Singer/Songwriter, Atlantic Records
You’ll know a unicorn right when you see one. You may initially recognize PJ as a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter, but she describes herself a bit more colorfully: “I feel like a unicorn,” she smiles. “I’m not afraid to step outside of the box. When it comes to music, I’m a chameleon, because I can adjust to anything. I’ll sing over guitar or sidestep through production. I’m like a mythical creature in this way. I’m hard to catch, and I’m one of a kind.”
A dynamic background and diverse come-up affirmed that “one of a kind” status. Originally hailing from Greensboro, North Carolina, she launched her career after relocating to Los Angeles. Lending her pen to some of the biggest names in the game, PJ established herself as an in-demand songwriter with dozens of credits, including “Left Right Left” for Charlie Puth, “I Don’t Know” for Meek Mill, “True Colors” for Wiz Khalifa, “Excuse Me” for Kevin Gates, and “Rivals” (feat. Future) for Usher. Simultaneously, she built a tastemaker-approved solo discography, spanning the Walking Around Pools EP (2015) and Rare (2016). In 2019, she toured with Pink Sweat$ and served up the fan favorite single “One Missed Call.” In addition to two million total streams and praise from Essence, Earmilk proclaimed it, “possibly one of the most upbeat and danceable songs about an ex.” Along the way, she charismatically stepped into her own as an artist. Similar to a superheroine actualizing her cosmic potential for the first time, PJ embraced in-your-face energy, vibrant pops of personality, out-sized charisma and an unpredictable take on R&B.
“I realized sticking out is not a bad thing,” she goes on. “It’s easy to look at things that make you stick out like they’re wrong or weird, but they’re really superpowers. I’m one-thousand percent accepting who I am. I’m proud of it. I fuck with the aggressiveness of hip-hop, so I wanted that upfront energy. I love the melodies of pop. I’m not always singing about love, which makes me different as an R&B artist. I try to bring in colors and fantasy to show my quirky side.”
In 2020, she set herself apart with her Waiting For Paris EP (Atlantic Records). Reaching a new level of confidence, the artist dives headfirst into her next phase, trusting gut instinct and intuition.
“For a long time, I overthought everything,” she admits. “I let go. I stopped wasting time and overthinking things. I gave myself a deadline and went for it.”
Her latest single “Element” emanates bold bravado. A woozy beat, island-style groove and slinky synths bend beneath cocky verses as her voice stretches towards a hypnotic hook, “Fuck with me when I’m in my element.”
“I was just feeling myself much more than usual,” she says. “It speaks to where I am right now. When you’re in your element, you don’t have doubts about your capabilities, talent or where you’re headed in life. You’re certain of who you are and what that represents. I’m talking about the world and being in my natural state.”
With a head nod-worthy old school '90s bounce, “Highs & Lows” illustrates another side of her persona. Living up to the spirit of a “minor classic love song,” the heartfelt vocals detail the “the moment in a relationship when you ask the other person to stick by you through thick and thin.” Then there’s “Breakdown.” With vulnerable production from D’Mile (Rihanna, Ty Dolla $ign), it signals a fierce and fiery rebirth for PJ with punchy bars and a soaring refrain.
“It’s about breaking down and getting your shit back together,” she exclaims. “It speaks to the present before the big reveal. It’s the defining moment where you overcome everything and become who you were meant to be. It’s my transformation.”
With more music on the horizon, this unicorn transformed into the artist she was always meant to be.
“If you listen to me, I want you to be like, ‘I can do that’,” she leaves off. “I’m not just existing; I’m living in my space. I want you to own the space you’re in and wear it proudly. I’m in my own state. I’m fine with that. I’m constantly on my shit right now. It’s about being a better PJ tomorrow. I’m ready for anything.”