The SoulBounce Q&A: PJ Morton Shares The Recipe To His Infamous ‘Gumbo’

SB: Why did you name the album Gumbo? Is it part of a theme with your albums?

PJ: I actually made that New Orleans album in L.A., where I was living at the time. I guess I was missing home [laughter]. I’ve moved back and been back for a  little over a year. This is the first album I’ve actually made in New Orleans. It’s definitely a nod to that. Also, previous albums I’ve worked on have heavily been focused on love and relationships. This time, I wanted to challenge myself as a songwriter to talk about more than that. I wanted to reflect the times more and deal with issues that are deeper than the surface of a relationship or love song. I talk about religion, I talk about creative freedom, racial tension. I feel like I made this diverse album of subject matter in New Orleans. That sounded like gumbo to me.

SB: On the album cover, is there actually gumbo in the bowl? Or just rice and you’re waiting on the gumbo and there’s a metaphor?

PJ: No, there was gumbo. I was eating between takes. [laughter]

SB: Ha! OK. On your last project, the Bounce & Soul Vol.1 mixtape, you combined that New Orleans bounce sound with R&B. Was there any specific reason you stuck to a more classic R&B sound and didn’t add any of that bounce into the mix this time around?

PJ: The bounce thing... I was just having fun. I had just moved back home, and I wanted to do something to commemorate that. It actually came out better than I imagined. It all started as just a fun joke really, and it became really cool. That’s more of a fun thing to me and just going away from what I normally do. Bounce is something I love and grew up listening to, it's in my blood. But I wouldn’t consider myself a bounce artist.

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