Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Patrick Stump made a name for himself as the frontman of Fall Out Boy, one of the most successful emo bands during the early 21st century. When the band took a break in 2009, he used the opportunity to launch a solo career, ditching the sound he'd cooked up with his Fall Out Boy bandmates and transforming himself into a sort of pop-punk Justin Timberlake, with R&B, soul, and electronica serving as his new influences.
Stump was originally a drummer, acting as such in a Chicago-area band when he first crossed paths with guitarist Joe Trohman at a local Borders bookstore. Trohman was in the process of putting together a new band with his friend Pete Wentz, and though Stump initially tried out as its drummer, he soon joined the burgeoning group as its mild-mannered frontman. Stump wanted to sing and write songs, and as Fall Out Boy developed, he became the yin to Wentz's yang. Stump was responsible for the catchy melodies that supported Wentz's personal lyrics, and his shy personality balanced out the attention-loving celebrity persona of his counterpart. As the band took off, Stump also began flexing his production and remixing skills on the side, growing his résumé to include work on albums for acts like the Hush Sound, Gym Class Heroes, and Cobra Starship.
Fall Out Boy issued five records between 2003 and 2008, including two gold albums, one platinum release, and one multi-platinum smash. Stump and Wentz found themselves arguing throughout the making of Folie à Deux, though, and the band took a break soon after its 2008 release. While his bandmates launched side projects with other musicians -- Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley formed the Damned Things with a handful of collaborators, and Wentz teamed up with vocalist Bebe Rexha to form Black Cards -- Stump took the opposite approach, recording a solo album entirely by himself. Playing every instrument and handling his own production duties, he explored a different style of music, one informed by the likes of Michael Jackson, Prince, and Justin Timberlake. The Truant Wave EP unveiled the new sound in early 2011, followed by Soul Punk, his full-length debut, later that year on Nervous Breakdance. ~ Corey Apar