"Influencer Jonah Prill proves that there is a whole lot of country talent in Montana."
- Tricia Despres, American Songwriter
Born and raised appreciating the great outdoors, surrounded by mountains as far as the eye can see, a 24-year-old Montana native by the name of Jonah Prill decided to say ‘hey’ to something other than his horses…and share his music with the world.
Within a matter of months, over a million people across the country and around the world were roped in by his country boy charm and simple way of life. The casanova’s lyrics draw a crowd, that’s for sure, but he is not just any other social media influencer. He is a TikTok cowboy if you will, a TikTok cowboy with a voice that lights a fire like kerosene and words that keep it lit.
And he doesn’t plan to let the fire fizzle out anytime soon.
Though people might be quick to make assumptions about guys like Jonah Prill, this talented singer/songwriter with the undeniable western charm comes from pure country music pedigree, having grown up in the shadow of his famous grandfather Dean Evans. You see, Evans was a country artist himself, having released country songs such as “Lottin Dottin,” and playing multiple gigs from Texas to the East Coast before making the ultimate decision to move to Montana to become a cowboy.
Prill's grandfather, Dean Evans, struttin' his Western charm circa 1962 on their ranch outside of Livingston, Montana.
Prill’s storyline could have easily ended up the same.
A native of Billings, Montana, Prill grew up hiking amongst a gorgeous landscape filled with a plethora of mountains and pine trees. He spent his days riding around on the dirt roads not only in his four-wheeler, but in the passenger seat of his dad’s 1976 Ford Bronco, listening to the same twenty U2 songs on the only CD that ever seemed to be in the darn player.
“Wild horses and open spaces are so underrated,” Prill explained.
In high school, Prill played football and listened to country music turned up loud. He toyed with the idea of playing the guitar, but never could seem to get around to putting too much effort into it. However, through it all, country music served as the backbeat to his life.
“Country music, cattle and sunburns - the Montana summer essentials,” he would write on his social media channels.
Eventually, Prill did begin learning to play the guitar, and much like everything else he put his mind to, he quickly picked it up. He found himself spending many a night out by the bonfire experimenting with various chords and lyrics, finding a way to lend his voice to the unique brand of music he kept hearing over and over in his head. He even booked some shows around town. Friends and family began to point out that Prill had this genuine way of charming everyone who saw him or heard him sing. Could he give country music a go? He wasn’t sure.
You see, Prill has never been one to let unrealistic goals take up too much room in his head. Chances were good that he would spend the rest of his days working with the cattle or at the local landscaping company in town. He would spend his nights hanging out with his friends or maybe trying out a new song on the small stage at some small bar on a Thursday night. Eventually, he would look into getting a real job with a stable salary……an x-ray technician perhaps.
Jonah stayed focused and grounded through 2020 by focusing on his two greatest passions: spending time under the Big Sky, and strumming away on his guitar preparing to share with the world
But then, one random day, Prill decided to appease modern media and create a TikTok account.
The now thriving social media influencer would be the first to admit, he never put too much thought into what he shared on the social media platform. He would record himself working with the cattle in Montana or on a ranch in Wyoming. He would film the sun coming up in the morning and the moon shining bright at night, and in a world being choked by the parameters of the pandemic, Prill resembled someone free, funny and somewhat fascinating to all those who had always envisioned what life was like somewhere west of the Mississippi River.
But what took things to a whole new level was when Prill began to play the music that told the story of the life he led.
“This is the life songs are written about,” Prill mused, “And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Drawing inspiration from the likes of authentic country artists such as Cody Johnson and Jon Pardi, he strummed his guitar and picked at his banjo, and he would even pull out his harmonica on a good day and play songs that were coming straight from his heart. Soon, the girls started ‘hootin and hollerin’’ like his grandpa would say, and Prill found himself increasingly getting booked at gigs throughout the country.
"Wild horses (and hunting season) will always bring me back home." - Jonah
Prill recently released his latest two-steppin’, toe tappin’ single, “You Remind Me,” an addictive ode to the one that got away that he wrote alongside fellow songwriters Ryan Hayes and Justin Olmstead.
“I just wanted to put out a song that would resonate with people and touch their hearts and emotions,” Prill said in an interview with American Songwriter. “It’s an upbeat and happy song, but still tells the story of heartbreak.”
Suddenly, people within the industry started noticing Jonah Prill.
“I want to be the next Garth Brooks,” the 23-year-old proudly proclaimed. “Wouldn’t it be crazy if the next big country star came from some small town in Montana?”
Well, crazier things have happened.
These days, Prill finds himself making frequent treks from Montana to Nashville to write and record with some of the best in Music City. He’s booking shows at legendary venues and doing interviews with the likes of American Songwriter and Newsmax very early on in his career.
And often, during those 1,810 miles between the home he loves and the place where his dreams live, Prill finds himself thinking about the artist he wants to be. He’s not looking to be a one hit wonder or a here today, gone tomorrow sort of influencer.
“I want to be great, not good,” he explains. “Quality over quantity. Time for every avenue to be explored, and life experiences to shape my creativity. I have all these visions and sounds that I want to get out of my head, and I get to do that on social media. And now, I am going to be able to do that with my music.”
Whether it be an early Montana morning or a rowdy Nashville night, Jonah Prill is ready to shoot for the stars. He is more bound by his unbridled spirit than a follower count, and more determined than ever to be the next country music star.