Elliott Johnson is a hometown hitmaker – his new album Homesick made a massive debut on Monday, with hundreds of listeners tuning in on streaming services like iTunes and Spotify.
On Youtube, his single Reciprocate has racked up more than a thousand views in the space of a week, and that’s even without an official music video.
What makes this feat even more impressive is that Johnson isn’t managed by an executive from a major label.
Instead, he’s an independent artist who is committed to his own vision, and is making an impact through hard work and community connections.
“When I was contacted by Brendan Curran, another ex-local, about the opportunity to record an album, I jumped at it!” said Johnson.
“The entire release has been done completely independently, which in a way gives a better sense of ownership, which is really important to me.”
Johnson, 23, first started singing at a young age.
“I think my mum has an old VHS of me standing on a table at the North School Kindy singing Advance Australia Fair when I was maybe 2-3 years old,” he laughs.
“I was in the primary school choir once, but I didn't really start singing by myself in front of people until I was around 13.
“I’d started guitar lessons with the great Lincoln Sharpe the year prior, and wanted to be able to sing along when we played.
“In high school, I was lucky enough to have a great bunch of mates that all played instruments, so we jammed pretty often in bedrooms and backyards - we even had a pretty short-lived band called Nine Ways from Sunday.
“It wasn’t until I moved up to Adelaide that I started to work on my own original songs a lot more, and began uploading them to SoundCloud and Facebook, and doing a few gigs here and there.”
Johnson’s musical influences are musicians who double as storytellers, such as Wil Wagner of The Smith Street Band, Luca Brasi, Ben David of The Hard Aches, Paul Kelly, Brad Crane, and Ian Moss.
Johnson’s own album, Homesick, is an intimate and intricate portrait of the ways in which loss can infiltrate everyday life.
“All of the songs on the album are really personal and relate to losing something; loss of love, loved ones, faith (in various ways), as well as losing or leaving behind things, places or people that "felt like home".”
“I think a lot of these themes are ones most people are familiar with or can relate to in some way.”
CDs of Homesick can be purchased from http://homesickelliottjohnson.bigcartel.com/