LISTEN: Just John’s “Renaissance Boy” LP

John Samuels aka JustJohn—artist and curator of Blank Canvas Gallery—just released his first album Renaissance Boy and it’s not an album you want to be sleeping on… seriously.

JustJohn has been perfecting his craft and working on this album for about two years now, and it’s ready to be heard by the world. With features from fellow Toronto upcomers such as M.I. BLUE, LOONY, Shirloq, Reneethevoice, and Pheona; the album features a variety of sounds which showcase both John and his collaborators’ versatility. The LP includes tracks such as “Inner City Kids” and “Mediocre” which have already -released visuals as well as “Socialite” and “Ignorant Youth”, along with 5 new unreleased tracks.


John may have different artists and influences in this album, but it never detracts from his lyrical talent and abilities he strongly flaunts the project. And don’t forget his unique voice: no one sounds him like him, and that’s what makes him stand out. Listeners get a taste of rebellious guitar-rock influences on “Ignorant Youth”, before being swept up with jazzy, old-school vibes on the “86 Hymns Freestyle”.  M.I. Blue’s feature on “Playground” brings a soulful touch the blues-inspired track, “The Drill” featuring Shirloq is a straight banger, while “Socialite” and “Mediocre” are extremely catchy, radio-ready hits.


JustJohn has created Renaissance Boy to not only reflect his struggles and setbacks in life, but show how his hard work through all of that has been paying off. Growing up in the borough East from the Downtown core, he’s experiences the trials of a low income environment, and the ambition birthed from those struggles cultivated a strong work ethic that’s led him to where he is today. He has always stood out in the crowd while feeling like he didn’t belong, a longing that drove him to create his own space—an art gallery that allows himself and other creatives have a place for their ideas and artwork to call home.  John understands the struggle and hustle of an artist, but also for those who sweat and bleed for their art, it’s worth it… he’s there to inspire young creatives and help them reach their potential creatively.  At Blank Canvas Gallery you’re accepted no matter how different you are, as long as you have a love of art and good vibes.

Of course, he’s still evolving—hence the title Renaissance Boy instead of Man. John recognizes he has a lot of growing left to do still; he’ll continue to grind and work his way to even greater successes until he is full and satisfied, being free like a child to pursue anything he desires.


Words by: Daniela

Daniela Campos is a contributor for Omit Limitation currently living in Toronto.

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