Published Sep 14, 2017It's a familiar tale: A young newcomer blows up with a worldwide hit single but thanks to immaturity, addiction, mental illness and a string of bad business luck, is threatened to be consigned to one-hit-wonder status. When Golden Rail Motel arrives this week, Eamon is intent on proving that he's here to stay.
When the artist born Jonathan Doyle dropped the profanity laden "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" back in late 2003, his self-dubbed "Ho-Wop" (a blend of smooth R&B vocals and gritty hip-hop) was all over the airwaves, a stark contrast to the fluff that cluttered urban radio of the era. But aside from his poorly promoted 2006 followup album Love & Pain, and guest appearances on Ghostface Killah's More Fish, R.A. the Rugged Man's Legends Never Die and Jedi Mind Tricks' The Thief and the Fallen, nothing else was heard from the promising Staten Island-bred and now Los Angeles based-singer.
"A big part of that was contracts and getting involved with some people that looked at me as a hustle rather than as a human being," Eamon tells Exclaim! from Los Angeles. "A lot of it was just me, just giving up. I was just like, uh, I'm sick of this, I just don't want to do music anymore. Problems with addictions to depression. I was just kind of tired of having to prove myself, or dealing with the insanity. I was caught in a contract for a while and there was a lot of madness that happened — one thing after the other. I've been able to see that tough times build character and have made me into the man I am today."
That renewed energy is evident on the first single from Golden Rail Motel, the impassioned and uncompromising plea of "Be My Girl." With a collaborative production team including Jedi Mind Tricks' producer Stoupe, instrumentation under the direction of Connie Price and Keystones' Dan Ubick and Snipe Young, Golden Rail Motel showcases an artist in ripening maturity.
"It all started with me and Stoupe just listening to a ton of older music and really getting influences from all over the place," says Eamon. "We did that for a couple of months and we had ideas of where we wanted to go with certain songs. And getting with Dan to put something down of an idea that me and Stoupe had, putting down the drums and going to Snipe to finally do the vocals. Snipe knows where I'm at because I do a lot of old school soul doo-wop-type vocal harmonies. It was kind of like the perfect match with everybody. Stoupe comes from a hip-hop sample world — he had ideas about where we wanted to go. He'd cut up some records, brought it to Dan who brought it to life with the band and the horn section."
Of the final product — and this point in his career — Eamon is indeed satisfied. "It's funny because it never would have worked at any other point in my life then right now. It pretty much worked out the way it was supposed to, so I'm very grateful for that."
Golden Rail Motel arrives on September 15,via Huey Ave Music.
Editor's note: An earlier version of the story quoted Eamon regarding a legal matter involving the CEO of SMC Entertainment; that information was incorrect. An investor in the company was indicted for stock fraud; that incident did not involve SMC executives. Exclaim! regrets the error.