JOHNNY JENSEN // Q&A

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MEET JOHNNY JENSEN, A SINGER-SONGWRITER, AND PRODUCER FROM CAPTIVA, FLORIDA. JOHNNY INVITES LISTENERS INTO HIS ALTERNATIVE, POP SOUND WITH SUBTLE GUITAR AND SMOOTH VOCALS. WITH EXPERIENCE OPENING FOR BAD COMPANY, CHICAGO, JASON MRAZ, AND MORE, THIS YOUTHFUL ARTIST IS DEVELOPING HIS STYLE AND PLANS TO RELEASE MUSIC SOON. 

1. WHAT WAS THE FIRST MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU WANTED A CAREER IN MUSIC?

FUNNY YOU ASK THAT.  WHEN I WAS FOUR YEARS OLD, THE PRESCHOOL I ATTENDED MADE A VIDEO WHERE THEY ASKED THE STUDENTS WHAT THEY WOULD WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP.  BEING THE YOUNG MUSICIAN I WAS, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY SAID “ROCK STAR.”  GUESS I KNEW FROM A PRETTY YOUNG AGE, HAHA. 

2. WALK US THROUGH YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS, FROM SONGWRITING TO PRODUCTION? DO YOU HAVE A ROUTINE, OR DO YOU WAIT FOR INSPIRATION?

I USUALLY WAIT FOR INSPIRATION.  I’LL BE GOING ABOUT MY DAY WHEN A MELODY SUDDENLY HITS ME, AND THEN I QUICKLY TRY TO RECORD IT IN MY VOICE MEMOS APP BEFORE I FORGET IT.  AS FAR AS PRODUCTION GOES, I ALMOST ALWAYS HAVE A SOUND IN MY HEAD I’M TRYING TO RECREATE, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS EXPERIMENTAL.  BETWEEN LOADING HUNDREDS OF DIFFERENT PATCHES AND SOUNDS, I LIKE HEARING STUFF THAT’S DIFFERENT.  MOST OF THE TIME, I FEEL THAT MUSICIANS GET CAUGHT UP USING THE SAME BEATS, SO I TRY TO STAY AWAY FROM THAT. 

3. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE KEY TO SONGWRITING IS?

I BELIEVE THE KEY TO SONGWRITING IS TO CREATE SOMETHING FROM THE HEART.  AS CLICHÉ AS IT MAY SOUND, WHEN ARTISTS SAY THAT THEY CAN SEE THE SONG THEY’RE WRITING, IT’S TOTALLY TRUE.  WHEN I WRITE MUSIC THAT I GENUINELY ENJOY, I CAN SOMEWHAT SEE IT BECAUSE THE EMOTIONS EXPRESSED ARE USUALLY VERY INTENSE, ALTHOUGH LYRICALLY, THEY MAY NOT SEEM SO.   

4. WHO WERE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES AS A KID, AND HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED?

WOW, THROUGHOUT MY ELEMENTARY YEARS, THE BANDS THAT INSPIRED ME THE MOST WERE THE ROCKERS OF THE 70S, MOSTLY THE WHO, BEATLES, BAD COMPANY, AND LED ZEPPELIN.  ON THE WAY TO KINDERGARTEN, IT WAS NOT A RARE OCCURRENCE FOR MY MOTHER AND ME TO BE BLASTING THE “MY GENERATION” ALBUM ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL.

IN MIDDLE SCHOOL THOUGH, I BELIEVE I FOUND WHAT MY REAL TASTE IN TASTE MUSIC WAS WITH ARTISTS SUCH AS BOZ SCAGGS, MICHAEL MCDONALD, PABLO CRUISE, JACKSON BROWNE, AND COUNTLESS OTHERS IN THE SAME REALM.  MY GO-TO SONGS WERE “LOWDOWN,” “WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES,” AND “LOVE WILL FIND A WAY.”  CURRENTLY, I LISTEN TO ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.  RAP, POP, JAZZ, BLUES, REGGAE, ROCK; YOU NAME IT, I LISTEN TO IT.  IT’S ALSO VERY COOL TO STUMBLE UPON A FELLOW NEW ARTIST WHO IS VERY INSPIRING, WHICH IS SOMETHING I FIND MYSELF DOING

MORE AND MORE OFTEN.

5. WHO IS YOUR DREAM COLLABORATOR, AND WHY?

MY DREAM COLLABORATOR (WHO’S LIVING) WOULD PROBABLY BE JAMES TAYLOR.  HIS SONGS, AND THE MELODIES WITHIN THEM, ARE INCREDIBLY TIMELESS.  IN THE MODERN MUSIC WORLD, IT WOULD BE DOMINIC FIKE.  HAVING HEARD SNIPPETS OF NEW MATERIAL ON TIKTOK AND INSTAGRAM, I’M BLOWN AWAY AT HOW ORIGINAL AND DIVERSE HE IS.  ONE OF THE NEW SONGS THAT HE CONSIDERED “COUNTRY” WAS VERY DIFFERENT FROM HIS OTHER MATERIAL, AND YET, IT WAS ALL STILL VERY COHESIVE. NOT TO MENTION, HE GREW UP AN HOUR FROM WHERE I DID. 

6. TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW.

AT THIS POINT, I’M WORKING ON GETTING OUT MY FIRST ALBUM.  PEOPLE THINK I’M ONLY INTO GUITAR, BUT MY TRUE PASSION IS WRITING AND SINGING THE MUSIC THAT I WOULD WANT TO HEAR ON A DAILY BASIS—SORT OF LIKE THAT OF MY HEAVIEST INFLUENCES.  OF COURSE, I’M ALSO SURE THE READERS ARE GOING TO BE VERY EXCITED TO HEAR THAT I’M FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL.  AT THE END OF THE DAY, THERE IS THE REAL WORLD, SO I HAVE TO GET ALL OF THAT WRAPPED UP TOO.

FOLLOW JOHNNY JENSEN ON INSTAGRAM: @johnnyjensenmusic

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