On The Flipside With Desmond John

Desmond John joins our host Nadia Hearn to chat about his latest single, I Mean That.


It all started in 2014 when Desmond John (then 15) was in Johannesburg, recording some songs with a friend in a local studio,  and “just delving into some music, never thinking it would become a career”. As luck would have it, a visiting American comedian who was on tour in SA happened to be in the studio, as he had forgotten his mobile charger, and overheard some of the youngster’s material when he went back to collect it. He was immediately impressed and this chance meeting set in motion the wheels that took Desmond John to America a few months later.

Missed our chat with Desmond? Listen below:

In December 2014 Desmond John and his dad visited Atlanta for the first, where they met his soon-to-be first manager Tip Green, who in turn introduced Desmond John to producer DJ Toomp – the man who discovered T.I. and produced for the likes of Kanye West, Mariah Carey, Jay Z, Rick Ross and many others. Toomp was impressed by the talent and Desmond John was taken under the wing of the prestigious team as part of a development deal, where he lived with Green for two years and was mentored by the best in the business.

Says Desmond John: “I’ll be eternally grateful to Tip for what he did for me and I wouldn’t exchange the experience for anything in the world.” And then tragedy struck! Completely out of the blue, Green fell ill, but Desmond John was not aware of the severity of what was lying ahead. While he was back in South Africa visiting his parents, he received the news that Green had passed away.

“It was incredibly painful. I lost not only a manager but a best friend. It was a very dark period in my life. I devoted my soul into songwriting, which was definitely my saving grace and the best therapy possible. I devoted myself to my music and the songs just flowed. Through this process I grew as an artist and developed my own unique and authentic sound, representing exactly who I am as an artist, and released my first EP I’m Not Angry, Just Disappointed,” states Desmond John.

Desmond John’s EP, I’m Not Angry, Just Disappointed (including I Mean That) is now available on most digital platforms, including iTunes and Google Play. He is planning on releasing his second EP during November this year, followed by his first full length album towards the end of 2019.

He concludes: “I am more passionate about this music than I’ve been about anything. My dream is to be able to tour the world, gain an international fanbase as one of SA’s biggest exports, and along the way win some SAMA and Grammy Awards. As I’ve found out, nothing is impossible.”

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