Jon Muq

For Jon Muq, a singer-songwriter born in Uganda and now living in Austin, Texas, music is part of a larger conversation he’s having with the world and everybody in it. Drawing from African as well as western musical trends and traditions, he devises songs as small gifts, designed to settle into everyday life and provoke reflection and resilience. “These days the world is sad,” he explains, “so I wanted to make happy songs. I wanted to write songs that connected with the listener in a very personal way. When someone listens to my music, it’s not just about me and what I’m singing. It’s about how they understand the songs individually. I think these songs can speak many languages, depending on what you want from them.”

Muq’s experiences as a child in Uganda and as a man in America give him a unique perspective on the world he’s addressing. “I grew up in a very different life, where so many people pass through hard times just because they don’t have much. Our biggest issue was food scarcity. Then I came to a different world, which gave me a picture of how to write a song that can find balance with everyone wherever they are, whether they have a lot or not much.” As he completes his debut with producer Dan Auerbach and tours with Billy Joel, Norah Jones, Mavis Staples, Amythyst Kiah, Corinne Bailey Rae, and others, Muq is expanding the scope of his music to speak to more and more people.

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