitalizing song. In a note to The FADER, Waltz gave a full lowdown on how "Riot" happened:


"'Riot' started as a song about rich kids in Calabasas — affluent minorities conscious about being affluent minorities — and then turned into a song about generational values and internal conflict. It's about who I was five years go versus who I am today. I had a moment last week where I said to myself, This really sounds like the song I needed to hear when I was younger.

"I had internal conflict because my whole life I was taught that that in order to be happy, I needed a lot of money and a good education. But the older I get, the more I realize that this isn’t true. It's the feeling of being overly privileged and simultaneously underprivileged. Not uncomfortable but just a heightened sense of awareness. I think every parent’s worst fear is seeing their child fail or be a failure, and that fear can stop them from realizing their potential. 50% of who you are is your environment, the other 50% is your parents. My parents did a wonderful job, but parents have to allow their kids to fail and explore.

"When my engineer-producer-spirit animal Eric Lynch played 'Riot' for everybody in the studio for the first time there was magic in the air. We all felt moved by the song and it was one of those moments where I could tell, out of all of the things I could be doing with my life at that moment, I was in the right place."

Jon Waltz’s “Riot” Is A Gutsy Song About Growing Up