The definitive list of artists like John Mayer
Whether you know him for his classic love songs like Gravity, or the catchy chorus of No Such Thing, there’s no denying John Mayer is one talented guy.
An American singer-songwriter from Connecticut, John Mayer released his first album, Room for Squares, in 2001 to widespread success. The album quickly went multi-platinum and catapulted him into the spotlight — and he quickly followed that up with the launch of his next album, Heavier Things, in 2003.
Since then, John Mayer has gone on to become one of the most well-known musicians of our generation. He even won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in the noughties thanks to this hit:
Incorporating elements of blues, rock, and soul into his music, John Mayer’s style started out as sensitive acoustic pop-rock but has evolved over the years to take on a more bluesy tone. That style has worked well for him over time: He’s made guest appearances on albums by Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and B.B. King, while also touring alongside The Dead and Company and jazz icon Herbie Hancock.
If you’re a fan of John Mayer, we’ve put together a list of other artists like John Mayer to add to your playlists ASAP. You can listen to the Spotify playlist below, or check out the YouTube videos throughout the article. Enjoy!
The Reign of Kindo
The Reign of Kindo, or just Kindo, has been around since 2006. In fact, their debut EP hit #5 on the Billboard Middle Atlantic Heatseekers chart in 2007. Despite this, the band has really only exploded in recent years, thanks to a prolific output of work and a dedicated fan base on Patreon.
Kindo has managed to rack up over 3 million views on YouTube, amass over 2.5 million Spotify streams, and sell over 30,000 records across the globe, all without the help of any major label. Like John Mayer, their music is a unique blend of neo-soul, post-rock, and R&B — just check out this song:
However, what’s really impressive is that every single Kindo track has been produced in-house by the band, then engineered and mixed by frontman Joey Secchiaroli.
If you’re looking for artists like John Mayer, Singaporean singer and guitarist Sam Driscoll is absolutely worth checking out. Just listen to his original song, “I’m So Tired”, which he wrote while struggling with insomnia:
Driscoll originally found internet fame as the “ang moh” on YouTube talking about Singaporean culture, before moving into music in the mid-2000s. Sam’s skillful guitar strumming brings a more blues-y element to his music, but his sweet, lilting voice matches the signature tone that made John Mayer famous with fans around the world.
Although he’s mainly produced covers to date, Driscoll also writes and records his own tracks — meaning he’ll be putting out plenty of new tunes for you to enjoy, if you follow him on YouTube and Instagram.
David Ryan Harris
David Ryan Harris is singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, California. Harris has been making music in bands and as a solo artist since the 1990s. As the frontman for bands such as Follow For Know and Brand New Immortals, Harris showed a musical style that is impressively eclectic, with styles ranging from Motown soul to thrash-metal.
However, it’s his work as a solo artist that earns him a spot on this list: Harris’ songs focus on his guitar work and highlight his soulful singing voice. Oh, and he’s toured with John Mayer, Dave Matthews, as well as Sister Hazel, Better Than Ezra, and Collective Soul.
Bernhoft (real name: Jarle Bernhoft) is a Norwegian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. In the 90s, Bernhoft had minor success with the band Explicit Lyrics, but didn’t really break through commercially until he teamed up with bandmate Fridtjof Nilsen to co-found Span.
Following their success, he reinvented himself in 2008 as a soulful singer-songwriter with his solo debut album Ceramik City Chronicles, which hit number one in Norway. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength: his album Islander was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, making him the first non-American artist to have been nominated in the 20-year history of this US-dominated category.
Stylistically, Bernhoft usually appears with an acoustic guitar — just like Mayer — and builds band arrangements behind him by ‘looping’ on the fly.
An American singer-songwriter and music producer, Martin Sexton began his music career singing on street corners and in open-mic nights in Boston during the late 80s. His first album, In The Journey, was self-released in 1991. In 1994, he went on to win the National Academy of Songwriters’ Artist of the Year Award — and by 1996, Sexton was sharing stages with Art Garfunkel, Jackson Browne and John Hiatt on tours.
Sexton came well before John Mayer, and his music is definitely worth a listen. His vocal style and extraordinary voice exude the soulful feeling that Mayer fans love, and combines the best qualities of singers like Van Morrison, Al Green, Aaron Neville, and Otis Redding. His latest album, Mixtape of the Open Road, was released in 2015.
Drew Holcomb is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter who kicked off his career in 2003 with his debut EP, Lost And Found, which was recorded in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Two years later, Holcomb released the full-length album Washed in Blue and captured the hearts of listeners around the world.
Although he found success as a solo artist, he made the jump to bandleader in the late 2000s when he formed Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Along with his wife, fellow singer-songwriter Ellie Holcomb, Drew and his group established themselves as a popular Americana act, finding chart success with albums like 2013’s Good Light and 2015’s Medicine.
A talented artist with a sturdy voice, Holcomb and John Mayer aren’t afraid to put their feelings out there when writing music. In other words, if you like John Mayer’s heart-on-sleeve style, Drew Holcomb deserves a spot on your playlist.
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Donovan Woods has built an impressive career as both a guitar-strumming troubadour and an in-demand songwriter over the years. Known for his melodic and folk sensibilities, Donovan released his debut album, The Hold Up, in 2007. However, he gained widespread exposure when his song “My Cousin Has a Grey Cup Ring” was used in commercials for the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League’s national championship game.
His fourth LP, Hard Settle Ain’t Troubled, was longlisted for Canada’s coveted Polaris Prize, and his album, Both Ways, won the Juno Prize in 2018. With his thoughtful, low-key style, Donavon Woods is a talented songwriter that Mayer fans will love — and the good news is, he’s clearly just getting started.
Dutch singer-songwriter Douwe Bob rose to fame in the Netherlands after winning the show De beste singer-songwriter van Nederland. If you’re a fan of Eurovision, you probably also spotted him on stage when he represented Holland in 2016.
Douwe Bob has been playing guitar since he was 14, and he’s long been inspired by country, folk, and pop music from the 1950s through the 1970s. His own music, however, features calming guitar strumming and his soft, sweet tenor voice, which gives him a sound remarkably similar to John Mayer.
With four albums already released, there’s plenty of music to enjoy from Douwe Bob if you enjoy his sound. His latest album, The Shape I’m In, features slightly darker tones than his previous albums – it was, after all, a breakup album.
And there you have it!
There’s no denying that John Mayer has a distinct style and is an incredible musician that’s worthy of putting on repeat. But if you’re looking to branch out with some new music discoveries, this list should offer up more than enough listening material.