May 04, 2013
SunFest 2013 Friday Night: Local Acoustic Artist SJ Won Hearts
One of the best things about SunFest for both fans and artists alike is the festival’s programming of local acts on big stages, opening for major headliners. So everybody won yesterday evening for an early set on the FPL stage by rising local artist SJ. The acoustic pop-rock crooner enjoyed a slot technically opening for Ed Sheeran, who was to take the stage three hours later. That also meant a huge crowd of Sheeran diehard fans already assembled.
SJ and the young, heavily female, stylish crowd soon formed a mutual appreciation society, with the husky-voiced performer bantering easily between his upbeat selections. He’s currently climbing the ranks of independent adult contemporary radio charts, and it’s easy to see why — SJ’s sunny, catchy originals are the kinds of tunes that would soothe frayed nerves on a Sunday morning.
He also wisely hammed it up for the Sheeran crowd — in fact, every time he mentioned that U.K. singer-songwriter’s name, a chorus of shrieks instantly erupted. “Is that a magic password or something?” Fernando Perdomo, SJ’s live guitarist, joked. Perdomo, actually, wasn’t the only gifted, South Florida-bred musician onstage. SJ also brought along a few more talented friends from Miami to back him up, like Vic Kingsley on bass and Joshua Stedman on backing vocals.
The other “awww”-worthy moment? When SJ dedicated “Green As Snow” to his girlfriend, turning a million audience hearts to mush. SJ, you’re a smart one.
Here’s a little sample of one of his songs: