Halifax-born musician Jon Mullane was one of the first subjects profiled in Halifax Magazine, so we’ve been watching his career with interest. In the last few years, he’s been doing a lot of work in the U.S., enjoying success with singles like “My New American Girl,” which hit #32 on the Hot AC Billboard Chart.
The song’s success brought him to the U.S. full-time, relocating to New Orleans a couple years ago. We caught him on a visit back home to Halifax.
Between awards he and his collaborators have won at modestly-prestigious festivals like the Independent Music Awards in New York, and new partnerships he’s formed since moving south, Mullane says the opportunities came because he has been focusing on the now and working on his craft, rather than a possible finish line of fame and fortune.
“I’ve let go a little bit while really being focused on the work,” says Mullane. “I was never nominated for the first 15, 16 years….now, letting go and stuff, four, five, six awards and nominations, all this stuff has been happening.”
Mullane recently released his fourth album, Singles. It’s a compilation of his major hits. There’s even been a short documentary, Shine On, about his life. A bold step for the admittedly-private songsmith.
“I’ve actually struggled with some anxiety myself, you know,” says Mullane. “I was bullied terribly when I was a young boy…I didn’t like to talk about it at all, but now the documentary’s out, and it’s got my whole story. I think now is the time to kind of just put back what I have lived, don’t try to hide it anymore.”
His latest collaboration is with the Campaign to Change Direction. The awareness program partners with celebrity spokespeople like Mullane to change the public consciousness surrounding mental health issues.
They’re promoting the music video for Mullane’s single, “Born Beautiful.” “The message in the song is about self-love, it’s got almost like an anti-suicide, anti-bullying message to the music video,” says Mullane. “There’s like a #MeToo moment in there and everything: she’s being harassed by a guy and … she stares down a bottle of pills. Luckily, in the video, she turns it around.”
Mullane knows that coping with mental-health issues can be lonely, and that hearing about others, especially people you respect, overcoming the same trials can inspire hope. He hopes that he can do that for someone among his listeners.
“Know that there’s help out there, when you have struggles,” says Mullane. “Don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s more support than people think.”
Mullane doesn’t know what the next step is in his journey, but Halifax is calling him back.
“We’re looking at residing here part of the time,” he says. “I think that’s the ideal thing to do.”