Klez is the new Cali-Soul/R&B musical project of the young Bay Area-bred musician, John Klezmer. John was raised playing multiple instruments and listening closely to his family’s music collection, which included the likes of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, and Smokey Robinson. In his early teens, Klez took his immense love of soul music and began developing his own original sound. Over time, Klez has honed his skills as a true lyricist, composer, and performer. While Klez was still in college at Chico State, he was discovered by Los Angeles based label, Sound x3 Records, in the music industry program’s bi-annual singer songwriter competition, Chico Unplugged.
Klez’s debut EP, Here Right Now, came out the following year, in May 2016. The EP was written and recorded by John Klezmer with the help of writer/producer Roger Gisborne, a British transplant based in Los Angeles. Klez likens the relationship to that of Mark Ronson’s with Amy Winehouse or Bruno Mars. The relationship of likeminded collaborators sharing the same vision and passion for soul music, has allowed KLEZ to further refine his songwriting and perfect his effortless falsettos, taking his sound and style to a new level. Klez’s sound lies in the nebulous middle of the soul spectrum: take the purity and resonance of Hozier and pair it with the soulful grit of Son Little, and you get Klez. The title track from the EP caught the attention of television executives and was featured in a promo for the finale of the ABC primetime show, Castle, in May 2016.
With the support of fans at home and abroad, Klez took to the road in April, 2017 on a Scandinavian tour where he performed in clubs, at universities and on radio stations in cities across Sweden likes Stockholm, Malmö, and Kalmar. Following the tour, Klez was offered several spots and a headlining role at one of Scandinavia’s largest showcase festivals, Sweden’s “Live At Heart” festival in August, 2017. After returning home to a series of shows between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, Klez kicked off his 2nd European tour with a farewell CD release party at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Klez returned to Sweden in August, 2017 in support of his upcoming EP. In Sweden, Klez was welcomed back to well received headlining and festival closing performances at “Live At Heart” in addition to several performances at clubs and radio stations in Örebro. Klez was named “one of the strongest acts we have ever booked” by Lars Göran Rosén, the booker for Live At Heart.
Upon returning, Klez announced the official release of his 2nd EP, aptly titled Old Soul New World. The EP is a refreshing throwback to the glory days of Motown with a rhythmic indie pop twist. “Ain’t Nobody’s Fool,” the first single from the record, is already gaining traction and a reaction:
“Featuring catchy brass sections, with upbeat dance worthy rhythms and lyrics that’ll be stuck in your head all day long, ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Fool’ is the ultimate dance anthem. The single also exemplifies Klez’s sexy and soulful vocals and highlights his impressive range.”
This EP was recorded in the Bay Area; mixed in Northern California and mastered by audio guru, Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, and Beck) at Magic Gardens Mastering in Los Angeles.
Over his career, Klez has had the privilege to perform with incredible artists, such as Con Brio, Joey Dosik, The Main Squeeze, and Gene Evaro Jr. The waves from his first EP and his consistent dynamic performances quickly earned Klez shows at renowned Los Angeles venues, including The Hotel Cafe, The Satellite and The Mint, as well as headlining spots at respected venues in San Francisco such as Slim’s, The Rickshaw Stop, Neck of the Woods, and Sofar Sounds SF.