Not too often do you stumble upon an artist who is as good of a person as they are a musician and that is exactly the case with Alaska’s very own Jany Green. Listening through his catalog you can tell that Jany and his music are rays of light that emit positive vibrations into the world and Wednesday afternoon I had the pleasure of experiencing this first-hand. What an honor it was to speak with Green about his debut EP, “Lost In Love”, which was released today. From top to bottom, the seven song project is a flawless body of work that is the perfect embodiment of who Jany Green is and what he stands for. If you’re looking for a project to have on repeat for the weeks and months to come, I highly recommend you take a deep dive into this EP and see all the incredible music that Green has brought to the table with this project. Before you do all that, make sure to check out my interview with Green below to give you some background on the man himself and the project!
JOE: Let’s start from the very beginning! For the fans that are new to the world of Jany Green and don’t know much about you, tell them a bit about your story and come up. Who is Jany Green? Where are you from? What’s your message to listeners?
JANY: Ya, absolutely. I’m just a boy from Alaska. I grew up in the small city of Anchorage and man, it is beautiful there. I love it, it is home, but there were also a bunch of times growing up where it was very difficult for me. You know, I surrounded myself with the wrong crowds a lot of the times, we just did dumb things. Growing up I’d always done music. It’s a small city and stuff, so for the people who do music, everyone knows each other. It’s cool in that regard. Fast forward and I had to move out, I was like “I gotta go” and I chose LA and since then I’ve become more positive. My mindset just changed, I just wanted to feel better and be happier and that’s what I’ve been chasing – that happiness in everything. I think I’m getting to a point where I’m extremely happy and I think it shows in the music and that is why it’s so positive, because I just wanted to do something that made me feel good about myself and if you were to listen, you would feel good about yourself as well. If you want to listen to me, I think that’s awesome, but my big thing is to really believe in yourself and show every feeling you have in you – no matter if that emotion is sad, happy, or mad, just show that and recognize it and then try to do better for yourself and others around you.
JOE: For sure man, that’s amazing to hear! There is no question that you and your music are a light that many people gravitate towards – it’s groovy, it’s funky, it’s got all types of vibes, but more than anything it’s honest, and I think that’s so crucial. With that said, I can’t skip over the fact that you are from Anchorage. Not every day do you hear about an artist from Alaska doing big things like yourself. How did your upbringing there influence your music and when did you move from Alaska?
JANY: To be completely honest, I used to make music, but it wasn’t really true to myself. I was just kind of making things that I heard and that I liked and whatever I would say just would be whatever. Which was cool, it’s still cool in a sense, but I really wanted to dive into finding the right sound and how I felt about what I was making needed to be 100%. I moved to Georgia when I was 19 and I tried to do music out there and I loved Atlanta and it was cool. I lived in Marietta and I found some really cool people, but a lot of people like to be together and are cliqued up and they have certain crews and so letting people in can be difficult for some people. And me trying to make my way in just wasn’t happening. So ya, I had to leave Atlanta, I was like man, “I don’t know how this music is going to go.” I went back to Alaska and I was with my girlfriend and we both decided, “hey, should we just move to LA and try it out there?”, and we knew nobody out here, we were just like “let’s go, why not? I’ve always wanted to go to LA.” And ever since, I just started feeling more positive out here with her, she made me feel so good about myself and just being in a brighter place, it’s just paradise here for some reason.
JOE: Music Business Worldwide called you “one of the hottest independent artists in the world”. I saw that you distribute through Level which obviously supports that vision. Tell me what independence means to you? I’m always interested in asking this question especially when it’s with an artist who doesn’t have to be independent if they don’t want to be.
JANY: Ya, absolutely. I think being independent is super important for finding your craft and finding what you want to do. At least at the start. There are some people who are like, “I hate labels… I will never sign” whatever the case may be and I’m not that person. I’m not against labels at all, I just think there is a certain time for it. You’ve got to build some leverage, you’ve got to show what you can do before they can push and back you up. And that’s just been my mindset as of lately, and things have been working out to a good extent. I’m happy being independent. Shoutout to Level. They are the greatest people, they are just so cool, they work hard, and I wouldn’t be happier without them. So, it’s just really cool. Shoutout to my (management) team, Bad Habit, as well. They are amazing and they all support me staying on the independent road right now. Definitely later, I’m not against it (signing), I would definitely sign one day, I just want to build that leverage.
