Sometimes it’s tough to tell what makes a “good’ guitarist. They may have an astonishing command of technical skills, or the ability to contort their hands in inhuman ways, or can craft extraordinary chord progressions. But perhaps the most underrated quality of any instrumentalist is one single thing: heart. Jonah Kagen is talented technically, but his true gift is his ability to convey emotion through his instrument. This couldn’t be more apparent than on his 2021 single “Broken”, where each strum of the guitar is a pull on our heartstrings.
Growing up in Savannah, GA, Kagen gravitated towards the guitar at the young age of six years old, taking inspiration from his grandfather. Since that fateful first guitar lesson, Kagen has become completely immersed in music, playing in school jazz bands and at local venues. But from the moment he first teased a snippet of “Broken” on TikTok, he’s immersed millions of fans in his earnest songwriting and lush acoustic atmosphere. Now, the song has garnered millions of streams across all platforms, and given Kagen the opportunity to share his love of music with the masses.
B-Sides host Pete Mar spoke with Kagen about his latest single, “Moon”, the importance of mental health, his musical journey from playing classic rock covers that included Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and more.