"It sounds like Johnathan has written a soundtrack to a sequel film for 'That Thing You Do,' if there ever were to be one."
He doesn’t hail from Liverpool or the sunny beaches of California, but Johnathan Pushkar is a modern power pop artist worthy of your toe-tapping time. In the words of Lord Rutledge’s Faster and Louder Blog, “Pushkar’s music is a reminder that there’s no shelf life for perfect melodies, relatable lyrical storytelling, and utterly endearing vocals. The future of power pop is a lot like its past, and we should all be glad!” Give Johnathan a minute of your time, and he will have you bopping to his catchy tunes.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, Johnathan’s biggest influences were the pop artists of the 1960s, primarily the "British Invasion.” Acts like The Beatles, Herman's Hermits, The Searchers, The Beach Boys, and The Monkees were in constant rotation for Pushkar growing up. Later, he came around to “That Thing You Do!” and Fountains of Wayne, which infused a modern influence on his music.
Johnathan began playing guitar at age 10 and writing songs in his early teens. Though he dabbled with guitar lessons, he’s mostly self-taught. After graduating from the Department of Public Relations at Belmont University in Nashville, he stayed in Music City to further his music career.
Lyrically, Johnathan draws upon emotions from life experiences and the wistful yearnings of youth. His persistence and vision has paid off; at the tender age of 17, he opened for Joey Molland of Badfinger. He’s played guitar for Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, The Explorers Club, British Invasion legend Billy J. Kramer, and Kurt Baker (of Little Steven’s Wicked Cool Records.) He is endorsed by G7th Capo Company and received their first-ever prototype 12-string guitar capo.
Johnathan’s first single, "The Girl Next Door", was debuted by Rodney Bingenheimer on SirusXM's Underground Garage in June 2019. As the song hit airwaves, it reached JEM Records founder Marty Scott, who immediately signed Johnathan to JEM as their newest (and youngest!) artist.
"The Girl Next Door'' went on to debut at #1 on 14 indie radio stations' charts around the world and placed in the Top 10 charts of more than 20 stations globally. His second single, "Isabella," also debuted at #1 on 11 indie radio stations' charts, and placed in the Top 10 charts of more than 17 stations globally.
Jim Prell of The Music Authority has this to say “Johnathan Pushkar: a name you will be hearing a great deal of in the years to come! Energy, melody, rhythm, and lyrics reminiscent of times gone by, but timeless for today… Johnathan Pushkar is the Real Deal.”
Following the success of his debut singles, Jonathan’s first album, “Straighten Up” was released in September 2019. Produced by Wyatt Funderburk in Nashville, TN, it features guest appearances by Sandy Gennaro (The Monkees, Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper), Jeff Alan Ross (Badfinger, Peter Asher,) Bill Cinque (Neil Diamond,) and Rob Shanahan (Ringo Starr’s photographer.) John M. Borack, contributing editor for Goldmine Magazine wrote: “‘Straighten Up’ finds the 23-year-old pop wunderkind successfully melding Beatle-esque melodies with wistful lead vocals that are often reminiscent of Fountains of Wayne’s Chris Collingwood. Pushkar has fashioned one of 2019’s finest, pure records.”
Upon hearing his songs, listeners often cite the film "That Thing You Do!" as a musical reference point. That should come as no surprise; Pushkar's deepest influences and passions lie in researching, preserving, and spreading knowledge about the pop music of times gone by.
Geoff Britton, drummer for Paul McCartney and Wings, stated “I love this album "Straighten Up") - It’s my kind of music. It captures a retro pop feel with today’s sound... I wish I had played drums on it!”
A man of his word, Geoff jumped at the opportunity to record for Johnathan's second album, "Compositions."
The recording of "Compositions" took place over the summer of 2020 in Nashville, TN. With Wyatt Funderburk at the helm of production, the album drew inspiration from everyone from Tom Petty to Fountains of Wayne, and from The Beach Boys to Weezer. The album was released in June 2021, debuting on Little Steven's Underground Garage with the track, "Alexandra."
When he's not writing songs, Pushkar collects Rickenbacker guitars (an obsession,) vinyl records, works as a social media marketer, and manages his LEGO-themed persona online, MiniSuperHeroesToday.