Most Colorado local music know-it-alls recognize Jon Shockness as the crooning co-vocalist in the popular hip-hop tinged synth rock outfit Air Dubai. What they may not know, however, is that he’s been working on a side-project that showcases a more introspective and soulful demeanor. It’s a project he dubs kid astronaut, and it’s a genuine look into the artist’s life experiences and the feats of duality he struggles with as both an entertainer and a human being wishing to do more with his time on the planet.

The new solo work is far stripped down than what we’ve come to love out of Air Dubai, and embodies a raw musicianship that charges full blast in a make-it-or-break it type of delivery. There aren’t any filters, poppy synthesizers or other band members to mask faults in kid astronaut’s music. It’s just emotion soaked lyrics, soothing taps of piano keys and Shockness’ comforting vocals that exemplify the center of it all.

John Legend, who?

“Finally It’s You” is the first in a series of videos that Shockness plans to release as part of the kid astronaut solo project. His next video is due later this month.

Shockness says he sees kid astronaut as an extension of what he and his band have accomplished so far with Air Dubai, and looks at it as another opportunity to keep the artistic juices flowing while inspiring others to look within themselves alongside his reflective journey.

“With the solo music my goal is definitely to inspire,” says Shockness. “My motto with kid astronaut is, ‘Never stop exploring.’ Astronauts are, in my eyes, some of the best adventurers there are and being able to explore with childlike wonder and fascination regardless of where your journey takes you is a beautiful thing.

“So yeah, it's about art but also about reaching people and hopefully them leaving with the message that I'm just wanting to go new places and anyone and everyone can too.”

Shockness explains the video via the project’s tumblr account:

"in the akan language of ghana there is a word they use – sankofa. this word means to literally “go back and take” – the idea being you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.

in art, this concept is the same. most people, myself included will study the greats that came before to improve on their own art.

for these next few videos i wanted to embody the spirit of sankofa by going back to the places that birthed my artistic journey.

this first video “FINALLY IT’S YOU” was filmed in the beautiful concert hall of my high school, Denver School Of The Arts. i spent many hours singing, listening to music and performing in that concert hall and i felt it would be the perfect place to kick off my series.
thank you for allowing me to share this moment with you.

– kid astronaut