Jon Pruett has “a voice that captures the soul,” declared Nancy Dominguez in Communion. In 2002, he started and fronted the band Staggered Theorem who, in 2003, released their self-titled album “that was the kind of album you let play straight through – no skipping around for the songs you like – you love them all,” Dominguez stated. The band encountered their share of success as they toured throughout Texas and received air time in 6 major markets. Staggered Theorem distributed several thousand albums independently, but eventually separated in late 2003. At that point, Pruett decided to become a solo recording artist and spent most of 2004 writing, recording, and distributing new music. “The type of songs that will go all the way,” says Tony Parker from Clear Channel Radio.
Pruett was born in November of 1984, in San Antonio, TX. His father, Jim, came from a long musical background, but maintained a profession in automotive sales, management, and marketing for most of his life before moving into investment brokerage. His mother, Lisa, is a registered nurse and serves as an officer in the United States Air Force. When Pruett turned twelve, his parents separated and he lived with his father in San Antonio, then moved back to the small town of Lytle, TX where he had attended elementary school and would graduate high school.
Pruett recalled his musical aspirations and experience began “when I was old enough to talk,” in his interview with Edward Jenkins of Audio 7. He went on to describe that he began self-teaching his vocal abilities around age three, taught himself guitar at twelve, bass and drums at fourteen, and music production, mixing, and mastering at sixteen. He was also formally educated on the trumpet during middle school, and “tampers with piano and harmonica,” so Jenkins reports. When asked why music was important to him, Pruett said, “music is a part of me. It’s just as important as my eyes, my ears, my limbs, and my digits. It’s in my blood.”
By the age of sixteen, Pruett began starting his own bands and playing at local venues and nightclubs. He supplemented his income by cooking, detailing cars, and telemarketing. Though his band, Staggered Theorem, received multiple recording contract offers, Pruett decided that starting his own record label and self-promotion was the route that he wanted to take. So in 2004, Sound Static Records was born. Under his new label, Pruett released singles for his popular songs Angel and Sober, as well as the album Unseen. While his ventures were slowly gaining traction, Pruett decided that he “needed to make a life change and do something meaningful.” Before beginning to push the label and set-up distribution campaigns, Pruett decided to enlist in the United States Army as a Broadcast Journalist. His experience in audio production helped him to excel and win numerous awards for his broadcast products.
Though stationed overseas, in Germany, Pruett released The Gray Album as a download-only product in 2006 under Sound Static Records. The opening track, Ripple, though “poorly recorded,” according to Pruett, reached out to a new audience and helped to develop a larger internet fan base. Pruett released a live acoustic version of another track, I’m happy, which was originally featured as a studio edition on the album, on YouTube.com. The video raised awareness of his music and opened new doors for Pruett, as his music was featured on several internet radio stations and websites. “I love love LOVE your songs,” says one internet fan.
As a result of Pruett’s growing online fan base, requests for covers of popular songs by professional recording artists began flooding in by the hundreds. As a response to this, Pruett released his acoustic cover of the band Breaking Benjamin’s popular track So Cold in late 2008. The video rapidly grew in views bringing in hundreds of thousands of new audience members, and growing Pruett’s online fan base considerably.
The video, in 2009, caught the attention of two carpenters from Chicago, Illinois who were trying to piece together a band and looking for a front man. Guitarist Joe Tash and drummer Steve Underwood contacted Pruett via e-mail and asked that he listen to the music they were producing and consider working them. Shortly thereafter, the band Next September was formed. Also in 2009, Pruett reformed his company to encompass a wide array of services as well as technological research and development, giving birth to Pruemedia, LLC.
The band name “Next September” was based on the fact that Pruett would have completed his contract with the US Army and finished his Master’s Degree the following September (2010) making him available to take the music industry by force with the band at that time.
Pruett is now continuing to produce music as a solo artist as well as with his band Next September due to stylistic differences. Pruett’s solo music “tends to be more melodic and leans more on acoustic instruments, and generally is slower paced;” while Next September’s music tends to be “more up-beat, heavier, and in your face,” says Pruett. Pruett’s online performances have generated millions of views and streams, and the fan base for both his band and his solo project continue to grow daily.
By: Emily Roland