Jon Waltz Pops a 'Wheelie'

Jon Waltz Pops a 'Wheelie'

Memphis native Jon Waltz is a self-professed perfectionist and he's not afraid to let people know it. Taking pride in the fact he had to "re-record [songs] a million times over to get the right takes" on his most recent EP, Waltz's meticulous approach to music has made him one of R&B's brightest rising talents and his latest offering is no exception.

Fresh off the release of his My Golden Horse EP, Waltz premieres a music video for "Wheelie." Full of plucked guitar strings and twinkling flutters of video game synths over a booming trap beat, the new visual sees a balaclava-clad Waltz stumbling around the desert as he gravitates towards a light at the end of the tunnel. A mesmerizing mix of harmonics and beat-smithing, "Wheelie" disguises a nuanced reflection of Waltz's own success with a deceptively simple hook.

"'Wheelie' is about the search for light," Director Nik Arthur says. "The song is braggadocios, but the cockiness is kind of empty, like false confidence. So in the video we created this source of light which is true, that Jon seeks out. We shot on 35mm so that light had material substance, and we shot in Joshua Tree because it's an open space that feels like it represents your inner self and outer self at once. Sometimes what you’re looking for is not what you really want.”

Taking inspiration from Memphis' blues roots, Waltz's EP hits close to home. "The project title is a metaphor for how my relationship with my hometown has shifted over the years and how I wanted my best musical offering to be the one that takes me places," Waltz continues. “My Golden Horse was made with no budget and fueled by love and passion. Some of these records took every last ounce of my being to execute, working down to the wire just because we all believed we could make something that felt like the best version of ourselves"

Watch the PAPER premiere of the music video for Jon Waltz's "Wheelie" and stream My Golden Horse, below.

Photography: Marcus Menefee