PJ Morton Was A Stevie Wonder fan and Now Stevie Is A Friend - Noise11.com
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PJ Morton Was A Stevie Wonder fan and Now Stevie Is A Friend

by Paul Cashmere on March 27, 2024

in News

Maroon 5 keyboard player PJ Morton is in Australia for his own shows and told Noise11 about his longtime friendship with Stevie Wonder.

Stevie featured on PJ’s ‘Only One’ on his 2013 album ‘New Orleans’ and on ‘Be Like Water’ on his 2022 album ‘Watch The Sun’. PJ said meeting Stevie was “Mind blowing”. He tells Noise11.com, “We consider ourselves friends now but I can never get too comfortable. He is Stevie Wonder. He just called me in the airport as I was flying to Australia to talk about another song that we have done together. I was showing my friends the phone ‘Stevie’s calling me’. I never get used to it. Very early on he was my blueprint for what I wanted to do. He is a big reason (I do what I do). As a keyboard player who wanted to write songs and sing, he was the beacon for me. To eventually get to work with him and get to work with him multiple times now is beyond my wildest dreams”.

PJ had a brief encounter with Stevie before the ‘New Orleans’ album. “I met him before that,” he said. “I don’t consider it a first meet because it was like a ‘hi’ and a ‘bye’. I didn’t get to tell him what he means to me. Kirk Franklin introduced me to him at a concert. When he did ‘Only One’ and played harmonica on that we weren’t even in the same place. Right after I recorded it we just happened to be on a flight together. I didn’t know he was there but we were going to the bathroom and I felt this tall figure behind me and I looked back and said ‘Stevie, its PJ, you just did my song’. And he said ‘You can sing. I love that song’. That was like our official meet. There have been plenty after that. I let him go to the bathroom first. I got out of the way and let Stevie go to the bathroom. That was the first time we actually connected and it has been a build-up of the relationship since then”.

For the recent album ‘Watch The Sun’ Stevie features yet again. “I had ‘Be Like Water’. I felt like Stevie could fit on it. But I wasn’t going to bother him. We were friends, so let me just not ask him for anything. Then he called me and said ‘I have this song that I want you to sing on’ and then I thought now I gotta ask him. That was a sign for me so I recorded it with him. This time it was totally different because we were together in the room. I got to produce him. I was nervous, because do you tell Stevie to do it again? Stevie is Stevie. But he wanted me to make sure I did it right. That’s why the greats are great. He was as teachable as anybody I have ever worked with, maybe more than some of the new artists I have done”.

There is another Stevie and PJ collaboration in the works but this time is something for Stevie. “It is for a project he is working on which means more to me than me asking him to be on anything of mine. He didn’t have to ask me to be on his. I believe it is going to be a Stevie Wonder project of some sort. I don’t know the details but it is a duet and it is for one of his projects”.

Watch the all-new Noise11 interview with PJ Morton, recorded 27 March 2024:

PJ is doing his own shows in Australia in Melbourne, Sydney and over Easter at Bluesfest.

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