Jono Josh comes back with meaningful new single, ‘Half,’ inspired by his identity and his own perception of it.
‘Half’ is Jono Josh’s first single of 2020, and comes at a significant time in History for people of color.
“I wrote ‘Half’ reflecting on my identity as a mixed-race person,” Jono Josh, also known as JJ Gerber says.
Reflecting on his identity, the Toronto-based artist adds:
“A few years ago, I was asked to play Gilbert Blythe in the Charlottetown Festival’s production of ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ It was one of the biggest honors of my life. I was the first person of color to play that role on a professional stage, but I didn’t realize it until after an article came out where the headline read, “JJ Gerber, first non-white actor to play Gilbert.” I thought to myself, “That’s not completely accurate.” My dad is white and my mother is black. Culturally, I’m both white and black. As I played the part, I had numerous people come up and tell me what it meant to see a person like them on stage. Thinking about it, I realized that I hadn’t ever had that experience myself.”
Explaining the meaning of the title, Jono Josh adds:
“I wrote this song because I’m not just “half;” I’m whole. One side doesn’t take away from the other. One’s existence is a tapestry of stories, and ‘Half’ is the embodiment of as many experiences from my life that I could include in a three-minute song.”
In a recent Instagram post, Jono Josh reveals that he actually wrote the song a few years ago, but was always nervous to release it, because he opens up a part of himself that, even though seems skin deep, goes much deeper.
Now, he wants people who are of mixed race to be proud of their heritage.
“By showing my pride in who I am, I hope others will be able to do the same,” he says. “I want to dedicate [this song] to all the mixed people who have ever felt insecure about who they are.”