Jake Stopar

Premiere: Jake Stopar explores new ground with ‘Honey’ single

Jake Stopar is a master of new and varied experiences, which shows with today’s release of his new solo single

Jake Stopar is a master of new and varied experiences, which shows with today’s release of his new solo single, “Honey.”

Brought up in Chicago’s rich blues scene, Stopar took a different approach to the new single (as well as last month’s release of “One Day at a Time (Baby)”). 

“I’m just trying to go outside because I’m a blues guy, really,” he said. “Uncommercial blues is my love. But I wanted to switch it up.”

Because of the electropop elements blended into the mix, “Honey” dances in a poppier area than fans have seen Stopar work in before. 

The Oak Forest musician spent considerable time gigging around the Chicago blues scene, playing stages across south side clubs. 

“I’ve been on the blues circuit for a long time,” he said. “Playing at clubs on the south side, all the time, almost every night of the week. You get to the point where so many of your friends are 60-year-old men. … They’re great blues players, man.” 

After a pursuit of personal growth down in Mississippi for a while, Stopar came back and started taking acting classes at Second City, where the seeds for his main gig — The North and Wells Band — were planted. 

The band, which sprinted out of the gate last year with the funky dance-inspired hit “Chicago Summertime,” has been a great opportunity for collaboration, he said. Working on a single with 12:12, who eventually became the band’s lead singer, exposed Stopar to the creation of EDM music. 

And his connection with John Love, the band’s keyboard player, was instantaneous. “We had this exact same taste in music. For me, it was game over. We’re stuck together now.”

Sam Roth, a drummer with one of Love’s first bands, brought a full sound to the mix, freeing Stopar up to play more with guitar and bass sounds. 

Elements of all those connections have made their way into Stopar’s experimentation. 

“I always try to leave my blues roots in there,” he said. “Like guitar solos, just a quick blues riff, the progression. … It’s just me trying to get a little creative, get out of the headspace and come up with music that shifts almost all the genres in a way. It’s got pop in there, and I got a pretty good guitar solo on there. That’s kind of rock ‘n’ roll. And the vocals are electronic in a way. So you hit all the bases at once.”

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