Interview # 2 2 1 // WHYJOHNNY //

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1) The name WHYJOHNNY makes me think of a famous quote by JFK.  What is the idea behind "WHYJOHNNY" and why not "WHYnotJOHNNY"?

There are always more questions than there are answers. I think it's really cool when a solo artist has a name that is not their own, since my name is already an artist’s name I thought it'd be cool to come up with my own. Started asking myself what is the value of a name, why do people stick to something they didn't even pick? Then the question of ‘why’ stuck. So I called my mother to ask her why she named me Johnny. WHYJOHHNY? And there it was. 

2) How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?

There’s the feeling of intense despair in my lyrics mixed with explosive and majestic choruses. Mixing subtle acoustic guitar with the excitement and mystery of a synth while also sprinkling over the rush that comes from the simplistic piano.

3) Do you feel as if the lyrics are as important as the music itself?  How do you convey that with your sound?

Yes the lyrics are as important as the music itself. They’re the bridge between the music and the listener. The interpretation of my words, that's the other half of the song. The lyrics bring the melancholy and disparity to my sound. In all of my songs; whether it be lyrics or melody, I think there's this underlying tension. It’s not forced, it’s just that every time I sit down to write I try to capture the headspace I’m in. Exploring my subconscious through my own music. That’s why my listeners' interpretation is so important, because everytime you listen you can find a new meaning behind what I’m trying to say. 

4) Your debut EP is being released on July 31st.  What was it like creating that?

It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The recording process brought out the best in me and the songs. I had never felt more comfortable in a creative space then I did at Strange Weather Studios with Daniel Schlett. All three of these songs were written at different times in my life so I did not write them knowing they would be on the same project.

5) What is it like being from/playing in NYC?

It’s a great privilege to have been born and raised in the greatest city. It makes life and the future feel exciting. My motivation and drive skyrocket when I’m in New York City which is such a good feeling.  All the wonderful venues only add to the excitement. It’s a great place to share your art because of all the different cultures you come across. I think being a New Yorker really can give an artist edge when it comes to work ethic and confidence. 

6) How vital do you think record labels are in 2020?

I think they are still a very important aspect of the music industry; with that said, it’s easier today for emerging artists to achieve some sort of success with the internet, social media and the right marketing team. I do also think it varies from case to case. The labels still have great resources to further an artist’s career and they put together very experts who take care of certain things an artist normally does not know much about. This gives the artist more time to focus on the music as opposed to worrying about his or her marketing campaign. 

7) What are your thoughts on physical media, such as cassettes and records?

I believe that owning a physical copy of a piece of music has a different psychological effect on a person then streaming it. When you own a record of your favorite band it feels like it belongs to you. You put the wear and tear on that specific copy and even though there are a bunch of the same copies, there isn’t one that looks, feels, and smells quite like yours. It’s just a much more personal experience which is what art should be. 

8) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc... ??

I’d like to thank Annie Ohayon, Rock Choi, Marvin Mumford, and Daniel Schlett for contributing to the making of the EP.