Gifted new Atlanta songwriter Jonah Swilley weaves uplifting stories within his music

Welcome to 52 Songs Of Happiness, a collection of unique music from around the world brought to you by Coca-Cola. Each of these amazing new acts has crafted a one-off song for Coca-Cola based around a treasured location, as well as a Placelist with the music that makes that place so special.

The next new artist who’s shared a fantastic track is Jonah Swilley from Atlanta, Georgia. He comes from a musical family, with a brother in garage rock band The Black Lips, and his contribution to 52 Songs of Happiness is called ‘Backseat’, showcasing the young troubadour’s love of melody and storytelling.

Hi Jonah, good to meet you. To people new to your music, how would you describe your songs?

My music is hip-hop, mixed with garage rock influences and catchy melodies. I want my songs to inspire and have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Tell us about your fantastic song ‘Backseat’ you’ve written for 52 Songs of Happiness?

Thanks, glad you like it! I wrote ‘Backseat’ in my bedroom at home in Atlanta. I often piece songs together there, it’s a comfortable place where I can open my mind and gather my creative thoughts, and I’m really pleased with the track 

On the subject of Atlanta, we see you’ve chosen a special place in the city for your Placelist?

Yeah, that’s right. Little Five Points is a place I grew up visiting that is located on the city’s east side. It’s a very diverse area where all walks of life work, shop and hang out, with great venues, restaurants, and shops. It has tons of life and character. 

Your music blends the sounds of different genres, you must listen to songs by a real mix of artists?

Yes, but it’s the songwriters Johnny Cash, John Lennon and Bob Marley that are my top three musical heroes, as these icons stand for different aspects I love about music. Johnny Cash was rough and gritty, Lennon transformed throughout his entire career and Marley brought new ideas including social change with his music. Currently, I love what Andre 3000 does. Not only does he project creativity in everything he does, but I really connect with his ability to create music in multiple genres – and it doesn’t hurt he’s from Atlanta!

Is there a place where you’d love to play a show one day?

I was lucky enough to visit Barcelona in July, and I was able to perform at a couple of venues – it’s always good to see your work is well received in a different culture. But with regards to the future, I think Central Park in New York would be an awesome place to do a live show. Any of the footage I’ve seen from other artists’ performances there looks incredible!