RJ Thompson

"Fiercely independent". That's the phrase RJ Thompson lives by. Making music... films... art... on his terms... his way.

Over the past few years that attitude, that DIY drive and determination, together with the very small team at his own independent label Codename Records, has achieved more than most. Two Top 40 UK albums for Yearbook and Lifeline, both of which also landed at Number 1 on the UK Download charts.

Dubbed ‘Synth Springsteen’ by the UK media and influenced by the likes of Beck, Brandon Flowers and Bleachers, RJ Thompson’s artistry merges impeccable songwriting, storytelling and a signature nostalgic sound. He’s received lots of love on BBC radio from the likes of BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and BBC IntroducingThe Times claims that he is ‘one to watch’ while The Guardian hails the artist as ‘prolific’, with additional acclaim from the likes of Wonderland and CLASH.

Starting his journey in the backstreet pubs and clubs of his native North-East England, having taken up the drums aged six and self-taught guitar and piano later on, RJ has gone on to perform all over Europe and the US, including as support for musical legend Jools Holland on multiple tours, performing at venues including the Royal Albert Hall.

In addition to his critical acclaimed music, RJ is committed to pushing the boundaries of how we consume music today. A firm believer in the romance of physical formats, vinyl, CDs... RJ has single handedly set out to deliver innovative experiences beyond the music. He has developed an Augmented Reality app that accompanies his physical releases, bringing the artwork and packaging to life depending on the time of day, year or weather where the listener is in the world, and delivering bonus content to extend the life of the music.

“It was about making the world of the record much bigger,” RJ explained of this innovation. "When I was younger, when my favourite artists released a new album it was an event. I'd save up, get the bus into town, buy the record, cherish it, read the sleeve back to front, fall in love. That has been lost a little bit in today's streaming world. I really wanted to recapture that... by coming up with a way to really make that physical record an event again."

With a new album in the works for 2024, let's see where his innovation takes us next.