Before auditioning for Season 12 of The Voice and finishing Top 20, Johnny Gates had spent years as lead singer for a band called Runaway Saints.
And this is a song that, while never released, the band had been playing since at least 2015. In fact, you can find multiple versions of it on YouTube.
When Johnny began releasing a series of singles as a solo artist this year, “Brooklyn Nights” was one of the first. It’s since become a music video that you can check out below.
Here’s what Johnny says about the song on Instagram: “Wrote this song in a graffiti’d out green room, under a venue in the lower east side. A subway train came rumbling through every few minutes, fighting for attention.
“It was the first real song I had written by myself in what felt like forever. It’s kind of had a life of its own. We toured across the country a few times playing songs, this one always stuck. When I knew I was putting together songs for a solo thing, I knew Brooklyn had to be there.
“It’s about my favorite city. It’s about things not working out. It’s about how a place can instantly feel different one day. It’s about letting go. It’s about not letting go. It’s about growing up. It’s about not growing up.”
It’s one of four singles Johnny released in 2018. Also be sure to check out his most recent, “Baseball.”
Here’s “Brooklyn Nights.”
Editor’s Note: By my count, former contestants from The Voice released more than 70 albums or EPs, more than 90 music videos and more than 800 original songs in 2018.
This week, I’m featuring my favorites, spotlighting what I’m calling the Top 5 music videos, Top 20 songs and Top 5 albums/EPs.
I hesitate to call them the best because that’s very subjective. Besides, I easily could have made each of these lists five times as long and still omitted lots and lots of great music.
That’s why I grit my teeth when Marshmellow or Ann-Marie or even a coach or advisor winds up with a guest performance spot on The Voice. I’ll never understand why the show doesn’t do more to promote its alumni.
Ah, but this isn’t a time for griping. It’s time to celebrate the accomplishments of talented artists.
I’ve also posted a complete list of post-Voice singles, albums and EPs, with links for your listening pleasure. And a blog with all 90-plus music videos. Please, check them out. Find your own favorites.
And if I’ve missed anyone, let me know. Stage names change. Side projects are created. Tracking the output of 600 post-Voice artists … well, I’ll be shocked if I didn’t miss someone. Just let me know by commenting below or emailing [email protected]. In terms of singles, my goal is to list any where the former contestant is the primary vocalist.
Coming tomorrow: The Top 5 post-Voice albums of 2018.
Top songs (not ranked)