Born in London to a Cuban mother, a painter, and raised in New York City, John Presnell's songwriting is as eclectic as his background. With a poetic touch, John composes songs in light and dark tones that range thematically from romantic to political, dramatic to whimsical, prosaic to extraordinary. "Singing in a rich, plaintive voice" (Verena Dobnik, Associated Press), John has garnered a reputation for being a captivating live performer.
In 2016, John released the socially conscious single "Pills," a reflection on America's prescription drug-obsessed culture. Highly rated music blog SYFFAL extolled it as “beautifully and romantically vivid." The video, produced with the help of acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven, Sleepy Hollow, and Nerdland) drew praise for how it colorfully drives home the American paradox of killing ourselves to heal ourselves. Stirring up buzz on social media, music video director Mark Pellington (U2, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam) applauded it as “smart, vicious," while Fox News and Hot 97 FM host Lisa Evers called it a “powerful message."
To exercise his range of musical talents, John has also scored films, including Over the GW (2007), hailed in the New York Times as a gritty take on rebellion against cult ideology. In 2013, John was asked to contribute music to an art installation, NYC After 9/11, exhibited in Italy. John's original song, "No Distances," was spotlighted in national Italian news coverage of the event.
In early 2017, John released his 5-track EP, Fair Game. The inspiration for the EP comes from John's observation that Life is a game and Love is its wildest player. Guitar phenomenon Stephane Wrembel, who wrote the theme song for the Grammy-winning soundtrack to Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, co-wrote the title track with John and performed all the guitar work on the EP. In late 2018, John followed up that project with another EP, Bygone, a collection of previously unreleased material. He is presently in production on his LP, World Upside Down, a contemporary call-to-action akin to the protest songs of the 1960s.