Run From the Norms: Stream PJ's Debut Album 'Rare'

This young singer's penned hits for everyone from Meek Mill to Wiz Khalifa, but now she's stepping out into the spotlight with her first album.

by Kim Taylor Bennett
14 July 2016, 1:54pm

PJ's another one of those songwriters who's been beavering away in the shadows, penning hits for others—Meek Mill's “I Don’t Know,” Wiz Khalifa's “True Colors” ft. Nicki Minaj, B.o.B's “Not For Long” ft. Trey Songz—but now she's stepping out and into the spotlight… and with what style. Her first track "Gangster," released a couple months back, combines sunny instrumentals with PJ's effortless vocals, soulful and laidback with the requisite pinches of pop.

Below is the premiere of her full length album RARE, out tomorrow, which features some choice guest spots by G-Eazy on the melancholic cool of "Always Wanted," not to mention Ty Dolla $ign over the skippy beats and hi hat ratatats of "Come Down." Fellow Atlantic signee Jevon Doe also makes an appearance. Not that this Atlanta and North Carolina-raised singer needs flashy featured artists to elevate this record. It's diverse—note those neatly plucked strings on the sparse cut "Benjamin," versus the polished pop nous of "Can't Stop"—and fresh. As she sings on "I'm Good" she's "just a little old school with the nu school."

"RARE is like a fairytale to me," explains PJ, born Paris Jones. "It's all about the message. It’s a soundtrack for people coming up; it's about going for what you want and appreciating the person you are. There are too many people in this world telling you to get in line and conform to society’s 'norms.' With my project RARE, I'm telling you to run from it. I’m telling you it’s OK to be different. You can't really be put it in a box and I hope it inspires people to be true to themselves."

Listen below and catch her on tour.

PJ Tour Dates (with K. Michelle)

July 12 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
July 14 – The National – Richmond, VA
July 15 – The Norva – Norfolk, VA
July 19 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA
July 20 – Rams Head Live! – Baltimore, MD
July 21 – The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
July 22 – House of Blues – Cleveland
July 23 – Chene Park – Detroit, MI
July 27 – Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
July 28 – Cone Denim Entertainment Center – Greensboro, NC
July 29 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
July 30 – The Ritz – Raleigh, NC
July 31 – The Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA
August 2 – Revolution Live – Fort Lauderdale, FL
August 5 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
August 6 – Aztec Theater – San Antonio, TX
August 7 – House of Blues – Houston, TX
August 10 – Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA
August 12 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
August 13 – Celebrity Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
August 14 – The Novo by Microsoft – Los Angeles, CA

RARE is out on July 14 via Atlantic