JOE: Let’s get into the EP a little bit. Tell me more about “Lost In Love”. What does it mean to you? Talk to me about the concept and story behind it.
JANY: Man, I’ll tell you that I’ve been working on this project since I’ve been in Los Angeles really. Me and my producer and brother, Ralph Castelli, we just created so many songs and you know, at the time I was nothing, I didn’t have anyone looking at my music so we were just having fun creating. Such good vibes and a lot of love. I talk about love in a lot of my tracks. People enjoy that. There are a lot of tracks not on this EP that didn’t make it, some of my favorite tracks as well, but being in this time right now, structuring out things is really important, so I just wanted to make sure that it was right. I think this EP is kind of diverse in a way of feeling because I want people to grasp onto it, grasp onto any type of emotions, there are some sad ones and some happy ones, because we are all human. No one is perfect and no one is going to feel the greatest all the time, and if you do, let me know the secrets. But ya, basically “Lost In Love” is obviously love, but you can also be lost and losing a love, you don’t know where to find it, and if you can find that love in yourself or others, then you’ll be okay at the end of the road. I’m just happy with the way this project turned out. Some people will vibe to it hopefully and love it at one point (laughs).
JOE: Any favorites off the project? I think my favorites are probably “No Promises”, “Lover”, and “Runaway”, but in the last few hours I started to really gravitate towards “Shoot Me Down”. I thought it was an amazing outro track and perfect way to end the EP.
JANY: Hell yeah man! Well, “Shoot Me Down” has been in the works for so long and I love it so much, but I didn’t think that it could be a single. I didn’t want to put it out as a single record, I kind of wanted it to be a part of the project, you know? We were playing some songs for my good friend Jesse (Ray Ernster) and dialing in on what should be on the EP and we played “Shoot Me Down” for him and he said it was his favorite track. And me and my friend Ralph (Castelli) looked at each other and were like “bro, we think the same thing!”. It’s different from what I’ve put out before, but it’s also something that you kind of feel and I’ve always felt that way about the song and it has a close place in my heart. I’m kind of nervous though because people haven’t really seen that side as of now, but hopefully they will like it!
JOE: Let the people know! There is a real gem at the bottom of that track list. Listening through the project, one of the main things that stuck out to me was how versatile you are as an artist. You can hear a ton of different influences in there from funk, r&b, soul, hip-hop, and even indie pop. From your perspective, what genres or artists played the biggest role in influencing your sound? I hear a more alternative Pharell and Childish Gambino when I listen to your music.
JANY: You got it to a tee bro! Definitely Pharrell, I’ve been listening to him for forever, and then Outkast was probably the biggest inspiration that I had for creating my sounds and different quirky lyrics and how I say certain lyrics. Childish Gambino is my favorite artist of all time, so you’ve got this down to a tee (laughs).
JOE: When listening through “Lost In Love”, I could tell that you’d been working with some really talented musicians and producers. Tell me a little bit about who you worked with on this project?
JANY: Oh ya man. First of all, shoutout to Kenny Beats. I recently worked with him a couple of months ago and he is one of my favorite producers in the game right now. Just his personality and what he does is so diverse. He’s doing it all and it was just a blessing to go and work with him on “Magic”. We did that song in like 35 minutes. We dialed in and it was just so fun. He’s such a good guy and I’m so thankful for that. A lot of it is my bro, Ralph Castelli. He is a big fan of the same people I’m a fan of and he’s also very indie in his artist stuff, so we just matched and started coming up with a bunch of different stuff. We’ve got Apob on there, he’s on “No Promises” and David (Crooms). And we’ve also got my boy Tyler (Armes), who is on “Runaway”.
JOE: Anything exciting in store for the project that you want to speak on or things in the works for the future that you wish to reveal? Tell us what we can expect moving forward – where do you want to take your sound and do you plan on going on tour soon?
JANY: This EP has been in the works for a long time and I’m just really happy to have it out. For this next one, I’m really dialing in on character and sound. I want it to be a little bit more cohesive. There’s a producer that I recently worked with named Ian and we have this amazing song called “Euphoria” and it has such a weird and crazy sound to it. It’s just so nuts… I do have a tour coming up with Walk The Moon this fall. Next month is when it starts and we will go for about a month and a half. I’m very excited. It’s called the Dream Plane Tour. I’ve never been on tour or anything, I’ve never actually performed with a band until recently. It’s just so much better, it’s a better feeling, it’s more lively. It’s just amazing, I’m having so much fun!