Trance Hub

Trance Hub

Jan Johnston

Welcome to Trance Hub and thank you for giving us this opportunity and taking time out of your busy schedule to this interview for us.

Can you tell us more about who Jan Johnston is, what you do, where you come from and what 3 fruits would you use to describe yourself?

My heart is Irish as my parents are from Dublin… But myself and 5 siblings born in the UK… so heart Irish… Exterior English!!… I’m a little eccentric so I’m told… I love solitude but I love noise equally… And three fruits! I’m like… em… mango cherries raspberries pink… e… blush… e… e… sweet ha ha…

What is it that attracted you to music? And when did you get your big break?

It’s a part of my DNA being from an Irish family… If you don’t sing you have to shake something… I never had a say in it… I even preferred assembly in school when they would play a fab song… I’d want to stay and have more music. Not go to class… Music with good stories…

23+ years in the industry – in what way has your perception of trance or the music industry changed over the years?

For me as a writer just orchestration changes… As the DJ producers are out on the floors so they bring back the preferred sounds as they change… but for me… a chord is a chord… and it talks a certain way… and so allows you to write…

You’ve had the pleasure of working with Paul van Dyk, BT, Tiesto and many more. What has been the best experience for you?

Working and writing on Paul van Dyk’s album I think was a high for me… Reflections… As it was an honor. And I had the honor of catching up again with him this year and doing the Amsterdam party together for trance nations… Jan 2014…

Do you have any rhythm or classical training. Do you feel it’s necessary to have such training?

Piano… and yes it’s excellent for hearing sub-consciously music of the mind and digging it out… But you don’t have to be trained… Just have a love of musical instruments…

When writing a song, what is your approach? Do you start with the melody or the lyrics? Which do you find works more and helps in the creative process? Furthermore, where do you draw your inspiration from?

Both ways for me… Sometimes a piece of music arrives and I listen and react to that… and then I have a massive poem book of sorts… that I’ll write in… When a word or line sets you off down the jig saw path… So then a piece of music arrives and I’ll flick through my pages and the notation of a certain musical phrase will automatically link to a set of lines that tell a story and then it’s easy to complete…

It’s hard to pick a song of yours that is my favorite, so out of all your babies which one has the most meaning to you?

“Lullaby For Gaia”… because I wrote it for me… it was my there there… after a break up way back… love. It’s. Painful stuff…!

Can you take us through what you were feeling when you wrote “Flesh”? Till today I listen back and I’m blown away.

Was the same time as “Lullaby For Gaia”… so the split, after a very intense relationship where that person was also your working partner… flesh… And we knew we had to move on… as we had a passion for music… not a true passion for each other… I think… but hard to not have those intimate times when you know someone so well even after a break up… So that was the heaven that I was leaving and the last time that person should touch your skin in that way… Cos you were now apart!!

Everything we do has a message in it, do you try to give messages in your songs? And if so, what are they?

Only after a song is written sometimes can you see the story locked inside yourself… That may be your own… or sometimes… things around you, people, family, friends… environment… all that real stuff…

So not always setting out to have it be my message…

Recently, BT, Emma Hewitt and Tritonal did a rework of your track “Calling Your Name”. What did you think of the track?

Quite nice… I did feel the vocals were too close to the original and they should have been more creative with it… but lovely though…

Being in the industry for so long do you think it has worked to your advantage or has it in a way disadvantaged you?

I’d like to think my longevity points to talent of voice and writing songs…

You are what we would call an icon in the vocal trance scene, what have been some of the highlights of your journey?

Wow thanks Yas…

Highlights… are the friends… working with new people constantly and then most of them becoming good friends that’s the joy of music for me…

Everyone loves Indian food, what’s your favorite Indian dish and can you cook it for us?

Oh… I make sandwiches you would starve… but my favorite is Paswarni Naan Bread… coconut and fruit bread! Yummy, and anything medium hot I love Indian food… if I’m ill I eat as hot as I can stand! Chase out the devil…

Music is my…

…own crazy place…

It has been a great pleasure. What can we expect from Jan Johnston in 2014 and do you have any last words for your fans.

2014 has been full of new signings since I returned from Chile Patagonia where I lived off the land with no electricity I didn’t miss the creature comforts just a microphone! So came back to write and I’m having an amazing time… It’s taken a couple of years to record all the thoughts and more to come… Right now working with Boom Jinx… excited about hearing my vocals in his hands… On a song just signed to arrival records…

Connect with Jan Johnston:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jan.johnston.73997
Twitter: http://twitter.com/JanJohnstonUK
Website: http://www.janjohnston.com/

About

Like this article?

Give it some social love.

Shares
Subscribe to the Trance Hub Newsletter

Subscribe to the Trance Hub Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and contests directly to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!